Plant-derived vaccines: A look back at the highlights and a view to the challenges on the road ahead

Yasmin Thanavala, Zhong Huang, Hugh Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The sobering reality is that each year, 33 million children remain unvaccinated for vaccine-preventable diseases. Universal childhood vaccination would have profound effects on leveling the health inequities in many parts of the world. As an alternative to administration of vaccines by needle and syringe, oral vaccines offer significant logistical advantages, as the polio eradication campaign has demonstrated. Over the past decade, the expression of subunit vaccine antigens in plants has emerged as a convenient, safe and potentially economical platform technology, with the potential to provide a novel biotechnological solution to vaccine production and delivery. As this technology has come of age, many improvements have been made on several fronts, as a growing number of research groups worldwide have extensively investigated plants as factories for vaccine production. This review attempts to highlight some of the achievements over the past 15 years, identify some of the potential problems and discuss the promises that this technology could fulfill.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-260
Number of pages12
JournalExpert review of vaccines
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Immune response
  • Mucosal vaccine
  • Oral immunization
  • Transgenic plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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