1887

Abstract

Vaccines produced in transgenic plants constitute a promising alternative to conventional immunogens, presenting the possibility of stimulating secretory and systemic immunity against enteric pathogens when administered orally. Protection against enteric pathogens affecting newborn animals requires, in most cases, the stimulation of lactogenic immunity. Here, the group presents the development of an experimental immunogen based on expression of an immunorelevant peptide, eBRV4, of the VP4 protein of bovine rotavirus (BRV), which has been described as harbouring at least one neutralizing epitope as well as being responsible for the adsorption of the virus to epithelial cells. The eBRV4 epitope was efficiently expressed in transgenic alfalfa as a translational fusion protein with the highly stable reporter enzyme -glucuronidase (GUS), which served as a carrier, stabilized the synthesized peptide and facilitated screening for the higher expression levels in plants. Correlation of expression of the eBRV4 epitope in plants with those presenting the highest GUS activities was confirmed by a Western blot assay specific for the BRV peptide. The eBRV4 epitope expressed in plants was effective in inducing an anti-rotavirus antibody response in adult female mice when administered either intraperitoneally or orally and, more importantly, suckling mice born from immunized female mice were protected against oral challenge with virulent rotavirus. These results demonstrate the feasibility of inducing lactogenic immunity against an enteric pathogen using an edible vaccine produced in transgenic plants.

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2004-07-01
2019-11-13
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