Short peptide vaccine design and development: promises and challenges

Pandjassarame Kangueane, Gopichandran Sowmya, Sadhasivam Anupriya, Sandeep Raja Dangeti, Venkatrajan S. Mathura, Meena K. Sakharkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Vaccine development for viral diseases is a challenge where subunit vaccines are often ineffective. Therefore, the need for alternative solutions is crucial. Thus, short peptide vaccine candidates promise effective answers under such circumstances. Short peptide vaccine candidates are linear T-cell epitopes (antigenic determinants that are recognized by the immune system) that specifically function by binding human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles of different ethnicities (including Black, Caucasian, Oriental, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Australian aboriginal, and mixed ethnicities). The population-specific allele-level HLA sequence data in the public IMGT/HLA database contains approximately 12542 nomenclature defined class I (9437) and class II (3105) HLA alleles as of March 2015 present in several ethnic populations.The bottleneck in short peptide vaccine design and development is HLA polymorphism on the one hand and viral diversity on the other hand. Hence, a crucial step in its design and development is HLA allele-specific binding of short antigen peptides. This is usually combinatorial and computationally labor intensive. Mathematical models utilizing structure-defined pockets are currently available for class I and class II HLA-peptide-binding peptides. Frameworks have been developed to design protocols to identify the most feasible short peptide cocktails as vaccine candidates with superantigen properties among known HLA supertypes. This approach is a promising solution to develop new viral vaccines given the current advancement in T-cell immuno-informatics, yet challenging in terms of prediction efficiency and protocol development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal virology I
Subtitle of host publicationidentifying and investigating viral diseases
EditorsPaul Shapshak, John T. Sinnott, Charurut Somboonwit, Jens H Kuhn
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781493924103
ISBN (Print)9781493924097
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Epitope design
  • Ethnicity
  • HLA alleles
  • HLA supertypes
  • HLA-peptide binding
  • Immune response
  • Polymorphism
  • Prediction
  • Sensitivity
  • Short peptide vaccine
  • Specificity
  • Superantigen
  • T-cell epitope
  • Virus


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