Press Esc to close

GM tobacco plant can treat rabies

London, Feb 3, 2013 (PTI): 2:21 IST
A genetically altered version of the tobacco plant may provide an inexpensive cure for the deadly rabies virus to patients in developing countries, scientists say.

In a new research reported in the FASEB Journal, scientists produced a monoclonal antibody in transgenic tobacco plants that was shown to neutralise the rabies virus.
The new antibody works by preventing the virus from attaching to nerve endings around the bite site and keeps the virus from travelling to the brain.

“Rabies continues to kill many thousands of people throughout the developing world every year and can also affect international travellers,” said Leonard Both, a researcher involved in the work from the Hotung Molecular Immunology Unit at St George’s, University of London, in the UK.

“An untreated rabies infection is nearly 100 per cent fatal and is usually seen as a death sentence. Producing an inexpensive antibody in transgenic plants opens the prospect of adequate rabies prevention for low-income families in developing countries,” Both said in a statement.

Both and colleagues “humanised” the sequences for the antibody so people could tolerate it. Then, the antibody was produced using transgenic tobacco plants as an inexpensive production platform.

The antibody was purified from the plant leaves and characterised with regards to its protein and sugar composition.

The antibody was also shown to be active in neutralising a broad panel of rabies viruses, and the exact antibody docking site on the viral envelope was identified using certain chimeric rabies viruses.

“Although treatable by antibodies if caught in time, rabies is bad news,” said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal.

“This is especially true for people in the developing world where manufacturing costs lead to treatment shortages. Being able to grow safe, humanised antibodies in genetically modified tobacco should reduce costs to make treatments more accessible, and save more lives,” Weissmann said.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Social activists sit near earthen lamps, lit in a formation that reads 'No Crackers', to urge ...

Social activists sit near earthen lamps, lit in a formation that reads 'No Crackers', to urge ...

Dentist-couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar coming out of the Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad on Monday after ...

Dentist-couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar coming out of the Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad on Monday after ...

Widows celebrating Diwali at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near Mathura on Monday...

Widows celebrating Diwali at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near Mathura on Monday...

Widows attending the marriage ceremony of a young widow at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near ...

Widows attending the marriage ceremony of a young widow at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near ...

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor presents a creation during a fashion event in New Delhi on Saturday..

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor presents a creation during a fashion event in New Delhi on Saturday..

Newly elected Allahabad University Students Union President Avanish Kumar Yadav (center) along..

Newly elected Allahabad University Students Union President Avanish Kumar Yadav (center) along..

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.