Press Esc to close
Monday 21 August 2017
News updated at 11:30 AM IST

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
A butterfly on a flower at a park in Guwahati on...

A butterfly on a flower at a park in Guwahati on...

An artist giving finishing touches to the idols of Lord Ganesha during the upcoming...

An artist giving finishing touches to the idols of Lord Ganesha during the upcoming...

Villagers fishing in the flood-hit Balimukh village in Morigaon district of Assam...

Villagers fishing in the flood-hit Balimukh village in Morigaon district of Assam...

Women take part in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest 'Disco Dance' to...

Women take part in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest 'Disco Dance' to...

A villager carrying household items submerged in flood waters, at the flood-hit Balimukh...

A villager carrying household items submerged in flood waters, at the flood-hit Balimukh...

Legend cricketer Sachin Tendulkar with his fans during the 2nd edition of Mumbai Half Marathon...

Legend cricketer Sachin Tendulkar with his fans during the 2nd edition of Mumbai Half Marathon...

Fruit vendors row a boat as they look for customers inside the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer...

Fruit vendors row a boat as they look for customers inside the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer...

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh walking the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2017...

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh walking the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2017...

A flower composition is seen during the 48th Debrecen Flower Festival in Debrecen, 226 kms east...

A flower composition is seen during the 48th Debrecen Flower Festival in Debrecen, 226 kms east...

Bollywood actor Vidyut Jamwal showcases a creation by designer Kazingmei during Lakme Fashion...

Bollywood actor Vidyut Jamwal showcases a creation by designer Kazingmei during Lakme Fashion...

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.