BPSL1626: Reverse and Structural Vaccinology Reveal a Novel Candidate for Vaccine Design against Burkholderia pseudomallei

Riccardo Capelli, Claudio Peri, Riccardo Villa, Arnone Nithichanon, Oscar Conchillo-Solé, Daniel Yero, Paola Gagni, Marcella Chiari, Ganjana Lertmemongkolchai, Marina Cretich, Xavier Daura, Martino Bolognesi, Giorgio Colombo, Louise J Gourlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Due to significant advances in computational biology, protein prediction, together with antigen and epitope design, have rapidly moved from conventional methods, based on experimental approaches, to in silico-based bioinformatics methods. In this context, we report a reverse vaccinology study that identified a panel of 104 candidate antigens from the Gram-negative bacterial pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is responsible for the disease melioidosis. B. pseudomallei can cause fatal sepsis in endemic populations in the tropical regions of the world and treatment with antibiotics is mostly ineffective. With the aim of identifying potential vaccine candidates, we report the experimental validation of predicted antigen and type I fimbrial subunit, BPSL1626, which we show is able to recognize and bind human antibodies from the sera of Burkholderia infected patients and to stimulate T-lymphocytes in vitro. The prerequisite for a melioidosis vaccine, in fact, is that both antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses must be triggered. In order to reveal potential antigenic regions of the protein that may aid immunogen re-design, we also report the crystal structure of BPSL1626 at 1.9 Å resolution on which structure-based epitope predictions were based. Overall, our data suggest that BPSL1626 and three epitope regions here-identified can represent viable candidates as potential antigenic molecules.

Original languageAmerican English
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2018


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