Towards the knowledge-based design of universal influenza epitope ensemble vaccines

Qamar M. Sheikh, Derek Gatherer, Pedro A. Reche, Darren R. Flower*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Motivation: Influenza A viral heterogeneity remains a significant threat due to unpredictable antigenic drift in seasonal influenza and antigenic shifts caused by the emergence of novel subtypes. Annual review of multivalent influenza vaccines targets strains of influenza A and B likely to be predominant in future influenza seasons. This does not induce broad, cross protective immunity against emergent subtypes. Better strategies are needed to prevent future pandemics. Cross-protection can be achieved by activating CD8+ and CD4+ T cells against highly-conserved regions of the influenza genome. We combine available experimental data with informatics-based immunological predictions to help design vaccines potentially able to induce cross-protective T-cells against multiple influenza subtypes.
Results: To exemplify our approach we designed two epitope ensemble vaccines comprising highly-conserved and experimentally-verified immunogenic influenza A epitopes as putative non-seasonal influenza vaccines; one specifically targets the US population and the other is a universal vaccine. The USA-specific vaccine comprised 6 CD8+ T cell epitopes (GILGFVFTL, FMYSDFHFI, GMDPRMCSL, SVKEKDMTK, FYIQMCTEL, DTVNRTHQY) and 3 CD4+ epitopes (KGILGFVFTLTVPSE, EYIMKGVYINTALLN, ILGFVFTLTVPSERG). The universal vaccine comprised 8 CD8+ epitopes: (FMYSDFHFI, GILGFVFTL, ILRGSVAHK, FYIQMCTEL, ILKGKFQTA, YYLEKANKI, VSDGGPNLY, YSHGTGTGY) and the same 3 CD4+ epitopes. Our USA-specific vaccine has a population protection coverage (portion of the population potentially responsive to one or more component epitopes of the vaccine, PPC) of over 96% and 95% coverage of observed influenza subtypes. The universal vaccine has a PPC value of over 97% and 88% coverage of observed subtypes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3233-3239
Number of pages7
JournalBioinformatics
Volume32
Issue number21
Early online date10 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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