JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Towards a peptide-based vaccine against Shigella sonnei: A subtractive reverse vaccinology based approach.

Shigella sonnei is one of the major causes of shigellosis in technically advanced countries and reports of its unprecedented increase are published from the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. The pathogen exhibits resistance against first and second line antibiotics which highlights the need for the development of an effective broad-spectrum vaccine. A computational based approach comprising subtractive reverse vaccinology was used for the identification of potential peptide-based vaccine candidates in the proteome of S. sonnei reference strain (53G). The protocol revealed three essential, host non-homologous, highly virulent, antigenic, conserved and adhesive vaccine proteins: TolC, PhoE, and outer membrane porin protein. The cellular interactome of these proteins supports their direct and indirect involvement in biologically significant pathways, essential for pathogen survival. Epitope mapping of these candidates reveals the presence of surface exposed 9-mer B-cell-derived T-cell epitopes of an antigenic, virulent, non-allergen nature and have broad-spectrum potency. In addition, molecular docking studies demonstrated the deep binding of the epitopes in the binding groove and the stability of the complex with the most common binding allele in the human population, DRB1*0101. Future characterization of the screened epitopes in order to further investigate the immune protection efficacy in animal models is highly desirable.

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