Study of the immunogenicity of hepatitis B surface antigen synthesized in transgenic potato plants with increased biosafety
V. Oral immunogenicity of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) synthesized in the tubers of marker-free potato plants has been demonstrated. Experiments were performed in the two groups of outbred NMRI mice. At the beginning of investigations, the mice of experimental group were fed the tubers of transgenic potato synthesizing the HBsAg three times. The mice of control group were fed nontransgenic potato. Intraperitoneal injection of the commercial vaccine against hepatitis B (0.5 μg/mouse) was made on day 71 of the experiment. Enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) of the serum of immunized animals showed an increase in the level of HBsAg antibodies significantly above the protective value, which was maintained for 1 year after the immunization. In 1 year, the experimental group of mice underwent additional oral immunization with HBsAg-containing potato tubers. As a result, the level of antibodies against the HBsAg increased and remained at a high protective level for several months. The findings show the possibility of using transgenic plants as a substance for obtaining a safe edible vaccine against hepatitis B.