An edible hepatitis B antigen vaccine has been developed for maize. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Bioencapsulation of the hepatitis B surface antigen and its use as an effective oral immunogen.
Vaccine. 2012 Apr 19 ;30(19):2937-42. Epub 2012 Mar 8. PMID: 22406456
Applied Biotechnology Institute, Cal Poly Tech Park, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, United States.
Hepatitis B remains a major global health problem despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Segments of the population lack access to or respond poorly to the parenteral vaccine, perpetuating the infection-transmission cycle. A low cost, orally delivered vaccine has the potential to alleviate many of these problems. Here we describe the expression of a bioencapsulated hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in maize and its immunogenicity, demonstrating for the first time a commercially feasible oral subunit vaccine production system for a major disease. This work surmounts previous barriers to plant-produced vaccines by expressing HBsAg at much higher levels and retaining antigen immunogenicity post-processing: factors which facilitated a robust immune response in mice without the need for an adjuvant. This method provides a practical solution to the delivery of a low-cost, stable oral vaccine.