Toward a papaya-based oral vaccine against cysticercosis

S. Rosales, M. Hernández, A. Ortiz, J. Cervantes, E. Monreal, N. Villalobos, A. Figueroa, I. Flores, R. Ramirez-Aquino, M.L. Villarreal, G. Fragoso, E. Sciutto
Cysticercosis, caused by Taenia solium, is a parasitic disease that still affects human health and causes economic loss in underdeveloped countries. Although various effective anti-cysticercosis vaccines have been developed, they have not yet been extensively used in control programs. The high cost and logistical difficulties of the available injectable vaccine versions may account for this. Considering that plant-based vaccines fulfill the requirements of low cost and needle-free administration, a new effective oral anti-cysticercosis vaccine expressed in papaya callus, named S3Pvac-papaya, was developed. S3Pvac-papaya is composed of three peptides of 97, 18, and 12 amino acids, and it provides high protection levels against cysticercosis when orally administered to pigs. The vaccine can be reproduced in outstanding amounts under controlled conditions, with similar content of the recombinant peptides, in papaya callus cultivated on plates as well as in cell suspension cultures. In addition, papaya is an attractive host for vaccine production and delivery due to its activity against intestinal parasites and its capacity to boost the general immunity status. Therefore, we are currently working to extend the benefits of our transgenic papaya lines by developing an oral anti-parasitic supplement for livestock and pets, which is formulated with untransformed papaya tissues as a source of anti-parasitic and immunostimulatory compounds, that simultaneously administers the S3Pvac-papaya vaccine to induce innate and adaptive immune responses.
Rosales, S., Hernández, M., Ortiz, A., Cervantes, J., Monreal, E., Villalobos, N., Figueroa, A., Flores, I., Ramirez-Aquino, R., Villarreal, M.L., Fragoso, G. and Sciutto, E. (2019). Toward a papaya-based oral vaccine against cysticercosis. Acta Hortic. 1250, 219-224
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1250.30
Taenia solium, Taenia pisiformis, transgenic papaya, vaccination, cysticerci

Acta Horticulturae