Despite the wealth of information regarding genetics of the causative parasite and experimental immunology of the cutaneous leishmaniasis, there is currently no licensed vaccine against it. In the current study, a two-level data mining strategy was employed, to screen the Leishmania major genome for promising vaccine candidates. First, we screened a set of 25 potential antigens from 8312 protein coding sequences, based on presence of signal peptides, GPI anchors, and consensus antigenicity predictions. Second, we conducted a comprehensive immunogenic analysis of the 25 antigens based on epitopes predicted by NetCTL tool. Interestingly, results revealed that candidate antigen number 1 (LmjF.03.0550) had greater number of potential T cell epitopes, as compared to five well-characterized control antigens (CSP-Plasmodium falciparum, M1 and NP-Influenza A virus, core protein-Hepatitis B virus, and PSTA1-Mycobacterium tuberculosis). In order to determine an optimal set of epitopes among the highest scoring predicted epitopes, the OptiTope tool was employed for populations susceptible to cutaneous leishmaniasis. The epitope (127SLWSLLAGV) from antigen number 1, found to bind with the most prevalent allele HLA-A 0201 (25% frequency in Southwest Asia), was predicted as most immunogenic for all the target populations. Thus, our study reasserts the potential of genome-wide screening of pathogen antigens and epitopes, for identification of promising vaccine candidates.
Singh, S. P., Roopendra, K., & Mishra, B. N. (2015). Genome-Wide Prediction of Vaccine Candidates for Leishmania major: An Integrated Approach. Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/709216