Reuters Health Information (2005-02-14): Potato vaccine immunogenic against hepatitis B
Drug & Device Development
Potato vaccine immunogenic against hepatitis B
Last Updated: 2005-02-14 17:00:19 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a new study US
researchers show that a hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) can be delivered
using transgenic potatoes and it results in an increase in anti-HBsAg
"Introduction of an oral vaccine for HBV could greatly impact global
immunization acceptance," Dr. Charles J. Arntzen, from Arizona State
University in Tempe, and colleagues note. "We are greatly encouraged
that this prototype study of human immunization against HBsAg gave a
strong and sustained systemic antibody response in about 60% of the
volunteers who ate transgenic potatoes."
The study involved 42 previously vaccinated individuals who were
randomized to receive two or three doses of potatoes expressing HBsAg
or regular potatoes. The researchers' findings appear in the February
14th early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of
An increase in HBsAg titers was noted in 10 of 16 (62.5%) three-dose
recipients and in 9 of 17 (52.9%) two-dose recipients, but in none of
the 9 control subjects.
These results were achieved without the use of a mucosal adjuvant or
the need for a buffering stomach pH, the investigators point out.
"We believe that the data presented here provide compelling evidence
that orally delivered subunit vaccines can provide a useful component
in a program of prophylaxis against enteric and nonenteric diseases,"
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Early Edition 2005.