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Vaccine. 2006 Mar 24;24(14):2477-90. Epub 2006 Jan 13.

Plant-made subunit vaccine against pneumonic and bubonic plague is orally immunogenic in mice.

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  • 1Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology (CIDV), The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, 1001 South McAllister Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, USA.


Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is an extremely virulent bacterium but there are no approved vaccines for protection against it. Our goal was to produce a vaccine that would address: ease of delivery, mucosal efficacy, safety, rapid scalability, and cost. We developed a novel production and delivery system for a plague vaccine of a Y. pestis F1-V antigen fusion protein expressed in tomato. Immunogenicity of the F1-V transgenic tomatoes was confirmed in mice that were primed subcutaneously with bacterially-produced F1-V and boosted orally with transgenic tomato fruit. Expression of the plague antigens in fruit allowed producing an oral vaccine candidate without protein purification and with minimal processing technology.

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