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2-Plants: GE plants produce rinderpest vaccine

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TITLE:  Indian scientists develop vaccine from GM crop for cattle, sheep
SOURCE: Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran
DATE:   Apr 27, 2003

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Indian scientists develop vaccine from GM crop for cattle, sheep

New Delhi, April 27, IRNA -- Indian Institute of Science (IIS) scientists
have achieved a breakthrough in developing 'oral candidate vaccine' from
a transgenic plant to fight a deadly virus, which is affecting thousands
of sheep and goats in the country. Bangalore-based scientists have
demonstrated that a genetically modified 'pigeonpea' plant has been
effective on the rinderpest virus, which has killed thousands of cattle
in Africa, West Asia and South Asia. Though India is in the process of
declaring itself as a 'rinderpest' free country, a similar disease has
affected thousands of sheep and goats. It has been scientifically tested
in the laboratory and is the first of its kind for a oral candidate
vaccine against rinderpest virus. As India is becoming a rinderpest free
country, the vaccine can be tested on sheep and goats, which are being
affected in thousands, said M S Shaila, head, Microbiology and Cellular
Biology Department at IISc in the Southern Indian State of Karnataka.
Shaila worked with G Lakshmi Sita of IISc in identifying the antigen from
pigeonpea plant to fight the rinderpest virus. If everything goes well,
it can be tested on sheep and goats in a year or so, she said. After the
lab experiments, field trials and experiments with the edible vaccine
would be conducted before a final product was brought out, she added.