Human immune responses to a novel Norwalk virus vaccine delivered in transgenic potatoes

Carol O. Tacket, Hugh S. Mason, Genevieve Losonsky, Mary K. Estes, Myron M. Levine, Charles J. Arntzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

414 Scopus citations


A new approach for delivering vaccine antigens is the use of inexpensive, plentiful, plant-based oral vaccines. Norwalk virus capsid protein (NVCP), assembled into virus-like particles, was used as a test antigen, to determine whether immune responses could be generated in volunteers who ingested transgenic potatoes. Twenty-four healthy adult volunteers received 2 or 3 doses of transgenic potato (n = 20) or 3 doses of wild-type potato (n = 4). Each dose consisted of 150 g of raw, peeled, diced potato that contained 215-751 μg of NVCP. Nineteen (95%) of 20 volunteers who ingested transgenic potatoes developed significant increases in the numbers of specific IgA antibody-secreting cells. Four (20%) of 20 volunteers developed specific serum IgG, and 6 (30%) of 20 volunteers developed specific stool IgA. Overall, 19 of 20 volunteers developed an immune response of some kind, although the level of serum antibody increases was modest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-305
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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