Document Type


Publication Date

April 2007


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(16):6864-6869, April 2007. The published version is available at Copyright is retained by the National Academy of Sciences.


We report here the in planta production of the recombinant vaccinia virus B5 antigenic domain (pB5), an attractive component of a subunit vaccine against smallpox. The antigenic domain was expressed by using efficient transient and constitutive plant expression systems and tested by various immunization routes in two animal models. Whereas oral administration in mice or the minipig with collard-derived insoluble pB5 did not generate an anti-B5 immune response, intranasal administration of soluble pB5 led to a rise of B5-specific immunoglobulins, and parenteral immunization led to a strong anti-B5 immune response in both mice and the minipig. Mice immunized i.m. with pB5 generated an antibody response that reduced virus spread in vitro and conferred protection from challenge with a lethal dose of vaccinia virus. These results indicate the feasibility of producing safe and inexpensive subunit vaccines by using plant production systems.

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