Your next DNA vaccine might come from tobacco

ViroBlogy

We don’t have much practice at this sort of thing, but seeing as we just got something REALLY cool published, and the man who largely made it possible is now a science writer, we decided to ask him to write a press release.  So he did.  Thanks, Paul Kennedy – take a bow, twice!


“In a pioneering step towards using plants to produce vaccines against cervical cancer and other viruses, University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers have generated synthetic human papillomavirus- derived viral particles called pseudovirions in tobacco plants.

“We’ve succeeded in making a completely mammalian viral particle in a plant – proteins, DNA, everything. That’s enormously exciting,” says Dr Inga Hitzeroth of the Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) at UCT.Dr_Inga_Hitzeroth

In an Open Access study just published in Nature Scientific Reports, BRU researchers report using tobacco plants to create a synthetic viral particle known as a pseudovirion.

A pseudovirion looks…

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Why Africa can’t afford to have an outbreak of the Zika virus

Well said

ViroBlogy

With limited laboratory capacity and a lack of experts and funding, an outbreak of the Zika virus in Africa could be problematic.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: theconversation.com

Yeah…sure. It could be Bad.

BUT: as South African epidemiologists have pointed out, it’ll only be a problem IF the mosquito that transmits it elsewhere, comes here – because our local A aegypti doesn’t have the same behaviour, and will vastly outnumber and possibly outcompete any import variety.

And it’s endemic in tropical Africa – meaning many people are immune already.

So scaremongering about Zika in Africa is possibly a little irresponsible – unless it’s being used as a stalking horse for an agenda for setting up continent-wide arbovirus surveillance, or spurring on efforts to set up an African CDC. Which I would heartily endorse.

The stuff about lack of reagents is spot-on: which is why we have a proposal in the works…

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