Plant-Based Vaccine Delivery Strategies

  • Chiara Lico
  • Carla Marusic
  • Floriana Capuano
  • Giampaolo Buriani
  • Eugenio Benvenuto
  • Selene BaschieriEmail author


Subunit vaccine formulations were prepared in the near past by purifying antigenic components known to activate protective immune responses directly from the pathogen. Nowadays, thanks to the development of high performance gene engineering and biochemical procedures, subunit vaccines commence to be formulated with recombinant versions of protective antigens. These molecules can be synthesized using heterologous hosts such as bacteria, yeast, insect and mammalian cells. To this aim, the alternative use of plants is growing out of advances in methods for foreign gene expression. Plants represent an opportunity in the field of vaccine technology in that this expression system ensures rapidity, low costs, easy scaling up and intrinsic bio-safety of the final product. Nonetheless, the exploitation of plants only as mere “biofactories” of antigens thwarts many of their potentialities.

After a short introduction designed to initiate the reader to the most commonly used methods to engineer plant “biofactories”, the chapter will focus on how plants can be used by themselves as “vaccines” or as source of recombinant antigens with immunologic added value.


Edible vaccines Plant heat shock proteins Plant chimeric virus particles Plant virus like particles Oral delivery Oleosomes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiara Lico
    • 1
  • Carla Marusic
    • 1
  • Floriana Capuano
    • 1
  • Giampaolo Buriani
    • 1
  • Eugenio Benvenuto
    • 1
  • Selene Baschieri
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biotechnology, Casaccia Research CenterENEARomeItaly

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