Ricin vaccine development

Joan E. Smallshaw, Ellen S. Vitetta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

32 Scopus citations


In this chapter we discuss vaccines to protect against the highly toxic plant-derived toxin, ricin. Due to its prevalence, ease of use, and stability it has been used in sporadic incidents of espionage. There is also concern that it will be used as an agent of bioterrorism. As a result there has been a great deal of interest in developing a safe vaccine or antidote to protect humans, and in particular soldiers and first responders. Although multiple types of vaccines have been tested, at this time two recombinant vaccines are the leading candidates for the national vaccine stockpile. In terms of passive post-exposure protection, monoclonal neutralizing antibodies that passively protect animals are also under development. These vaccines and antibodies are discussed in the context of the toxicity and structure of ricin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRicin and Shiga Toxins
Subtitle of host publicationPathogenesis, Immunity, Vaccines and Therapeutics
EditorsNicholas Mantis, Nicholas Mantis
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Mar 12 2012

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
ISSN (Print)0070-217X


  • Antibodies
  • Bioterroism
  • Recombinant vaccines
  • Ricin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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