A review on edible vaccines: A novel approach to oral immunization as a replacement of conventional vaccines
AT Abeysundara, MMW Aponso, GO De Silva
Edible vaccines are produced by the introduction of selected desired genes into plants and then inducing these altered plants to produce the encoded proteins. This process is known as "transformation" and the altered plants are called "transgenic plants". Basically Edible vaccines are GM crops that provide extra added “immunity” for certain diseases such as Hepatitis B, diarrhea, pneumonia, STDs, HIV etc. Edible vaccines are composed of antigenic proteins and do not contain pathogenic genes. They have no way of forming infection and safety is assured. Edible vaccine is a new approach to oral immunization. This technology might contribute to global vaccine program and might have a dramatic impact on health care in developing countries. Pathogens attack at mucosal surfaces and therefore, it is the most effective site for vaccination. Edible vaccines activate both mucosal and systemic immunity, as they come in contact with the digestive tract lining. This dual effect would provide first-line resistance against pathogens entering through mucosa.