Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit (LTB) can be used as an adjuvant for co-administered antigens. Our previous study showed that the expression of neutralizing epitope GP5 of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in transgenic tobacco plant (GP5-T) could induce PRRSV-specific immune responses in pigs. A transgenic tobacco plant co-expressing LTB and PRRSV GP5 as a fusion protein (LTB-GP5-T) was further constructed and its immunogenicity was evaluated. Pigs were given orally three consecutive doses of equal concentration of recombinant GP5 protein expressed in leaves of LTB-GP5-T or GP5-T at a 2-week interval and challenged with PRRSV at 7 weeks post-initial immunization. Pigs receiving LTB-GP5-T or GP5-T developed PRRSV-specific antibody- and cell-mediated immunity and showed significantly lower viremia and tissue viral load and milder lung lesions than wild type tobacco plant (W-T). The LTB-GP5-T-treated group had relatively higher immune responses than the GP5-T-treated group, although the differences were not statistically significant.
- Transgenic tobacco leaves
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