We step away for a moment from looking at just nicotine, and seek some of the science behind the tobacco plant. Tobacco plants are the world's primary source of nicotine in the pharmaceutical and vapor technology / alternative nicotine products industries. We'll address the question: Is tobacco a beneficial plant for Public Health?
Vaccines - Studies, Scholarly Comments
2020: “Tobacco Is the Chief Medicinal Plant in My Work”: Therapeutic Uses of Tobacco in Peruvian Amazonian Medicine Exemplified by the Work of a Maestro Tabaquero
- Tobacco (especially Nicotiana rustica L.) in this area is described as a potent medicinal plant, used topically or via ingestion to treat a variety of health conditions. The goal of this transdisciplinary field study was to investigate clinical applications of the tobacco plant as per Amazonian medicine exemplified in the practice of a reputed Maestro Tabaquero, an Amazonian traditional healer whose medical specialization focuses on tobacco-based treatments.
2014: Expression of HPV-16 L1 capsomeres with glutathione-S-transferase as a fusion protein in tobacco plastids: An approach for a capsomere-based HPV vaccine
- Alternative cost-effective vaccine production approaches need to be developed. This study on plant-based (tobacco) expression of capsomeres supports the development of cost-effective thermostable HPV vaccines, which is highly desirable for resource poor countries.
- The possibility of a high-level production of vaccines in tobacco against pandemic influenza or anthrax and plague due to a bioterroristic attack, as well as of individualized anticancer vaccines against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in a much shorter period of time than by traditional methods became realistic and hence caused increased interest in tobacco as a high-efficient producer of vaccines not only of specialistic biotechnology firms but also a big pharmaceutical corporation and a department of defense.
- This work offers new technology for creating vaccines and hope for reducing vaccine costs.
Vaccines - Articles, News, Blogs, etc.
- Most influenza vaccines are currently made using virus particles grown in and harvested from chicken eggs or lab-grown cells, which takes months even after scientists work out which flu strains (and surface proteins) they need to target.
- Plants, which can be engineered to produce select proteins and cultivated at scale, could be an alternative, helping to boost our capacity to produce seasonal flu vaccines.
- Two biotech companies are using the tobacco plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, as bio-factories to produce a key protein from the coronavirus that can be used in a vaccine.
- While large pharmaceutical companies are already producing vaccines, BAT believes its own can be produced in six weeks, compared with the several months it takes using conventional methods.
- BAT also says its vaccine is stable at room temperature, unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech jab being administered in the UK, which must be stored and transported at about -70C.
- The vaccine has been developed by BAT’s biotechnology division, Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), which has previously worked on a treatment for Ebola and is also developing a seasonal flu vaccine.
- I suggest we should set aside the prejudices generated by the ill-effects of tobacco smoking and examine the leaves systematically for substances of therapeutic value.