Computational Methodology for Peptide Vaccine Design for Zika Virus: A Bioinformatics Approach
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With the increasing frequency of viral epidemics, vaccines to augment the human immune response system have been the medium of choice to combat viral infections. The tragic consequences of the Zika virus pandemic in South and Central America a few years ago brought the issues into sharper focus. While traditional vaccine development is time-consuming and expensive, recent advances in information technology, immunoinformatics, genetics, bioinformatics, and related sciences have opened the doors to new paradigms in vaccine design and applications.
Peptide vaccines are one group of the new approaches to vaccine formulation. In this chapter, we discuss the various issues involved in the design of peptide vaccines and their advantages and shortcomings, with special reference to the Zika virus for which no drugs or vaccines are as yet available. In the process, we outline our work in this field giving a detailed step-by-step description of the protocol we follow for such vaccine design so that interested researchers can easily follow them and do their own designing. Several flowcharts and figures are included to provide a background of the software to be used and results to be anticipated.
Key wordsPeptide vaccine Sequence descriptors Vaccine design protocol Alignment-free techniques Average solvent accessibility (ASA) and protein variability Epitopes Graphical methods
We would like to acknowledge with thanks the help provided by Mr. Tathagata Dutta in software and graph rendering.
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