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Plant-derived vaccines safeguard against deadly plague

cated in Halle, Germany.

The group's results are the first to use Icon's viral expression system that adapts the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) to produce a plant-based vaccine against plague. TMV, a common scourge of the plant world, causes widespread plant disease and can damage and mottle the leaves, flowers and fruits of whole crops. In the system, TMV is simply injected into the leaves of the tobacco plants.

Like most crops, producing vaccines in tobacco plants primarily revolved around issues of speed, low cost and high yield. "The major advantage of the vaccine is the rapidity of the system," said Santi. "In a matter of 10 days, we can go from infecting the plants to harvesting the plants. From there, we purify the antigens in an additional one to two weeks to create the vaccine."

The approach also eliminates the typical year-long lag time necessary to establish and characterize genetically modified, or transgenic plants.

The beauty of system is its potential versatility that can be adapted to fight against other pathogens as well. The research team's next step is to refine their methods to achieve a large-scale commercial production of the vaccine.


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Source:Arizona State University


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