In silico veritas? Potential limitations for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development based on T-cell epitope prediction

In silico veritas? Potential limitations for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development based on T-cell epitope prediction

Data de publicació online: 06/04/2020 Revista: PLOS Pathogens

Abstract:

The development of a vaccine able to prevent infection or severe disease course of SARS-CoV-2 is a priority to stem the current COVID-19 pandemic and to be better prepared for future flare-ups. To accelerate T-cell immunogen design, many current approaches are employing epitope prediction strategies. Although such approaches have great merit, it is also important that unbiased approaches to characterizing the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 are incorporated into vaccine design, in order to generate a comprehensive picture of the total virus-specific T-cell response and to define correlates of protective immunity against the virus.

Ever since the first identification of binding motifs for T-cell antigens presented by HLA class I molecules by Rammensee and colleagues almost 30 years ago, epitope identification has been greatly facilitated by epitope prediction algorithms [1]. Over the years, many vaccines designs targeting infectious pathogens as well as cancer neoantigens have been based on in silico prediction of potential HLA class I–restricted epitopes, and a series of vaccine candidates that apply such strategies to SARS-CoV-2 are currently in development. However, even though numerous prediction algorithms have been developed and gradually improved, there are several considerations that may threaten or limit the success of such approaches.

Autors: Silva-Arrieta S, Goulder P JR, Brander C

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