17-08-2017 12:30 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
New plant based vaccine mimics polio virus
Now, there is hope of global eradication of polio as scientists have developed a new vaccine to combat polio using plants.
Researchers from John Innes Centre, Norwich in the UK have developed the vaccine with a method that uses virus-like particles (VLPs) which are grown in plants. These VLPs are non-pathogenic mimics of polio virus that can be used as a vaccine against the age old viral disease.
Plant tissues are infiltrated with genes that carry information to produce VLPs. Researches informed that the host plant then reproduces large quantities of VLPs using its own protein expression mechanisms.
George Lomonossoff, a professor at John Innes Centre, Norwich said that it is an incredible collaboration involving plant science, animal virology and structural biology.
Although VLPs look like viruses, they are non-infectious. The nucleic acid which allows the virus to replicate has been removed through biological engineering. Therefore, they imitate the behaviour of the virus triggering the immune system to respond without causing an infection of poliomyelitis.
This vaccine has been highly successful in animals as proved by the laboratory tests. This will pave way for human vaccines to be produced by plants on a major scale with the input of pharmaceutical industry collaborators.