Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the most important pathogens of infancy and early childhood. Here a fruit-based edible subunit vaccine against RSV was developed by expressing the RSV fusion (F) protein gene in transgenic tomato plants. The F-gene was expressed in ripening tomato fruit under the control of the fruit-specific E8 promoter. Oral immunization of mice with ripe transgenic tomato fruits led to the induction of both serum and mucosal RSV-F specific antibodies. The ratio of immunoglobulin subclasses produced in response to immunization suggested that a type 1 T-helper cell immune response was preferentially induced. Serum antibodies showed an increased titer when the immunized mice were exposed to inactivated RSV antigen.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the State of Illinois Value-Added Program and the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR External).
- Edible vaccine
- Immunoglobulins G and A
- Respiratory syncytial virus
- Transgenic tomato