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Interdiscip Sci. 2017 Dec;9(4):468-477. doi: 10.1007/s12539-017-0238-3. Epub 2017 Nov 1.

Discovery of T-cell Driven Subunit Vaccines from Zika Virus Genome: An Immunoinformatics Approach.

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Biomedical Informatics Centre, National Institute of Pathology-ICMR, New Delhi, 110029, India.
Bioinformatics Centre, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha, 442102, India.
Biomedical Informatics Centre, National Institute of Pathology-ICMR, New Delhi, 110029, India.


The recent outbreaks of Zika virus and the absence of a specific therapy have necessitated to identify T-cell-stimulating antigenic peptides as potential subunit vaccine candidates. The translated ssRNA (+) genome of Zika virus was explored in EMBOSS antigenic and VaxiJen to predict 63 peptides as potential antigens. Three MHC-II binding peptide prediction tools, viz. NetMHCIIpan, PREDIVAC and immune epitope database (IEDB) were employed in consensus on 63 antigenic peptides to propose 14 T-helper cell epitopes. Similarly, analysis on 63 antigenic peptides through NetMHC, NetCTL and IEDB MHC-I binding peptide prediction tool led to identification of 14 CTL epitopes. Seven T-cell epitopes, C:44-66, M:135-149, NS2A:124-144, NS3:421-453, NS3:540-554, NS4B:90-134 and NS4B:171-188, are observed to share overlapping MHC-I and MHC-II binding motifs and hence, are being proposed to constitute minimum T-cell antigens to elicit protective T-cell immune response against Zika. Three of them, C:44-66, NS3:421-453 and NS3:540-554 are identified to be conserved across all the selected strains of Zika virus. Moreover, the 21 T-cell epitopes are non-self to humans and exhibited good coverage in variable populations of 14 geographical locations. Therefore, 21 T-cell epitopes are proposed as potential subunit vaccines against Zika virus.


IEDB; NetMHC; Subunit vaccine; T-cell epitope; Zika virus

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