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Oral immunogenicity and protective efficacy in mice of transgenic rice plants producing a vaccine candidate antigen (As16) of Ascaris suum fused with cholera toxin B subunit

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Cereal crops such as maize and rice are considered attractive for vaccine production and oral delivery. Here, we evaluated the rice Oryza sativa for production of As16—an antigen protective against the roundworm Ascaris suum. The antigen was produced as a chimeric protein fused with cholera toxin B subunit (CTB), and its expression level in the endosperm reached 50 μg/g seed. Feeding the transgenic (Tg) rice seeds to mice elicited an As16-specific serum antibody response when administered in combination with cholera toxin (CT) as the mucosal adjuvant. Although omitting the adjuvant from the vaccine formulation resulted in failure to develop the specific immune response, subcutaneous booster immunization with bacterially expressed As16 induced the antibody response, indicating priming capability of the Tg rice. Tg rice/CT-fed mice orally administered A. suum eggs had a lower lung worm burden than control mice. This suggests that the rice-delivered antigen functions as a prophylactic edible vaccine for controlling parasitic infection in animals.

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This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research (B) (No. 16380198) and Exploratory Research (No. 19658113) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan. This study also received financial support from the Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution (BRAIN) and the Program of Founding Research Centers for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan.

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Correspondence to Yasunobu Matsumoto.

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Matsumoto, Y., Suzuki, S., Nozoye, T. et al. Oral immunogenicity and protective efficacy in mice of transgenic rice plants producing a vaccine candidate antigen (As16) of Ascaris suum fused with cholera toxin B subunit. Transgenic Res 18, 185 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11248-008-9205-4

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  • Transgenic rice
  • Oral vaccine
  • Ascaris suum
  • Cholera toxin B subunit
  • Mucosal adjuvant