Science and technology have come a long way and progressed rigorously! Ever since ancient times, plants have held a vital role in treating patients. Back then during the war times, our soldiers were treated using medicinal plants derived from the challenging terrains of the Great Himalayas. And now, these life-saving plants are cultivated on a large scale to treat the patients. 

The researchers and scientists globally are working progressively to develop new vaccines and medicines to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Plants are used in the production of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, antibodies, drugs, and drugs in the form of molecular farming / temporary expression and are considered bioreactors or factories for their mass production.

Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccines Developing: The Current Progress

The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, with several countries currently under the influence of the third or even fourth wave! As the SARS-CoV-2 is continuously mutating, with its several variants affecting human health, it has become difficult to contain the virus, and vaccines are getting inefficient. The researchers are working day and night to create vaccines that can prevent the loss of life in humans. 

Several researchers are now emphasizing the importance of plant-based vaccines, as they are sustainable and can be created on a large scale easily. The USDA, United States Department of Agriculture for poultry, approved the world’s first plant-based vaccine for Newcastle virus, NV. It has been shown to protect more than 90% of chickens, following the challenges of NDV. Plant-based vaccines have shown impeccable results and can revolutionize the entire medical industry! 

Easy Production Of Antibodies In Plants Than Animals

Plants can produce fully-functional and transferable antibodies which are much cheaper to produce than in animals. However, the only restricting factor in its immunological factor is the limiting glycosylation process. The antibody production in plants can be carried out either in the whole plant or its specific parts. Moreover, if the production of antibodies is carried out in its edible part, it can be used as a passive method of immunization. Thus, humans can consume it to get immunized against a particular disease. 

Special antibody-mediated passive immunizations can provide immediate protection against infections such as SARS-CoV-2 and can be used as a precautionary measure against high-risk individuals such as health professionals and former contacts. and a person who has been tested for COVID-19.  Serum from healthy patients COVID-19 containing antibodies has been found to have therapeutic value in reducing the severity of the disease, alleviating the symptoms, and helping to speed up recovery.

But while collecting the serum, not only do the COVID-19 antibodies come with it, several other non-specific antibodies are also transferred. Thus, we need monoclonal antibody development that can protect the patients from other risks associated.  The recombinant SARS-CoV-2 antibodies can be administered in the patients to combat the virus and also provide sufficient time to the body to produce the antibodies by itself.

Kevzara, which is known for showing its effect in Rheumatoid arthritis, has also helped to combat the cytokinin storm, a phenomenon observed in the COVID-19 patients. Also, the oral administration of passive immunization through edible plant parts has shown a better immune response. 

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