Why recombinant antigens are a better solution?
When manufacturing antigen-dependent diagnostic kits for viruses-like HIV, HBV, and HCV, it is always better to go for the recombinant version. The biosafety implications involved with the handling of viruses often raise concerns and challenges during the manufacturing process. Therefore, it is better to work with recombinantly produced antigens expressed in a robust system. Multiple expression systems have been explored earlier by researchers for the production of antigens, which include both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. However, systems like E.coli were not considered to be robust and efficient as they lack requisite post-translational modification. The E.coli based expression systems lack the machinery, which can help produce proteins (Antigen) with proper conformation. This, in turn, leads to poor specificity and sensitivity when used in the diagnostic kits.
We at Lazuline Biotech use the mammalian expression system (Pichia Pastoris), which overcomes the challenges in other expression systems. The methylotrophic yeast-based expression system is apt to produce recombinant proteins (antigens) as it offers proper glycosylation and folding properties. Thus, recombinant antigens produced using the system closely resemble those found in nature and we are able to design diagnostic kits that offer high sensitivity and specificity, giving robust results.