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Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(31):5612-21.

Developing country applications of molecular farming: case studies in South Africa and Argentina.

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  • 1Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, PO Observatory, 7925Western Cape, South Africa.


Molecular farming is a technology that is very well suited to being applied in developing countries, given the reasonably high level of expertise in recombinant plant development in many centers. In addition, there is an urgent need for products such as inexpensive vaccines and therapeutics for livestock and for some human diseases - and especially those that do not occur or are rare in developed regions. South Africa and Argentina have been at the fore in this area among developing nations, as researchers have been able to use plants to produce experimental therapeutics such as nanoantibodies against rotavirus and vaccines against a wide variety of diseases, including Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus, Foot and mouth disease virus, Bovine viral diarrhoea virus, bovine rotaviruses, Newcastle disease virus, rabbit and human papillomaviruses, Bluetongue virus, and Beak and feather disease virus of psittacines. A combination of fortuitous scientific expertise in both places, coupled with association with veterinary and human disease research centers, has enabled the growth of research groups that have managed to compete successfully with others in Europe and the USA and elsewhere, to advance this field. This review will cover relevant work from both South Africa and Argentina, as well as a discussion about the perspectives in this field for developing nations.

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