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Vaccine. 2007 Apr 20;25(16):3179-91. Epub 2007 Jan 22.

Diversity of Francisella tularensis Schu4 antigens recognized by T lymphocytes after natural infections in humans: identification of candidate epitopes for inclusion in a rationally designed tularemia vaccine.

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EpiVax, Inc., Providence, RI 02903, USA.


The T lymphocyte antigens, which may have a role in protection against tularemia, were predicted by immunoinformatics analysis of Francisella tularensis Schu4. Twenty-seven class II putative promiscuous epitopes and 125 putative class I supertype epitopes were chosen for synthesis; peptides were tested in vitro for their ability to bind HLA and to induce immune responses from PBMCs of 23 previously infected subjects. While the immune responses of individual subjects showed heterogeneity, 95% of the subjects responded strongly to a pool of 27 promiscuous peptides; 25%, 33%, and 44% of subjects responded to pools of 25 A2, A24, and B7 peptides, respectively. These data can aid in the development of novel epitope-based and subunit tularemia vaccines.

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