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Biotechnol Adv. 2012 Nov-Dec;30(6):1614-26. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Plant made anti-HIV microbicides--a field of opportunity.

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Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Biosciences, Pretoria, South Africa.


HIV remains a significant global burden and without an effective vaccine, it is crucial to develop microbicides to halt the initial transmission of the virus. Several microbicides have been researched with various levels of success. Amongst these, the broadly neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins are promising in that they can immediately act on the virus and have proven efficacious in in vitro and in vivo protection studies. For the purpose of development and access by the relevant population groups, it is crucial that these microbicides be produced at low cost. For the promising protein and peptide candidate molecules, it appears that current production systems are overburdened and expensive to establish and maintain. With recent developments in vector systems for protein expression coupled with downstream protein purification technologies, plants are rapidly gaining credibility as alternative production systems. Here we evaluate the advances made in host and vector system development for plant expression as well as the progress made in expressing HIV neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins using plant-based platforms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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