Vaccines are a proven method of controlling disease. However there are issues with the delivery and administration of vaccines. A particular problem is that the majority of vaccines currently used are injected, which can be unsafe if needles are reused in areas where blood-borne diseases are prevalent. Vaccines targeting the mucosal immune system avoid many of the problems associated with injections. One potential form of mucosal vaccine is based on the expression of vaccine antigens in plants. Current research in this area has focused on the expression of immunogens from the plant's nuclear genome but low expression levels generally achieved using this system have limited progress. In recent work we have used the model antigen, TetC, which confers resistance to Tetanus infection, to demonstrate the feasibility of expressing vaccine antigens at high levels in the plant chloroplast.
- Edible vaccines
- Nicotiana tabacum