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Biotech tomatoes for edible malaria vaccines?
Posted by: DR.RAUPP E. K. (IP Logged)
Date: October 06, 2006 06:49PM ; ;

Malaria affects 300?500 million people annually, and over two billion
individuals reside in areas where the disease is endemic. A proposal to
deliver malarial vaccines using tomatoes, published recently in the journal
Medical Hypothesis, was forwarded by Kamal Chowdhurya and Omar Bagasra at
Chaflin University, South Carolina, October 2006.

Tomatoes with different antigens for malaria would be identified by the
different fruit sizes, shapes and colors. By using edible vaccines, the
authors hope that the logistical difficulties in immunizing over a million
children living in malaria prone areas can be overcome, at a fraction of a
cost of a regular vaccination.

?Our hypothesis is to immunize the children/infants by feeding them one
variety of tomato at a time, 3?6 weeks apart?, said the researchers. The
researchers expect that the low dose of antigens that are administered
should be enough to trigger an immune response, protecting the children from
the malarial parasite in the future.

Several challenges need to be resolved before tomato can be used to produce
these biopharmaceuticals. Among these include the development of tomato
lines with consistent high gene expression levels; and conducting studies
assessing the risks of out-crossing among the transgenic crop and their
close relatives via pollination.

For more details, the complete paper can be accessed online by subscribers
at []

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