Discriminating antigen and non-antigen using proteome dissimilarity II: viral and fungal antigens

Kamna Ramakrishnan, Darren R Flower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immunogenicity arises via many synergistic mechanisms, yet the overall dissimilarity of pathogenic proteins versus the host proteome has been proposed as a key arbiter. We have previously explored this concept in relation to Bacterial antigens; here we extend our analysis to antigens of viral and fungal origin. Sets of known viral and fungal antigenic and non-antigenic protein sequences were compared to human and mouse proteomes. Both antigenic and non-antigenic sequences lacked human or mouse homologues. Observed distributions were compared using the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. The statistical null hypothesis was accepted, indicating that antigen and non-antigens did not differ significantly. Likewise, we could not determine a threshold able meaningfully to separate non-antigen from antigen. We conclude that viral and fungal antigens cannot be predicted from pathogen genomes based solely on their dissimilarity to mammalian genomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2010

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This is an open-access article, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.


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