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Vaccine. 2009 Jun 8;27(28):3730-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.03.084. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Generation of plant-derived recombinant DTP subunit vaccine.

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  • 1Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


The current diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) pediatric vaccine is produced from the corresponding pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Clostridium tetani and Bordetella pertussis; five injected doses of DTaP (acellular) vaccine are required for every child in the standard US vaccination schedule. Because the vaccine is derived from native live sources, adverse effects are possible and production is complex and costly. To address issues of safety, ease of renewability and expense, we used recombinant technology in an effort to develop a subunit DPT vaccine derived in non-pathogenic plant expression systems. Expression of diphtheria toxin (DT), tetanus fragment-C (TetC) and the non-toxic S1 subunit of pertussis toxin (PTX S1) antigenic proteins in soluble form in low-alkaloid tobacco plants and carrot cell cultures allowed efficient downstream purification to levels suitable for intramuscular injection in BALB/c mice. At working concentrations of 5mug per dose, these preparations induced high levels of antigen-specific IgGs in mouse sera. Our results clearly support the feasibility of producing recombinant pediatric vaccine components in plants.

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