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Nat Med. 1998 May;4(5):601-6.

Characterization of a recombinant plant monoclonal secretory antibody and preventive immunotherapy in humans.

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Department of Immunology, United Medical and Dental Schools, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.


A functional comparison was made between a monoclonal secretory antibody generated in transgenic plants and its parent murine IgG antibody.The affinity constants of both antibodies for a Streptococcus mutans adhesion protein were similar. However the secretory antibody had a higher functional affinity due to its dimeric structure. In the human oral cavity, the secretory antibody survived for up to three days, compared with one day for the IgG antibody. The plant secretory antibody afforded specific protection in humans against oral streptococcal colonization for at least four months. We demonstrate that transgenic plants can be used to produce high affinity, monoclonal secretory antibodies that can prevent specific microbial colonization in humans. These findings could be extended to the immunotherapeutic prevention of other mucosal infections in humans and animals.

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