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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2010 Jun 15;135(3-4):234-42. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2009.12.003. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Immunogenicity of recombinant GP5 protein of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus expressed in tobacco plant.

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Graduate Institute of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Taipei 106, Taiwan, ROC.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the immunogenicity of the ORF5-encoded major envelop glycoprotein 5 (GP5) of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) expressed in tobacco plant as a potential pig oral vaccine in protection against PRRSV infection. Six-week-old PRRSV-free pigs were fed four times orally with 50g of chopped fresh GP5 transgenic tobacco leaves (GP5-T) (GP5 reaching 0.011% of total soluble protein) or wild-type tobacco leaves (W-T) each on days 0, 14, 28, and 42. Samples of serum, saliva, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected on days -1, 6, 13, 20, 27, 34, 41, and 48 after the initial oral vaccination. A similar vaccination-dependent gradual increase in the responses of serum and saliva anti-PRRSV total IgG and IgA, respectively, and in the levels of PRRSV-specific blastogenic response of PBMCs was seen in GP5-T-treated pigs; all statistically significant elevations occurred after the 2nd vaccination and were revealed after 20 days post-initial oral vaccination (DPIOV). Pigs fed on GP5-T also developed serum neutralizing antibodies to PRRSV at a titer of 1:4-1:8 after the 4th vaccination by 48 DPIOV. No detectable anti-PRRSV antibody responses and PRRSV-specific blastogenic response were seen in W-T-treated pigs. The present study has demonstrated that pigs fed on GP5-T could develop specific mucosal as well as systemic humoral and cellular immune responses against PRRSV. The results also support that transgenic plant as GP5-T can be an effective system for oral delivery of recombinant subunit vaccines in pigs.

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