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Biotechnol Adv. 2016 Sep-Oct;34(5):597-604. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Feb 12.

The case for plant-made veterinary immunotherapeutics.

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London Research and Development Centre, 1391 Sandford St, London, ON N5V 4T3, Canada.
Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Public Health Agency of Canada, 160 Research Lane, Guelph, ON N1G 5B2, Canada.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, 5403 - 1 Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1, Canada.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre, 2000 College Street, Sherbrooke, QC J1M 0C8, Canada.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tietotie 2, P.O. Box 1000, 02044 VTT Espoo, Finland.
Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada.
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Seeland OT Gatersleben, Saxony-Anhalt 06466, Germany.
Department for Applied Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Muthgasse 18, 1190, Vienna, Austria.
School of Life Sciences and The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, USA.
Technische Universität Darmstadt, FB Biologie, Schnittspahnstr. 5, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany.
PlantForm Corp., c/o Room 2218, E.C. Bovey Bldg., University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.
Laboratory of Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) and Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 120 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E3, Canada.
Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Belgium, and Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Belgium.
Prairie Plant Systems Inc., 1 Plant Technology Road, Box 19A, RR#5, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 3J8, Canada.
Zoetis Inc., 333 Portage Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA.
Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 59 Camelot Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9, Canada.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London Research and Development Centre, 1391 Sandford St, London, ON N5V 4T3, Canada. Electronic address:


The excessive use of antibiotics in food animal production has contributed to resistance in pathogenic bacteria, thereby triggering regulations and consumer demands to limit their use. Alternatives for disease control are therefore required that are cost-effective and compatible with intensive production. While vaccines are widely used and effective, they are available against a minority of animal diseases, and development of novel vaccines and other immunotherapeutics is therefore needed. Production of such proteins recombinantly in plants can provide products that are effective and safe, can be orally administered with minimal processing, and are easily scalable with a relatively low capital investment. The present report thus advocates the use of plants for producing vaccines and antibodies to protect farm animals from diseases that have thus far been managed with antibiotics; and highlights recent advances in product efficacy, competitiveness, and regulatory approval.


Antibiotic resistance; Antibody; Immunotherapeutic; Livestock production; Molecular farming; Plant biotechnology; Recombinant protein; Veterinary vaccine

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