Can Switching From Formula To Breast Milk Cause Diarrhea Edible Vaccines – Friends Or Foes?

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Edible Vaccines – Friends Or Foes?

As Archimedes proved, impact can strike anywhere. Legend has it that an ancient Greek philosopher discovered the mathematical laws that govern happiness in the bathroom while watching a soapy duck. And then he runs, wet and limp, through the streets of Syracuse shouting, “Eureka!” (“Got it!”). The nature of scientific research may have changed since the third century BCE, but the spirit of inquiry that led to Archimedes’ principle still applies.

Vaccinating people with edible plants is a new idea that seems to hold great promise. Current research focuses on mixing viral or bacterial DNA into a formula, which is then injected into soil bacteria. When a plant infects the virus, the therapeutic DNA is inserted into the plant’s genes and as the plant grows, its cells begin to produce any proteins that the new genes are designed to make. When a plant or fruit is eaten, the immune system is triggered, causing the body to produce the appropriate antibodies.

The development of vaccines has saved millions of lives around the world. Vaccines have accomplished near miracles in the fight against infectious diseases. They consigned smallpox to history and must soon do the same to polio. In the late 1990s an international campaign to vaccinate all the world’s children against six deadly diseases was reported to have reached 80 percent of infants (up from about 5 percent in the mid-1970s) and reduced the number of deaths annually from those diseases by about three million. . Yet this victory fills the sad gaps in supply. 20 percent of infants miss the six vaccines against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, tetanus and tuberculosis—killing nearly two million unnecessarily each year, mostly in the world’s most remote and impoverished areas. Unrest in many developing countries now threatens to derail recent progress.

Vaccination stands as one of the greatest success stories of modern medicine. Early experiments by Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur taught doctors that they could prevent disease by simply exposing the patient to a weakened or inactive virus. Although his protocols violated the norms of modern clinical trials, Dr. Jenner was able to prevent children from getting smallpox – even when she deliberately exposed them to it – after first injecting her with pus from a cow. Although they are materially different from those developed by Jenner and Pasteur, modern vaccines are still based on the same basic principle: If the immune system is trained to recognize the pathogen before infection, the disease can be prevented when the pathogen is encountered.

The problem with current vaccination protocols is that what works in a developed country is often too difficult to transport to a developing country, or too expensive to buy.

Unfortunately, this often means that the people who need the vaccine the most cannot get it.

Vaccine prevention is, therefore, good news for people around the world. A potable vaccine combined with a plant eliminates the need for sterile syringes, expensive refrigeration, or multiple needles. Moreover, since many of the most deadly diseases in the developing world – cholera, rotavirus, and E. coli, to name a few – enter the body through the gastrointestinal tract, the vaccine may provide the best protection because it mimics the gastrointestinal tract. natural way of infection.

Edible vaccines hold great potential, especially in Third World countries where transportation costs; poor refrigeration and the use of needles make administration of the vaccine difficult. While research is still being conducted in laboratory animals, people with diabetes may one day benefit from an edible form of insulin. Researchers have developed a technology that allows the production of a recombinant gene that produces human insulin from potatoes.

For people with diabetes, potatoes with insulin can help train the body to stop reacting to insulin as if it were a foreign substance. Some scientists see great promise in plants, which are not affected by human diseases and can produce antibodies at a cost of up to 100 times less than conventional cell fertilization. Many companies are growing plants designed to produce human antibodies against diseases such as malaria. Edible vaccines for some intestinal pathogens are on the way — for example, potatoes and bananas can protect against Norwalk virus, a common cause of diarrhea, and potatoes and tomatoes can protect against hepatitis B.

Oral vaccines work both mucosal and systemic immunity, as they interact with the digestive tract lining, which is not possible with sub-unit vaccines that give a negative mucosal response. These two effects of oral vaccines provide first-line protection against viruses that attack the mucosa: such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and agents that cause diarrhea, pneumonia, STDs, HIV, etc.

Other benefits of oral vaccines include:

A. Administration of oral vaccines to mothers to immunize the fetus-in-utero by trans-placental transfer of antibodies from mother or infant through breast milk. Oral vaccines have a potential role in protecting infants from diseases such as group-B Streptococcus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), etc., which are under investigation.

