Plantibodies in human and animal health: A review

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Background: Antibodies are essential part of vertebrates’ adaptive immune system; they can now be produced by transforming plants with antibody-coding genes from mammals/humans. Although plants do not naturally make antibodies, the plant-derived antibodies (plantibodies) have been shown to function in the same way as mammalian antibodies. Methods:PubMed and Google search engines were used to download relevant publications on plantibodies in medical and veterinary fields; the papers were reviewed and findings qualitatively described. Results: The process of bioproduction of plantibodies offers several advantages over the conventional method of antibody production in mammalian cells with the cost of antibody production in plants being substantially lesser. Contrary to what is possible with animal-derived antibodies, the process of making plantibodies almost exclusively precludes transfer of pathogens to the end product. Additionally, plants not only produce a relatively high yield of antibodies in a comparatively faster time, they also serve as cost-effective bioreactors to produce antibodies of diverse specificities. Conclusion: Plantibodies are safe, cost-effective and offer more advantages over animal-derived antibodies. Methods of producing them are described with a view to inspiring African scientists on the need to embrace and harness this rapidly evolving biotechnology in solving human and animal health challenges on the continent where the climate supports growth of diverse plants.




Oluwayelu, D. O., & Adebiyi, A. I. (2016, June 1). Plantibodies in human and animal health: A review. African Health Sciences. Makerere University, Medical School.

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