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Open Vet J. 2024; 14(4): 1019-1028

Epitope mapping and a candidate vaccine design from canine distemper virus

Camila Pereira Santos, Jerlane Tarcila Gomes Teles, Georgia Freitas Guimarães, Laura Helena Vega Gonzales Gil, Amanda Mota Vieira, Jose Wilton Pinheiro Junior, Carlos Eduardo Calzavara-Silva, Rita de Cassia Carvalho Maia.


Canine distemper is a worldwide spread disease that has been described in 12 families of mammals, especially in the Carnivora order, being better studied in domestic canines where vaccination represents the best means of control. Canine distemper is controlled by vaccination, but many cases of the disease still occur in vaccinated animals.
The aim of this work was to study antigen specific epitopes that can subsidize the development of a new vaccine approach.
Mapping of T cell reactive epitopes for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was carried out through ELISPOT assays using 119 overlapped synthetic peptides from the viral hemagglutinin protein, grouped in 22 pools forming a matrix to test the immune response of 32 animals.
Evaluations using the criteria established to identify reactive pools, demonstrated that 26 animals presented at least one reactive pool, that one pool was not reactive to any animal, and six pools were the most frequent among the reactive peptides. The crisscrossing of the most reactive pools in the matrix revealed nine peptides considered potential candidate epitopes for T cell stimulation against the Canine Distemper Virus and those were used to design an in-silico protein, containing also predicted epitopes for B cell stimulation, and further analyzed using immune epitope databases to ensure protein quality and stability.
The final in silico optimized protein presents characteristics that qualifies it to be used to develop new prototype epitope based anti-CDV vaccine.

Key words: CDV, ELISPOT, Hemagglutinin, Peptides, Vaccine

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