Ricin Vaccine Development

  • Joan E. Smallshaw
  • Ellen S. VitettaEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 357)


In this chapter we discuss vaccines to protect against the highly toxic plant-derived toxin, ricin. Due to its prevalence, ease of use, and stability it has been used in sporadic incidents of espionage. There is also concern that it will be used as an agent of bioterrorism. As a result there has been a great deal of interest in developing a safe vaccine or antidote to protect humans, and in particular soldiers and first responders. Although multiple types of vaccines have been tested, at this time two recombinant vaccines are the leading candidates for the national vaccine stockpile. In terms of passive post-exposure protection, monoclonal neutralizing antibodies that passively protect animals are also under development. These vaccines and antibodies are discussed in the context of the toxicity and structure of ricin.


Ricin Bioterroism Recombinant vaccines Antibodies 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Cancer Immunobiology Center, Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  2. 2.The Cancer Immunobiology Center, Departments of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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