Japanese scientists have developed a high-yield rice strain (MucoRice-ARP1) that produces an antibody to protect against rotavirus (RV) which causes diarrhea and other infections.
Rotavirus-induced diarrhea is a life-threatening disease in children in developing countries and in immuno-compromised individuals. Scientists say that more than 600,000 children die annually from RV infection, mostly in developing countries, while thousands of children under 5 years of age are hospitalized in developed countries.
Current vaccines against RV are expensive and have high maintenance costs. Moreover, these vaccines are not equally efficient in developing countries and in immuno-compromised individuals. The scientists behind the development of MucoRice-ARP1 say that using a rice based antibody overcomes several problems associated with conventional vaccines against RV. MucoRice-ARP1 does not require purification; can be stored at room temperatures; and reduces transport and maintenance costs significantly. While the new rice strain has not been tested on human bodies, tests show that MucoRice-ARP1 may provide protection against RV in immuno-compromised people.
“MucoRice-ARP1 offers what we believe is a novel approach to the prevention and treatment of RV-induced diarrhea in both developed and developing countries and may provide an alternative to vaccination in individuals in whom current vaccines are contraindicated,” the scientist say. They also claim that the technology could be extended to develop rice—based vaccines to fight other intestinal diseases as well.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/content/japan-scientists-develop-rice-based-vaccine-fig...