Plant-made subunit vaccine against pneumonic and bubonic plague is orally immunogenic in mice

M. Lucrecia Alvarez, Heidi L. Pinyerd, Jason D. Crisantes, M. Manuela Rigano, Julia Pinkhasov, Amanda M. Walmsley, Hugh Mason, Guy A. Cardineau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is an extremely virulent bacterium but there are no approved vaccines for protection against it. Our goal was to produce a vaccine that would address: ease of delivery, mucosal efficacy, safety, rapid scalability, and cost. We developed a novel production and delivery system for a plague vaccine of a Y. pestis F1-V antigen fusion protein expressed in tomato. Immunogenicity of the F1-V transgenic tomatoes was confirmed in mice that were primed subcutaneously with bacterially-produced F1-V and boosted orally with transgenic tomato fruit. Expression of the plague antigens in fruit allowed producing an oral vaccine candidate without protein purification and with minimal processing technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2477-2490
Number of pages14
Issue number14
StatePublished - Mar 24 2006


  • Plague vaccine
  • Plant-made vaccines
  • Tomato
  • Transgenic plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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