Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.527, No.4, 1021-1026, 2020
Malaria: Paving the way to developing peptide-based vaccines against invasion in infectious diseases
Malaria remains a large-scale public health problem, killing more than 400,000 people and infecting up to 230 million worldwide, every year. Unfortunately, despite numerous efforts and research concerning vaccine development, results to date have been low and/or strain-specific. This work describes a strategy involving Plasmodium falciparum Duffy binding-like (DBL) and reticulocyte-binding protein homologue (RH) family-derived minimum functional peptides, netMHCIIpan3.2 parental and modified peptides' in silico binding prediction and modeling some Aotus major histocompatibility class II (MHCII) molecules based on known human molecules' structure to understand their differences. These are used to explain peptides' immunological behaviour when used as vaccine components in the Aotus model. Despite the great similarity between human and Aotus immune system molecules, around 50% of Aotus allele molecules lack a counterpart in the human immune system which could lead to an Aotus-specific vaccine. It was also confirmed that functional Plasmodium falciparum' conserved proteins are immunologically silent (in both the animal model and in-silico prediction); they must therefore be modified to elicit an appropriate immune response. Some peptides studied here had the desired behaviour and can thus be considered components of a fully-protective antimalarial vaccine. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.