Tapping Into Tobacco’s Medicinal Potential

Article provided by farmflavor.com

Kentucky’s tobacco industry is on the brink of a revolution. Recent studies indicate that tobacco can be used for HIV prevention and Ebola treatment.

Institutions such as UK’s Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center are exploring these new applications. Kentucky-based tobacco research has been making headlines with Ebola treatment developments. Kentucky Bioprocessing Inc. helped provide plant-made antibody treatments administered to those infected with the Ebola virus. “Antibodies can target and inactivate viruses, making them effective treatments for viral diseases such as Ebola,” says Orlando Chambers, managing director of the UK Center.

Tobacco may also be a valuable weapon in the fight against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. With grant support, University of Louisville researchers are working to develop a tobacco-based gel to prevent HIV transmission.

“It is exciting to see this high-tech industry advancing in Kentucky,” Chambers says. “As the technology continues to improve, it will hopefully allow for more applications to be commercially viable.”

TobaccoJennifer Elwell