In an attempt to create a more cost-effective treatment for people in impoverished countries who are infected with the rabies virus, researchers in London developed a monoclonal antibody to rabies using leaves of the tobacco plant. The antibody blocks the virus from adhering to nerve endings at the site of the initial bite. "An untreated rabies infection is nearly 100% fatal and is usually seen as a death sentence. Producing an inexpensive antibody in transgenic plants opens the prospect of adequate rabies prevention for low-income families in developing countries," said researcher Leonard Both.
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