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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2009;332:103-17. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-70868-1_6.

Plant-based oral vaccines: results of human trials.

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  • 1Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 685 West Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Vaccines consisting of transgenic plant-derived antigens offer a new strategy for development of safe, inexpensive vaccines. The vaccine antigens can be eaten with the edible part of the plant or purified from plant material. In phase 1 clinical studies of prototype potato- and corn-based vaccines, these vaccines have been safe and immunogenic without the need for a buffer or vehicle other than the plant cell. Transgenic plant technology is attractive for vaccine development because these vaccines are needle-less, stable, and easy to administer. This chapter examines some early human studies of oral transgenic plant-derived vaccines against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection, norovirus, and hepatitis B.

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