Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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AgricultureAntigensEscherichia coliFunctional feedSwine edible vaccineSwine livestock


The innovative seed meal is a premix blend for animal feed designed as an edible and multivalent oral vaccine. It is derived from the seeds of three lines of tobacco plants engineered to express Escherichia coli antigens. If added to the diet of piglets, it may help in preventing and controlling the most important diseases caused by Escherichia coli responsible for many livestock losses.

Technical features

Escherichia coli dependent diseases are a serious threat to swine farming, that require the frequent employment of antibiotics. A better and more effective solution might be a vaccination, with a simple route of administration and that might be used directly by the farmer. The object of the invention is a vaccination strategy based on the use of seeds from three lines of tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum) engineered to express, specifically in the seeds, virulence factors’ antigens of the most important pathogenic Escherichia coli strains in swine. The antigens are derived from the adhesive fimbriae F18 and F4 and from the verocytotoxin VT2eB. The administration, in the animal feed, of flour derivable from those seeds should build a mucosal immunogenic response, protective and multivalent, against E. coli strains responsible of post-weaning diarrhoea, Edema disease and enterotoxemia. The patented flour might be used as additive in animal feed or milk for young swine.

Possible Applications

  • Functional ingredient in the preparation of weaning feed;
  • Functional ingredient in the preparation of reconstituted milk;
  • Flour or seeds from engineered tobacco as source of antigenic proteins for other purposes;
  • Antigenic flour or seeds from the three type of tobacco are useful as controls in diagnostic procedure of coli.


  • Vaccination might reduce the usage of antibiotics;
  • Simple administration and topical efficacy at gastroenteric level;
  • Simple storage and transport;
  • Safe to be included in the common animal diet;
  • Induction of a multivalent antibody response.