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Plant Based Edible Vaccine

BY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Agriculture | Submitted: 2010-05-18 22:40:16
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Article Summary: "We all are prone to one or more kind of infections throughout our life. This article talks about the future of edible vaccine like having a Banana will give immunity against diarrhoea caused by E.Coli..."


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Introduction:

We all are prone to one or more kind of infections throughout our life. To prevent this infection we discovered vaccine, route of administration into our body is injection in most of the cases. But in the future this will change; having a Banana will give immunity against diarrhoea caused by E.Coli.
First edible vaccine was produced in Tobacco in 1990.

Edible Vaccine Production:

1) Viral Epitope or surface antigen genes were identified and extracted using restriction enzyme and purified.
2) Genes are integrated into a Vector (Agrobacterium)
3) Marker genes are used to identify transformed cell from non transformed cell.
4) Agrobacterium will infect the plant cells
5) Agrobacterium will facilitate integration of epitope or surface antigen genes into the plant genome.
6) Transformed plants cells are allowed to produce the callus, root, shoot.
7) Callus are used to produced many more transformed plants using Tissue Culture Technique
8) These plants express Viral/Bacterial Epitope or Surface Antigen.

Edible Vaccine Mode of Action:

Epitope or surface antigen which is present in edible vaccine (food stuff) are recognised and absorbed by M-cells of Intestine and passed through various immune cells like B-Cell, T-cells. As a result they elicit a defence mechanism against part of antigen as if real infectious agent has attacked the body. This in turn produces memory cells which can identify and neutralize the real infectious agent in the future.

Potato as edible vaccine:

• Researchers and Scientists have produced Transformed Potatoes expressing vaccine against diarrhoea caused by Escherichia coli bacteria.

• Researchers and Scientists have produced Transformed Potatoes expressing Human vaccine against Hepatitis B

Banana as edible vaccine:

Researchers and Scientists are working towards developing Banana to produce vaccine against diarrhoea caused by Escherichia coli bacteria.

Corn as Edible Vaccine:

Pig Vaccine has been produced in Corn successfully.

Spinach as Edible Vaccine:

HIV-1 Vaccine candidate Tat protein has been produced in Spinach.

In near future we can expect edible vaccines in the form of Banana, Tomato, Potato, Lettuce, Maize, Rice, Wheat, Corn, Watermelon, Muskmelon and many more.

Advantages:

1) Economical
Transformed plants are produced locally so no transportation charges

2) Produce Mucosal Immunity also known as first line of defence where as traditional vaccines were not able to produce strong first line of defence. This means Edible Vaccine induce defensive measures by the production of IgA (Immunoglobulin A) at the sites such as mouth, intestine, eyes and urogenital tracts.
3) Safe mode of administration
4) Vaccine are active at room temperature
5) Since Vaccines are active at normal temperature no need for refrigeration.
6) Transformed Plants are easily reproduced when compared to animal cells.

Concerns:

• Many religious groups and organizations oppose genetically modified foods
• Long term effects of Edible Vaccine are not known.
• Virulent Genes may get transferred to near Environment such as Water and land.


Future:

• We can hope that developing countries where transportation, refrigeration and use of needle hamper the Vaccine activity will benefit a lot from Edible Vaccines.

• Research is being conducted to produce edible form of human insulin in Potatoes. By this we can avoid body reaction against Insulin as foreign body.

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