The creation of so-called subunit vaccines in plants is a modern alternative. The advantages of this method are not just short production periods enabling a quick adaptation to changing viruses in the field but also low production costs, simple scaling and low infrastructure costs.

A new project to translate pure research into practice

Scientists of the IPK working group on phyto-antibodies, headed by Professor Udo Conrad and IBT researchers have already worked on an effective method to create such plant-based peptide vaccines in a previous project. As a result, they succeeded in producing haemagglutinin multimers, special bird flu antigens, in tobacco plants (Nicotianabenthamiana) and demonstrating their neutralising immune responses in mice.

In the new project, these pure research results are to be translated into practical applications. In the next step, challenge experiments with chickens are planned that are to test the robustness of the newly developed method in practice.