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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2005;568:217-23.

Reverse vaccinology and vaccines for serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, United Kingdom.


Whole genome sequence data are increasingly available for a wide range of human pathogens. The use of bioinformatic tools allows the comprehensive in silico screening of genome data for surface-expressed proteins, in order to identify candidate vaccine antigens. In vitro confirmation of surface location and the use of animal models to test immunogenicity further refine the list of proteins likely to be of use as vaccine antigens. This process, first applied to serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis, has been termed as reverse vaccinology. Reverse vaccinology offers the ability to undertake a rapid and comprehensive assessment of a micro-organism's surface protein repertoire, and has advantages over conventional approaches to identifying candidate antigens. Despite the advantages of the approach, development in conventional areas of vaccinology remains important to support the process of producing vaccines from genome-derived antigens.

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