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Immunogenicity of late stage specific peptide antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Singh, Medha, Bhatt, Parul, Sharma, Monika, Varma-Basil, Mandira, Chaudhry, Anil, Sharma, Sadhna
Infection, genetics, and evolution 2019 v.74 pp. 103930
CD8-positive T-lymphocytes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, amino acids, cytokines, epitopes, immune response, immunogenicity, immunoinformatics, interferon-gamma, major histocompatibility complex, monoclonal antibodies, pathogens, patients, proteins, regulon, subunit vaccines, synthetic peptides
Global burden of latent TB infection comprises one-third of the world population. Identifying potential Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) latency associated antigens that can generate protective immunity against the pathogen is crucial for designing an effective TB vaccine. Usually the immune system responds to a small number of amino acids as MHC Class I or Class II peptides. The precision to trigger epitope specific protective T-cell immune response could therefore be achieved with synthetic peptide-based subunit vaccine.In the present study we have considered an immunoinformatic approach using available softwares (ProPred, IEDB, NETMHC, BIMAS, Vaxijen2.0) and docking and visualizing softwares (CABSDOCK, HEX, Pymol, Discovery Studio) to select 10 peptides as latency antigens from 4 proteins (Rv2626, Rv2627, Rv2628, and Rv2032) of DosR regulon of Mtb. As Intracellular IFN-γ secreted by T cells is the most essential cytokine in Th1 mediated protective immunity, these peptides were verified as potential immunogenic epitopes in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) of 10 healthy contacts of TB patients (HTB) and 10 Category I Pulmonary TB patients (PTB).The antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells expressing intracellular IFN-γ were analyzed using monoclonal antibodies in all subjects by multi-parameter flow cytometry.Both, PTB and HTB individuals responded to DosR peptides by showing increased frequency of IFN-γ+CD4 and IFN-γ+CD8 T cells. The T-cell responses were significantly higher in PTB patients in comparision to the HTB individuals. Additionally, our synthetic peptides and pools showed higher frequencies of IFN-γ+CD4 and IFN-γ+CD8 T cells than the peptides of Ag85B.This pilot study can be taken up further in larger sample size which may support the untapped opportunity of designing Mtb DosR inclusive peptide based post-exposure subunit vaccine.