Authors:Kata Tombácz, Ákos Gellért, Katalin Salánki, Ervin Balázs, and Tamás Tuboly
A recombinant cucumber mosaic virus based expression system has been developed for the production of an immunogenic porcine circovirus epitope. The resulting nanoparticle was shown to elicit specific immune response in mice and pigs, when administered parenterally. To evaluate the oral applicability of this vaccine candidate, two experiments were performed. In the first one, the resistance of the vector itself to mucosal environment was tested in mice. Cucumber mosaic virus particles fed to mice were able to elicit specific mucosal and serum antibody production. In the second experiment, recombinant cucumber mosaic virus fed to piglets resulted in the appearance of porcine circovirus specific serum antibodies. The vector proved to be able to survive in the gastrointestinal tract, so that an epitope expressed on its surface could induce specific immune response. These results indicate that the developed plant virus based expression system offers an effective method for mucosal vaccine production.