Plant–derived vaccine protects target animals against a viral disease


The successful expression of animal or human virus epitopes on the surface of plant viruses has recently been demonstrated. These chimeric virus particles (CVPs) could represent a cost-effective and safe alternative to conventional animal cell-based vaccines. We report the insertion of oligonucleotides coding for a short linear epitope from the VP2 capsid protein of mink enteritis virus (MEV) into an infectious cDNA clone of cowpea mosaic virus and the successful expression of the epitope on the surface of CVPs when propagated in the black-eyed bean, Vigna unguiculata. The efficacy of the CVPs was established by the demonstration that one subcutaneous injection of 1 mg of the CVPs in mink conferred protection against clinical disease and virtually abolished shedding of virus after challenge with virulent MEV, demonstrating the potential utility of plant CVPs as the basis for vaccine development. The epitope used occurs in three different virus species—MEV, canine parvovirus, and feline panleukopenia virus—and thus the same vaccine could be used in three economically important viral hosts—mink, dogs, and cats, respectively.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Meloen, R.H., Puijk, W.C., Langeveld, J.P.M., van Amerongen, A., and Schaaper, W.M.M. 1995. Pepscan to determine T and B cell epitopes. CRC Press, Boca Ranton, Florida.

  2. 2

    Usha, R., Rohll, J.B., Spall, V.E., Shanks, M., Maule, A.J., Johnson, J.E. et al. 1993. Expression of an animal virus antigenic site on the surface of a plant virus particle. Virology 197: 366–374.

  3. 3

    Porta, C., Spall, V.E., Loveland, J., Johnson, J.E., Barker, P.J., and Lomonosoff, G.P. 1994. Development of cowpea mosaic virus as a high-yielding system for the presentation of foreign peptides. Virology 202: 949–955.

  4. 4

    Turpen, T.H., Reinl, S.J., Charoenvit, Y., Hoffman, S.L., Fallarme, V., and Grill, L. 1995. Malarial epitopes expressed on the surface of recombinant tobacco mosaic virus. Bio/Technology 13: 53–57.

  5. 5

    Fitchen, J., Beachy, R.N., and Hein, M.B. 1995. Plant virus expressing hybrid coat protein with added murine epitope elicits autoantibody response. Vaccine 13: 1051–1057.

  6. 6

    Stauffacher, C.V., Usha, R., Harrington, M., Schmidt, T., Hosur, M., and Johnson, J.E. 1987. The structure of cowpea mosaic virus at 3. 5Å resolution, pp. 293–308 in Crystallography in molecular biology. Moras, D., Drenth, J., Strandberg, B., Suck, D., and Wilson, K. (eds.). Plenum Press, New York.

  7. 7

    Chen, Z., Stauffacher, C.V., and Johnson, J.E. 1990. Capsid structure and RNA packaging in comoviruses. Sem. Virol. 1: 453–466.

  8. 8

    McLain, L., Porta, C., Lomonosoff, G.P., Durrani, Z., and Dimmock, N.J., 1995. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 -neutralizing antibodies raised to a glyco-protein 41 peptide expressed on the surface of a plant virus. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses 11: 327–334.

  9. 9

    McLain, L., Durrani, Z., Wisniewski, L.A., Porta, C., Lomonosoff, G.P., and Dimmock, N.J. 1996. Stimulation of neutralizing antibodies to human immunode-fiency virus type 1 in three strains of mice immunized with a 22 amino acid peptide of gp41 expressed on the surface of a plant virus. Vaccine 14: 799–810.

  10. 10

    Parrish, C.R. 1994. The emergence and evolution of canine parvovirus—An example of recent host range mutation. Sem. Wol. 5: 121–132.

  11. 11

    Cotmore, S.F. and Tattersall, P. 1987. The autonomously replicating parvoviruses afvertebrates. Adv. Virus Res. 33: 91–174.

  12. 12

    Paradiso, P.R. 1981. Infectious process of the parvovirus H-1: correlation of protein content, particle density and viral infectivity. J. Virol. 39: 800–807.

  13. 13

    López de Turiso, J.A., Cortés, E., Martinez, C., Ruiz de Ybánez, R., Simarro, I., Vela, C., et al. 1992. Recombinant vaccine for canine parvovirus in dogs. J. Virol. 66: 2748–2753.

  14. 14

    Christensen, J., Alexandersen, S., Bloch, B., Aasted, B., and Uttenthal, A. 1994. Production of mink enteritis parvovirus empty capsids by expression in a baculo-virus vector system—a recombinant vaccine for mink enteritis parvovirus in mink. J. Gen. Virol. 75: 149–155.

