Vaccine Against Onchocerciasis

Vaccine Against Onchocerciasis

DESIGN OF A MULTI-ANTIGENIC, MULTI-STAGE AND MULTI-EPITOPE POTENTIAL VACCINE CANDIDATE AGAINST ONCHOCERCIASIS AND RELATED FILARIAL DISEASES: ADDING IMMUNOINFORMATICS TO IMMUNOMICS

 

Robert Adamu Shey1,3, Ntang Emmaculate1, Yaah Esoh Kum Kevin2, Neba Derrick Nebangwa1, Shintouo Cabirou Mounchili1, Nkemngo Francis Nongley4, Fru Asa Bertha5, Ferdinand Ngale Njume1,3, Stephen Mbigha Ghogomu1,, Jacob Souopgui3,+

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, Cameroon.

2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Juja, Kenya.

3Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biology and Molecular Medicine, IBMM Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Gosselies Campus, Belgium.

4Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, Cameroon

5Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Faculty of Health Science, University of Buea, Cameroon

Onchocerciasis is a neglected tropical disease with enormous socio-economic burden. The disease caused by the parasite Onchocerca volvulus is transmitted by Simulium blackflies. It is the second leading cause of infectious blindness, with over 99% of 15.5 million cases occurring in Africa. The plan of elimination by 2025 in 80% of African countries is hampered by many obstacles including reports of parasite resistance to ivermectin and the serious challenges to development of new drugs. A suitable vaccine has been proposed as a way to circumvent control limitations in control measures. With the presence of the genomes and proteomes of the parasite, more efficacious vaccines can be developed. 
A multi-epitope prophylactic/therapeutic vaccine targeting the parasite infective L3 and microfilaria stages is invaluable for onchocerciasis elimination since these two stages are respectively responsible for infection and disease pathology. An immuno-informatics approach was applied to design a multi-epitope subunit vaccine construct consisting B-and T-cell epitopes of vaccinogenic proteins obtained from immunomic studies.  Docking of the validated 3D structure of the chimera with TLR4 predicted efficient binding. Immune simulation predicted high levels of IgG1, T-helper, T-cytotoxic cells, INF-γ and IL-2 responses. Overall, the chimera demonstrated superior antigenicity to the current vaccine candidate leads and could be a vital tool in onchocerciasis elimination programs.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *