Emerging trends of edible vaccine therapy for combating human diseases especially COVID-19: Pros, cons, and future challenges

Phytother Res. 2022 Jul;36(7):2746-2766. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7475. Epub 2022 May 2.


The researchers are still doing efforts to develop an effective, reliable, and easily accessible vaccine candidate to protect against COVID-19. As of the August 2020, nearly 30 conventional vaccines have been emerged in clinical trials, and more than 200 vaccines are in various development stages. Nowadays, plants are also considered as a potential source for the production of monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, drugs, immunomodulatory proteins, as well as used as bioreactors or factories for their bulk production. The scientific evidences enlighten that plants are the rich source of oral vaccines, which can be given either by eating the edible parts of plants and/or by oral administration of highly refined proteins. The use of plant-based edible vaccines is an emerging trend as it possesses minimum or no side effects compared with synthetic vaccines. This review article gives insights into different types of vaccines, the use of edible vaccines, advantages of edible vaccines over conventional vaccines, and mechanism of action of edible vaccines. This review article also focuses on the applications of edible vaccines in wide-range of human diseases especially against COVID-19 with emphasis on future perspectives of the use of edible vaccines.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; conventional vaccine; edible vaccine; plant-extracts; transgenic plant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Vaccines* / metabolism
  • Vaccines, Edible / metabolism


  • Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Edible