Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an acute, highly contagious disease of small ruminants caused by a morbillivirus, Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV). The disease is prevalent in equatorial Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. A live attenuated vaccine is in use in some of the countries and has been shown to provide protection for at least three years against PPR. However, the live attenuated vaccine is not robust in terms of thermotolerance. As a step towards development of a heat stable subunit vaccine, we have expressed a hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein of PPRV in peanut plants (Arachis hypogea) in a biologically active form, possessing neuraminidase activity. Importantly. HN protein expressed in peanut plants retained its immunodominant epitopes in their natural conformation. The immunogenicity of the plant derived HN protein was analyzed in sheep upon oral immunization. Virus neutralizing antibody responses were elicited upon oral immunization of sheep in the absence of any mucosal adjuvant. In addition, anti-PPRV-HN specific cell-mediated immune responses were also detected in mucosally immunized sheep. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.