Prevention of diseases is the most appropriate approach to health. Vaccines trigger and prepare our body’s defense mechanisms so that the system is able to fight and eliminate the pathogens when encountered due to natural infection. Recent progress in vaccine technology has improved public health to a remarkable extent. Each year, millions of children in underdeveloped countries have no access to immunization. The traditional vaccines are expensive and, require special conditions for storage, distribution and & dispensing. Moreover, the supplies of traditional vaccines relimited and they are in short supply. Edible vaccines are cheaper, easy-to-administer and store, readily acceptable socially; especially for the poor and developing countries. The technique for production of edible vaccines involves introduction of selected desired genes of immunogenic proteins from various pathogens into plants and animals and then inducing these altered organisms to manufacture the encoded proteins. There is growing acceptance of transgenic crops in both developed and developing countries. The future of edible vaccines depends on acceptability for genetically modified foods. Successful implementation of edible vaccines relies on how well we overcome various technical obstacles, regulatory issues and non-scientific challenges. This article attempts to discuss the current status and future of this new approach for disease prevention that shall create significant impact on promotion of global health.
Key Words: edible vaccines; global health; immunogenic proteins; transgenic organisms. ;
Vaccines are biological preparations introduced into healthy individuals that aim at triggering and training of their immune system to fight against disease causing agents when encountered naturally. It is well known that extensive use of small pox vaccine has helped to eradicate the disease. A massive polio eradication program has been successful in many countries and ongoing in India .
The various vaccines can be grouped  as Conventional involving introduction of killed or live but inactivated forms of pathogens produced by chemical or physical treatment like BCG and, oral polio vaccine etc. They are easy to produce at low cost but can revert to infective forms and cause disease if not stored and administered properly; Purified antigen vaccines aimed at introduction of polysaccharide or protein purified from causative agents as toxoids of tetanus, diphtheria, gangrene etc and Recombinant vaccines produced by recombinant DNA technology and include Subunit vaccines, DNA vaccines and Edible vaccines. They are produced by identification and isolation of genes encoding immunogenic proteins of pathogenic organism followed by cloning and expression of the gene in suitable host organism for mass production of the concerned protein.
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