In silico prediction of B and T cell epitopes based on NDV fusion protein for vaccine development against Newcastle disease virus

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology, Islamic Azad University, Tehran North Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Genomics and Genetic Engineering, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute (RVSRI), Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran

3 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Tehran North Branch, Tehran, Iran

4 Central Laboratory Department, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute Agricultural Research, AREEO, Karaj, Iran

5 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Tehran North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Newcastle disease (ND) is known as the most common diseases of economic importance worldwide. Vaccination against virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) has failed during some outbreaks. Here, we aimed to assess the epitopes of NDV fusion protein as targets for a peptide-based vaccine. To explore the most antigenic epitopes on the F protein, we retrieved virulent strains of genotype VII from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Linear and conformational B-cell epitopes were identified. Moreover, T-cell epitopes with high and moderate binding affinities to human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II alleles were predicted using bioinformatics tools. Subsequently, the overlapped epitopes of B-cell and MHC class I and MHC class II were determined. To validate our predictions, the best epitopes were docked, to chicken MHC class I (B-F) alleles using the HADDOCK flexible docking server. Seven ‘high ranked epitopes’ were identified. Among them, ‘LYCTRIVTF’ and ‘MRATYLETL’ showed the highest scores. The other five epitopes including LSGEFDATY, LTTPPYMALK, LYLTELTTV, DCIKITQQV and SIAATNEAV obtained very encouraging results as well. SIAATNEAV had been recognized as a neutralizing epitope of F protein using monoclonal antibodies before. Taken together, our results demonstrated that the identified epitopes needed to be tested by in vitro and in vivo experiments.


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