Reverse vaccinology (RV) consists in the identification of potentially protective antigens expressed by any organism starting from genomic information and derived from in silico analysis, with the aim of promoting the discovery of new candidate vaccines against different types of pathogens. This approach makes use of bioinformatics techniques to screen the whole genomic sequence of a specific pathogen for the identification of the epitopes that could elicit the best immune response. The use of in silico techniques allows to reduce dramatically both the time and cost required for the identification of a potential vaccine, also facilitating the laborious process of selection of those antigens that, with a traditional approach, would be completely impossible to detect or culture. RV methodologies have been successfully applied for the identification of new vaccines against serogroup B meningococcus (MenB), Bacillus anthracis, Streptococcus pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Edwardsiella tarda, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As a case of study, we will go in depth into the application of RV techniques on Influenza A virus.
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