Tobacco plant can cure rabies
London: Tobacco may have been dubbed a killer, but a genetically altered version of the plant could provide a low cost cure for deadly rabies, says a study.
University of London scientists have developed an antibody from genetically engineered tobacco plants to prevent the virus from attaching to nerve endings around the bite site and from travelling to the brain.
"Rabies continues to kill many thousands of people throughout the developing world every year and can also affect international travellers," said Leonard Both, researcher and study co-author work from the Hotung Molecular Immunology Unit at St. George`s, University of London, The FASEB Journal reports.
"An untreated rabies infection is nearly 100 percent fatal and is usually seen as a death sentence.
"Producing an inexpensive antibody in transgenic plants opens the prospect of adequate rabies prevention for low-income families in developing countries," said Both, according to a London statement.
Both and colleagues "humanized" the sequences for the antibody so people could tolerate it.
Then, the antibody was produced using transgenic tobacco plants as an inexpensive production platform.
The antibody was purified from the plant leaves and characterized regarding to its protein and sugar composition.
The antibody was also shown to be active in neutralizing a broad panel of rabies viruses, and the exact antibody docking site on the viral envelope was identified using certain chimeric rabies viruses.
"Although treatable by antibodies if caught in time, rabies is bad news," said Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal.
"This is especially true for people in the developing world where manufacturing costs lead to treatment shortages, added Weissmann, professor of medicine at New York University and director of its Biotechnology Study Centre.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Over 60 cadets killed in Pakistan police academy attack
- DNA: Exclusive report on the extreme sacrifices made by ITBP soldiers
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi's ''progressive'' remark on triple talaq
- DNA: Terrorists' new strategy of snatching weapons from Indian security personnel
- Panel discussion over delayed development in Ayodhya
- Explosion in Delhi's Naya Bazar, one killed; anti-terror wing, Special cell at spot
- This is why Cyrus Mistry was removed as Chairman of Tata Sons!
- WATCH: Akhilesh Yadav's emotional speech revealing the real reason behind Samajwadi Party crisis; he was about to cry
- Read letters by Ratan Tata to PM Narendra Modi and Group employees after Cyrus Mistry's ouster
- Prompt action on border pushes Pak to offer olive branch, says both sides need to 'formalise' 2003 ceasefire