B. Oral vaccines may also be suitable for neglected/rare diseases such as dengue, hookworm, rabies, etc. etc.

Different foods that are studied are banana, potato, tomato, lettuce, rice, etc. Edible vaccines are currently being developed for a number of human and animal diseases, including measles, cholera, foot and mouth disease and hepatitis B, C and E.

C. Their product is efficient and can be easily scaled up. For example, the hepatitis-B antigen that must be vaccinated in China every year, can be grown on a 40-hectare plot and all the babies in the world every year on a 200-hectare plot!

D. They are cheap, bypass the requirements of standard cleaning methods and do not require large capital investment in pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.

E. They show good genetic stability.

F. They are heat stable and do not require cold storage.

G. Since they can be stored close to the place of use, long distance transportation can also be avoided.

H. Since syringes and needles are not used, the chances of infection are also reduced.

I. Fear of infection with animal viruses – such as mad cow disease, which is a threat to vaccines made from mammalian cells – is eliminated, because plant viruses do not infect humans.

If the vaccine can be exposed to the plant, the plant can be vaccinated, and there is no need to go to the doctor to be vaccinated. This can be useful in third world countries that lack the infrastructure and resources to provide access to doctors. The first test of edible vaccines was done by expressing the surface protein of Hepatitis B in potatoes which were then fed to mice. The mice developed antibodies to the Hepatitis surface protein, and developed mucosal protection against viral infection. It is important to note that antibodies are secreted by the mucosal membrane (lining of the nose, mouth, digestive tract) which is the most likely area of ​​the body to attack the virus.

Considerations in plant-based vaccine development

Antigen selection

– Is the antigen safe and non-pathogenic in all cases?

– Can the antigen trigger a protective immune response?

– Is the antigen suitable for expression in plants?

Working with model systems

– Does the antigen accumulate in plants enough?

– Is the plant-derived antigen immunogenic?

– Do experimental animals develop immune responses?

Selection of plant species for vaccine delivery

– Can it be eaten raw and unprocessed?

– Is it suitable for babies?

– Can it be grown widely and easily?

– Can it be easily maintained? Is it resistant to damage?

– Is it good for change and renewal?

Delivery and dosage issues

– Are mucosal adjuvants needed for the immune response?

– Can a large enough dose be delivered by simply eating the plant?

– How many doses will be needed?

Security issues

– Will the vaccine produce oral tolerance?

– What are the health and environmental risks of genetically modified organisms

Public perceptions and attitudes toward genetic modification

– Do negative attitudes towards genetically modified organisms affect vaccine acceptance?

Quality control and licensing

– Can antigen expression be related to plant production?

– Who will manage vaccine availability and

The future of edible vaccines:

The future of edible vaccines may be affected by the resistance to GM food, which was demonstrated when Zambia refused GM corn for food aid from the United States despite the threat of famine. Before recommending such vaccines for human use, WHO’s concerns for quality assurance, efficacy and environmental impact must be addressed. Transplantation of genes unintendedly disrupts the genomes of plants and animals and the consequences can be felt in neighboring ecosystems. By facilitating horizontal gene transfer/combination, genetic engineering can contribute to the emergence and re-emergence of infectious, drug-resistant diseases, the proliferation of autoimmune diseases, cancer and the reactivation of dormant viruses. Viruses can take up transgenic DNA from food in the human gut. Antibiotic resistance genes can spread from mutated food to pathogenic bacteria, making infections more difficult to treat. Small genetic changes in potential pathogens can result in significant changes in the range of potential pathogens and plants may inadvertently become reservoirs for them. There is also the risk of creating all new types of infectious agents, such as super viruses. By manipulating DNA, geneticists can create in a few minutes in the laboratory, millions of recombinant viruses that have not existed in billions of years of evolution. This can be misused to deliberately create biological weapons.

The ecological and environmental risks of edible vaccines must be considered. It’s still very raw science and has a long way to go before it’s ready for large-scale testing in humans to fight infectious diseases and autoimmunity. To address concerns about the use of GM foods, it cannot be overemphasized, strict controls on the growth and processing of plant vaccines to ensure that they never enter the food supply. This will include the separation of the medicinal greenhouse from the food crops to prevent cross-contamination, and separate areas for storage and processing.

Dr. Rubina Lone

Consultant in Clinical and Research Microbiology

SKIMS Medical College, Srinagar

India

Reply to: dr.rubina.lone@gmail.com

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