Plant-Derived Booster Vaccines or Adjuvants

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 13945

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, 60-479 Poznań, Poland
Interests: plant-derived vaccines; injection-oral prime-boost immunisation; virus-like particles; HBV
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Plants have been used for millennia for medicinal purposes. Despite the development of chemically synthesised drugs, those of herbal origin still constitute one of foundations of modern pharmacotherapy. Moreover, biotechnology, including that based on genetic engineering, together with related sciences and advanced analytical tools, has opened new areas for the application of plant-derived products in biomedicine. Biopharmaceuticals may comprise both natural chemicals as well as recombinant proteins or other substances produced in plants with modified biosynthesis pathways. Among various types of biopharmaceuticals, vaccines remain one of the most important and most often produced in plant-based systems.

Plants offer an attractive platform for vaccines because of their low cost, safety (since they are innately free of human and zoonotic pathogens), and the option of oral immunisation. The primary idea for plant-based vaccines was to use raw tissues as “edible vaccines”. Although the efficacy of this vaccination method proved to be limited, mainly due to the mechanisms of GALT functioning and oral tolerance, emerged issues stimulated multidirectional studies on the improvement of plant-produced vaccines and their administration. These include the development of expression vectors adapted to various hosts, plant-material processing and formulation, as well as immunisation schemes. Eventually, it can be said that the initial concept of “edible vaccines” evolved to plant-derived orally administered booster vaccines. Such vaccines can be used even against blood-borne pathogens, where most often a systemic immune response is required, while the mucosal one may play a supplementary role. Recent examples of vaccines against hepatitis B, polio, or infectious bursal disease demonstrate that, although many factors still need to be established, not only plant-derived purified and injectable biopharmaceuticals, but also oral vaccines still have a promising potential.

Plants can serve not only as vaccine producers and carriers, but simultaneously as source of chemicals of immunostimulatory properties. Many natural plant compounds may act as mucosal or systemic adjuvants, as lectins, flavonoids, carotenoids, oils, or saponins, which are the key components of one of the most potent adjuvant and antigen delivery systems—ISCOMATRIX™. Apart from these, thanks to genetic engineering, plants can produce proteins enhancing immune response, acting as adjuvants, immunomodulators, epitope carriers, or structures combining these activities (e.g., LTB, CTB, interleukins, or various virus-like particles).

This Special Issue will focus on more recent studies dealing with plant-based booster vaccines, especially those that are orally administered, together with natural and recombinant adjuvants, including their production systems, processing, administration, effects on the immune system, and mechanisms of action. Toward this purpose, original research articles, reviews, and short communications are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Tomasz Pniewski
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • plant-derived vaccine
  • booster vaccine
  • oral vaccine
  • mucosal adjuvant
  • systemic adjuvant
  • virus-like particles
  • immune response
  • immunomodulatory effect
  • plant expression system
  • vaccine preparation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

17 pages, 1030 KiB  
Review
Challenges and Prospects of Plant-Derived Oral Vaccines against Hepatitis B and C Viruses
by Ana-Maria Madalina Pantazica, Lia-Maria Cucos, Crina Stavaru, Jihong-Liu Clarke and Norica Branza-Nichita
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2037; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102037 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2869
Abstract
Hepatitis B and C viruses chronically affect approximately 3.5% of the global population, causing more than 800,000 deaths yearly due to severe liver pathogenesis. Current HBV vaccines have significantly contributed to the reduction of chronic HBV infections, supporting the notion that virus eradication [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B and C viruses chronically affect approximately 3.5% of the global population, causing more than 800,000 deaths yearly due to severe liver pathogenesis. Current HBV vaccines have significantly contributed to the reduction of chronic HBV infections, supporting the notion that virus eradication is a feasible public health objective in the near future. In contrast to HBV, a prophylactic vaccine against HCV infection is not available yet; however, intense research efforts within the last decade have significantly advanced the field and several vaccine candidates are shortlisted for clinical trials. A successful vaccine against an infectious disease of global importance must not only be efficient and safe, but also easy to produce, distribute, administer, and economically affordable to ensure appropriate coverage. Some of these requirements could be fulfilled by oral vaccines that could complement traditional immunization strategies. In this review, we discuss the potential of edible plant-based oral vaccines in assisting the worldwide fight against hepatitis B and C infections. We highlight the latest research efforts to reveal the potential of oral vaccines, discuss novel antigen designs and delivery strategies, as well as the limitations and controversies of oral administration that remain to be addressed to make this approach successful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Booster Vaccines or Adjuvants)
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27 pages, 937 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Overview on the Production of Vaccines in Plant-Based Expression Systems and the Scope of Plant Biotechnology to Combat against SARS-CoV-2 Virus Pandemics
by Manu Kumar, Nisha Kumari, Nishant Thakur, Shashi Kant Bhatia, Ganesh Dattatraya Saratale, Gajanan Ghodake, Bhupendra M. Mistry, Hemasundar Alavilli, D. S. Kishor, Xueshi Du and Sang-Min Chung
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061213 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 10100
Abstract
Many pathogenic viral pandemics have caused threats to global health; the COVID-19 pandemic is the latest. Its transmission is growing exponentially all around the globe, putting constraints on the health system worldwide. A novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), causes this [...] Read more.
Many pathogenic viral pandemics have caused threats to global health; the COVID-19 pandemic is the latest. Its transmission is growing exponentially all around the globe, putting constraints on the health system worldwide. A novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), causes this pandemic. Many candidate vaccines are available at this time for COVID-19, and there is a massive international race underway to procure as many vaccines as possible for each country. However, due to heavy global demand, there are strains in global vaccine production. The use of a plant biotechnology-based expression system for vaccine production also represents one part of this international effort, which is to develop plant-based heterologous expression systems, virus-like particles (VLPs)-vaccines, antiviral drugs, and a rapid supply of antigen-antibodies for detecting kits and plant origin bioactive compounds that boost the immunity and provide tolerance to fight against the virus infection. This review will look at the plant biotechnology platform that can provide the best fight against this global pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Booster Vaccines or Adjuvants)
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