Identification of Highly Conserved SARS-CoV-2 Antigenic Epitopes with Wide Coverage Using Reverse Vaccinology Approach
- One of the most effective strategies for eliminating new and emerging infectious diseases is effective immunization. The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) warrants the need for a maximum coverage vaccine. Moreover, mutations that arise within the virus have a significant impact on the vaccination strategy. Here, we built a comprehensive in silico workflow pipeline to identify B-cell- and T-cell-stimulating antigens of SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. Our in silico reverse vaccinology (RV) approach consisted of two parts: (1) analysis of the selected viral proteins based on annotated cellular location, antigenicity, allele coverage, epitope density, and mutation density and (2) analysis of the various aspects of the epitopes, including antigenicity, allele coverage, IFN-gamma induction, toxicity, host homology, and site mutational density. After performing a mutation analysis based on the contemporary mutational amino acid substitutions observed in the viral variants, 13 potential epitopes were selected as subunit vaccine candidates. Despite mutational amino acid substitutions, most epitope sequences were predicted to retain immunogenicity without toxicity and host homology. Our RV approach using an in silico pipeline may potentially reduce the time required for effective vaccine development and can be applicable for vaccine development for other pathogenic diseases as well.
- Yasmin Hisham; Yaqoub Ashhab; 황상현; 김동은
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- antigens; epitope discovery; immunoinformatics; in silico approach; reverse vaccinology; SARS-CoV-2
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