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J Infect Dis. 2000 Jul;182(1):302-5. Epub 2000 Jul 6.

Human immune responses to a novel norwalk virus vaccine delivered in transgenic potatoes.

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Center for Vaccine Development, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


A new approach for delivering vaccine antigens is the use of inexpensive, plentiful, plant-based oral vaccines. Norwalk virus capsid protein (NVCP), assembled into virus-like particles, was used as a test antigen, to determine whether immune responses could be generated in volunteers who ingested transgenic potatoes. Twenty-four healthy adult volunteers received 2 or 3 doses of transgenic potato (n=20) or 3 doses of wild-type potato (n=4). Each dose consisted of 150 g of raw, peeled, diced potato that contained 215-751 microgram of NVCP. Nineteen (95%) of 20 volunteers who ingested transgenic potatoes developed significant increases in the numbers of specific IgA antibody-secreting cells. Four (20%) of 20 volunteers developed specific serum IgG, and 6 (30%) of 20 volunteers developed specific stool IgA. Overall, 19 of 20 volunteers developed an immune response of some kind, although the level of serum antibody increases was modest.

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