  15. 15

    Pearson, R.C. and Gorham, J.R. 1987. Mink virus enteritis. pp. 349–360 in Virus infection of carnivores, virus infections of vertebrates. Appel, M.J. (ed.). Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam.

  16. 16

    Langeveld, J.P.M., Casal, J.I., Vela, C., Dalsgaard, K., Smale, S.H., Puijk, W.C., et al. 1993. B cell epitopes of canine parvovirus: distribution on the primary structure and exposure on the viral surface. J. Virol. 67: 765–772.

  17. 17

    Casal, J.I., Langeveld, J.P.M., Cortes, E., Schaaper, W.W.M., Vandijk, E., Vela, C., et al. 1995. Peptide vaccine against canine parvovirus: identification of two neutralization subsites in the N terminus of VP2 and optimization of the amino acid sequence. J. Virol. 69: 7274–7277.

  18. 18

    Langeveld, J.P.M., Casal, J.I., Osterhaus, A.D.M.E., Cortés, E., de Swart, R., Vela, C. et al. 1994. First peptide vaccine providing protection against viral infection in the target animal: studies of canine parvovirus in dogs. J. Virol. 68: 4506–4513.

  19. 19

    Langeveld, J.P.M., Kamstrup, S., Uttenthal, A., Strandbygaard, B., Vela, C., Dalsgaard, K. et al. 1995. Full protection in mink against mink enteritis virus with new generation canine parvovirus vaccines based on synthetic peptide or recombinant protein. Vaccine 13: 1033–1037.

  20. 20

    van Kammen, A. and de Jager, C.P. 1978. Cowpea mosaic virus. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux.

  21. 21

    Dessens, J.T. and Lomonosoff, G.P. 1993. Cauliflower mosaic virus RNAs are infectious on plants. J. Gen. Virol. 74: 889–892.

  22. 22

    Semancik, J.S. 1996. Studies on electrophoretic heterogeneity in isometric plant viruses. virology 30: 698–704.

  23. 23

    López de Turiso, J.A., Cortés, E., Ranz, J., Garcia, J., Sanz, A., Vela, C., et al. 1991. Fine mapping of canine parvovirus B cell epitopes. J. Gen. Virol. 72: 2445–2456.

  24. 24

    Lin, T., Porta, C., Lomonosoff, G.P., and Johnson, J.E. 1996. Structure-based design of peptide presentation on a viral surface: the crystal structure of a plant/animal virus chimera at 2. 8Å resolution. Folding and Design 1: 179–187.

  25. 25

    Dalsgaard, K. 1974. Saponin adjuvants. 3. Isolation of a substance from Quillaja saponaria Molina with adjuvant activity in food-and-mouth disease vaccines. Archiv für die Gesamte Virusforschung 44: 243–254.

  26. 26

    Uttenthal, A. 1988. Apparent lack of effect of vaccination against mink enteritis virus (MEV). A challenge study. Arch. Virol. 99: 153–161.

  27. 28

    Mengeling, W.L., Brown, T.T., Paul, P.S., and Gutekunst, D.E. 1979. Efficacy of an inactivated virus vaccine for prevention of porcine parvovirus-induced reproductive failure. Am. J. Veterinary Res. 40: 204–207.

  28. 29

    Mason, H.S., Ball, J.M., Shi, J.J., Jiang, X., Estes, M.K., and Amtzen, C.J. 1996. Expression of Norwalk virus capsid protein in transgenic tobacco and potato and its oral immunogenicity in mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93: 5335–5340.

  29. 30

    Inoue, H., Nojima, H., and Okayama, H. 1990. High-efficiency transformation of Escherichia coli with plasmids. Gene 96: 23–28.

  30. 31

    Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E.F., and Maniatis, T. 1989. Molecular cloning—a laboratory manual, ed 2. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York.

  31. 32

    Laemmli, U.K. 1970. Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature 227: 680–685.

  32. 33

    Langeveld, J.P.M., Casal, J.I., Cortés, E., van de Wetering, G., Boshuizen, R.S., Schaaper, W.M.M., et al. 1994. Effective induction of neutralizing antibodies with the amino terminus of VP2 of canine parvovirus as a synthetic peptide. Vaccine 12: 1473–1480.

  33. 34

    Sorensen, K.J., Askaa, J., and Dalsgaard, K. 1980. Assay for antibody in pig fetuses infected with porcine parvovirus. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 21: 312–317.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading