HPV Vaccines in Plants: An Appetising Solution to Control Infection and Associated Cancers
Rosella Franconi and Aldo Venuti
from: Papillomavirus Research: From Natural History To Vaccines and Beyond (Edited by: M. Saveria Campo). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2006)
The cultivation of plants with specific properties has been the foundation of medicine for millennia. Modern biotechnology may one day extend their medicinal uses to include the delivery of vaccines. Because of their low production costs and facility of use, plant-derived vaccines provide an interesting perspective. The simple demands for solar light, water and minerals make plants an economic system for the production of heterologous proteins, supplying eukaryotic post-translational modifications (e.g. glycosylation, phosphorylation), eliminating the risks of contaminations with animal pathogens and allowing oral administration. Other advantages stem from the possibility to express the protein of interest in reservoir organs, of production on wide scale and to omit purification passages, particularly for oral administration. In this case, crushed seeds, endosperma, fruits could be used for direct administration (edible vaccine). The list of plant-derived antigens, potentially usable as vaccines, continues to lengthen and includes pathogenic viral and bacterial proteins. In this chapter recent advances in production of prophylactic and therapeutic plant vaccines against papillomaviruses are reported. Some aspects of the public debate on the genetically modified organism will be discussed too read more ...