IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 194: Core-Proteomics-Based Annotation of Antigenic Targets and Reverse-Vaccinology-Assisted Design of Ensemble Immunogen against the Emerging Nosocomial Infection-Causing Bacterium Elizabethkingia meningoseptica

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010194

Muhammad Idrees
Muhammad Yasir Noorani
Kalim Ullah Altaf
Eid A. Alatawi
Faris F. Aba Alkhayl
Khaled S. Allemailem
Ahmad Almatroudi
Murad Ali Khan
Muhammad Hamayun
Taimoor Khan
Syed Shujait Ali
Abbas Khan
Dong-Qing Wei

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is a ubiquitous Gram-negative emerging pathogen that causes hospital-acquired infection in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients. It is a multi-drug-resistant bacterium; therefore, an effective subunit immunogenic candidate is of great interest to encounter the pathogenesis of this pathogen. A protein-wide annotation of immunogenic targets was performed to fast-track the vaccine development against this pathogen, and structural-vaccinology-assisted epitopes were predicted. Among the total proteins, only three, A0A1T3FLU2, A0A1T3INK9, and A0A1V3U124, were shortlisted, which are the essential vaccine targets and were subjected to immune epitope mapping. The linkers EAAK, AAY, and GPGPG were used to link CTL, HTL, and B-cell epitopes and an adjuvant was also added at the N-terminal to design a multi-epitope immunogenic construct (MEIC). The computationally predicted physiochemical properties of the ensemble immunogen reported a highly antigenic nature and produced multiple interactions with immune receptors. In addition, the molecular dynamics simulation confirmed stable binding and good dynamic properties. Furthermore, the computationally modeled immune response proposed that the immunogen triggered a strong immune response after several doses at different intervals. Neutralization of the antigen was observed on the 3rd day of injection. Conclusively, the immunogenic construct produces protection against Elizabethkingia meningoseptica; however, further immunological testing is needed to unveil its real efficacy.

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