In silico design of a multi-epitope vaccine against Lyssavirus Phylogroup II Glycoproteins
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The genus of lyssavirus, coming from the family of Rhabdoviridae, has been around since the time of 2300 BC. A ~12kb, negative-sense RNA virus, it is known to be one of the lethal viruses ever encountered by mankind. With the advancement in the fields of genetics and bioinformatics, we have been able to classify the genus into 3 phylogroups, phylogroups I, II, & III. Available and newly engineered vaccines target the phylogroup I and III, but no significant vaccine is available for combating the phylogroup II viruses. In this study, we used immunoinformatics based approach to design a multi-epitope-based vaccine that can provide immunity against the phylogroup II lyssaviruses, Lagos Bat Virus, Mokola Bat Virus & Shimoni Bat Virus. We have identified conserved epitopes within the viral glycoprotein sequences, and constructed vaccines containing immunogenic motifs alongside these epitopes. We predicted and optimized the three-dimensional structures of our vaccines, and assessed their capacity to induce immunity. Our designed vaccines are highly antigenic, non-allergenic, and provide wide coverage. They have shown high binding affinity against MHC molecules and induced long-term immunity in immune simulation. We believe that in silico design of these vaccines is the first step in preparation against a future spread of phylogroup II lyssavirus species.