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A comprehensive immunoinformatic analysis of chitin deacetylase’s and MP88 for designing multi-epitope vaccines against Cryptococcus neoformans

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posted on 2023-09-19, 06:20 authored by Md Abu Sayem Khan, Md Ibrahim Miah, Sabita Rezwana Rahman

Cryptococcus neoformans causes life-threatening pneumonia and meningitis and is regarded as one of the leading killers of immunocompromised individuals. There is currently no vaccine against this pathogen. Recently, WHO placed it at the top among the critical priority groups in the fungal priority pathogens to accelerate the development of effective treatments. Numerous studies suggested the potential of subunit vaccines to overcome the challenges associated with live and inactivated whole-cell vaccines. Therefore, this study exploited integrated reverse vaccinology and immunoinformatic approach to construct and characterize multi-epitope vaccines targeting chitin deacetylases (Cda1, Cda2, Cda3) and MP88 of C. neoformans. 4 CTL, 8 HTL and 6 B cell epitopes were fused with different adjuvants and appropriate linkers to design two multi-epitope vaccines (VC1 and VC2). Both chimeric constructs were predicted to be highly antigenic, non-allergenic, non-toxic, soluble and had satisfactory physicochemical properties. Molecular docking and binding free energy calculation revealed strong binding interactions between vaccine constructs and human TLRs (TLR-2 and TLR-4). Classical MD Simulation and Normal mode analysis verified the stability of the vaccine-TLR complex in the biological environment. Codon adaptation, cloning and in silico expression suggested the efficient expression of recombinant vaccine proteins in E. coli. Both candidates also generated robust immune profiles comprising innate, adaptive and humoral immune responses. Taken together, experimental validations of our findings through extensive in vitro and in vivo testing might provide an effective vaccine for prophylactic control of C. neoformans.

Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma

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The author(s) reported there is no funding associated with the work featured in this article.

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