Avian Influenza Vaccine Without Immune Enhancer Developed
Avian Influenza Vaccine Without Immune Enhancer Developed
  • Reporter Kim Seo-jin
  • 승인 2021.06.27 19:34
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▲Diagram showing production of green vaccine targeting avian influenza
▲Diagram showing production of green vaccine targeting avian influenza


Avian influenza, which occurs in poultry such as chickens, ducks, and migratory birds, is also reported to be infectious to humans. The influenza is difficult to control because it is spread by migratory birds that travel all over the world. To make situations worse, culling the birds not only costs a fortune but also causes serious environmental pollution. To solve these problems, a Korean research team recently developed a recombinant protein vaccine that uses plants to induce a strong immune response to influenza viruses without an immune enhancer.
Professor Hwang Inhwan of the Department of Life Sciences (LIFE), Song Shi-Jian (LIFE Ph.D. candidate, advisor Prof. Hwang Inhwan), Prof. Chang Seon Song of Konkuk University, Prof. Kim Woe-Yeon of Gyeongsang National University, and Son Eun-Ju, CEO of BioApp, jointly researched the topic. Their findings were recently published in the Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.
Various types of vaccines have been developed and used so far, but concerns about biological safety have often been raised. Recombinant protein vaccines have the advantage of having high biological safety and specificity, but they have the downside of low immunogenicity and higher production costs compared to inert or live vaccines.
Based on green vaccine technology, the research team focused on the development of multi-vaccine against avian influenza. They processed protein trimesters (tHA) using plant cells, just as the antigenic bumps (hemagglutinin, HA) attached to influenza viruses produce immune-stimulating drugs. The research team succeeded in producing a bacteria-like particle (BLP) that transports antigens by coating plant production tHA onto an inert lactobacillus surface immediately without a separation process. These BLPs (tHAs) showed strong immune responses without immune boosters in mice and chickens. 
Using this method, researchers expect to produce vaccines more quickly, economically, and safely. Meanwhile, since the technology for the new vaccine was transferred to BioApp after patent application, commercialization in China, Southeast Asia, and also Korea is anticipated.
Prof. Hwang said, “We developed a vaccine based on recombinant proteins that is safe for exposure to viruses by applying green vaccine technology.”
The study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.