Tomato vaccines: New bird flu weapon?

Mar 15, 2006

Australian scientist Amanda Walmsley says she is trying to grow a bird flu vaccine in tomatoes to be used to prevent the disease in chickens.

After being part of a Monash University team that developed a plant-made vaccine for Newcastle disease -- a virus that affects poultry -- Walmsley has turned her attention to growing a bird flu vaccine in tomatoes, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported Wednesday.

She said developing vaccines in tomatoes would allow vaccines to be fed to birds rather than injected.

"We just harvest the fruit, freeze-dry it and there's your vaccine," Walmsley told the newspaper. "That would be a lot easier than giving injections -- especially for a flock of 5,000 chickens."

She explained researchers remove a gene from a protective protein in the bird flu virus and then put it in the tomato plant where it would reproduce the protein.

"The plant is a factory for the vaccine," she said. "The plant actually produces it in its cells."

Such a vaccine would eliminate contamination and allergy problems found in vaccines grown in eggs or yeast.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

Vaccines from a reactor

Mar 02, 2015

In the event of an impending global flu pandemic, vaccine production could quickly reach its limits, as flu vaccines are still largely produced in embryonated chicken eggs. Udo Reichl, Director at the Max ...

Panel backs sharing studies of lab-made bird flu

Mar 30, 2012

(AP) -- The U.S. government's biosecurity advisers said Friday they support publishing research studies showing how scientists made new easy-to-spread forms of bird flu because the studies, now revised, don't reveal details ...

Controversial 'bird flu' edits move ahead

Dec 22, 2011

Top US scientists on Wednesday defended their bid to stop details of a mutant bird flu virus from being published and called for global cooperation to ward off an uncontrollable pandemic.

WHO announces deal on sharing flu virus samples

Apr 17, 2011

The World Health Organisation said Saturday an agreement has been reached on sharing flu virus samples, hammered out after intense negotiations by a group on preparations for flu pandemics.

Universal flu vaccine study yields success in mice

Feb 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Adelaide researchers have taken a step closer to the development of a universal flu vaccine, with results of a recent study showing that a vaccine delivered by a simple nasal spray could provide ...

Cell-based flu shot beats current vaccine: study

Feb 15, 2011

Flu vaccines made from lab-grown cells work at least as well as those derived from viruses cultivated in chicken eggs, the preferred method for 50 years, according to a study released Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Devices or divisive: Mobile technology in the classroom

8 hours ago

Little is known about how new mobile technologies affect students' development of non-cognitive skills such as empathy, self-control, problem solving, and teamwork. Two Boston College researchers say it's ...

Forming school networks to educate 'the new mainstream'

13 hours ago

As immigration increases the number of non-English speaking "culturally and linguistically diverse" students, schools will need to band together in networks focused on the challenges of educating what has been called "the ...

Rare tidal movements expose Kimberley dinosaur tracks

14 hours ago

While audiences in Perth attend Walking with Dinosaurs this weekend palaeontologists working near Broome will be documenting the extinct vertebrates' extensive fossilised footsteps using laser scanning technology.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.