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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02698

Title: In silico design of an epitope-based vaccine ensemble for Chagas disease

 Lucas Michel-Todó1*,  Pedro A. Reche2,  Pascal Bigey3, María-Jesús Pinazo1, Joaquim Gascón1 and  Julio Alonso-Padilla1*
  • 1Instituto Salud Global Barcelona (ISGlobal), Spain
  • 2Faculty of Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  • 3INSERM U1022 Unité de Technologies Chimiques et Biologiques pour la santé, France

Trypanosoma cruzi infection causes Chagas disease which affects 7 million people worldwide. Two drugs are available to treat it: benznidazole and nifurtimox. Although both are efficacious against the acute stage of the disease, this is usually asymptomatic and goes undiagnosed and untreated. Diagnosis is achieved at the chronic stage, when life-threatening heart and/or gut tissue disruptions occur in ~30% of those chronically infected. By then the drugs´ efficacy is reduced, but not their associated high toxicity. Given current deficiencies in diagnosis and treatment, a vaccine to prevent infection and/or the development of symptoms would be a breakthrough in the management of the disease. Current vaccine candidates are mostly based on the delivery of single antigens or a few different antigens. Nevertheless, due to the high biological complexity of the parasite, targeting as many antigens as possible would be desirable. In this regard, an epitope-based vaccine design could be a well suited approach. With this aim we have gone through publicly available databases to identify T. cruzi epitopes from several antigens. By means of a computer-aided strategy we have prioritized a set of epitopes based on sequence conservation criteria, projected population coverage of Latin American population, and biological features of their antigens of origin. Fruit of this analysis we provide a selection of CD8 T cell, CD4 T cell and B cell epitopes which are non-homologous to human or human microbiome protein sequences and represent the basis towards the development of an epitope-based vaccine against T. cruzi.

Keywords: Chagas Disease, Trypanosoma cruzi, Epitope-based, Vaccine, CD4 T cell, CD8 T cell, B cell epitopes

Received: 31 Jul 2019; Accepted: 01 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Michel-Todó, Reche, Bigey, Pinazo, Gascón and Alonso-Padilla. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Mr. Lucas Michel-Todó, Instituto Salud Global Barcelona (ISGlobal), Barcelona, 08003, Catalonia, Spain, lucas.michel@isglobal.org
Dr. Julio Alonso-Padilla, Instituto Salud Global Barcelona (ISGlobal), Barcelona, 08003, Catalonia, Spain, julio.a.padilla@isglobal.org