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Researchers at the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) in Barcelona, Spain are proposing to use their expertise in plant biotechnology and virology to produce SARS-CoV-2 antigens that could be used as vaccines.
Editorial office / Barcelona

Using plants would overcome some of the problems associated with other vaccine production systems, such as the difficulties to escalate production, or the need to isolate the antigen and to purify it. “Plant systems are also free of other human pathogens, and, the production would be safe at a much lower cost in terms of time and money”, explains CRAG-researcher María Coca.

Thanks to modern biotechnological tools, plants can synthetize a wide range of molecules, such as antimicrobials. They can also be grown easily in developing countries that lack sophisticated protein production methods, therefore contributing with large-scale solutions to this global crisis. According to the researchers, SARS-CoV-2 antigens could be produced in several plant species, for example in lettuce plants, making oral immunization and option.

A multidiciplinary research team has already been assembled with researchers from CRAG, CNB, IBMCP and CEBAS.

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