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Design of Multi-Epitope Vaccine for Staphylococcus saprophyticus: Pan-Genome and Reverse Vaccinology Approach
, Talha Bin Emran,

Staphylococcus saprophyticus is a Gram-positive coccus responsible for the occurrence of cystitis in sexually active, young females. While effective antibiotics against this organism exist, resistant strains are on the rise. Therefore, prevention via vaccines appears to be a viable solution to address this problem. In comparison to traditional techniques of vaccine design, computationally aided vaccine development demonstrates marked specificity, efficiency, stability, and safety. In the present study, a novel, multi-epitope vaccine construct was developed against S. saprophyticus by targeting fully sequenced proteomes of its five different strains, which were examined using a pangenome and subtractive proteomic strategy to characterize prospective vaccination targets. The three immunogenic vaccine targets which were utilized to map the probable immune epitopes were verified by annotating the entire proteome. The predicted epitopes were further screened on the basis of antigenicity, allergenicity, water solubility, toxicity, virulence, and binding affinity towards the DRB*0101 allele, resulting in 11 potential epitopes, i.e., DLKKQKEKL, NKDLKKQKE, QDKLKDKSD, NVMDNKDLE, TSGTPDSQA, NANSDGSSS, GSDSSSSNN, DSSSSNNDS, DSSSSDRNN, SSSDRNNGD, and SSDDKSKDS. All these epitopes have the efficacy to cover 99.74% of populations globally. Finally, shortlisted epitopes were joined together with linkers and three different adjuvants to find the most stable and immunogenic vaccine construct. The top-ranked vaccine construct was further scrutinized on the basis of its physicochemical characterization and immunological profile. The non-allergenic and antigenic features of modeled vaccine constructs were initially validated and then subjected to docking with immune receptor major histocompatibility complex I and II (MHC-I and II), resulting in strong contact. In silico cloning validations yielded a codon adaptation index (CAI) value of 1 and an ideal percentage of GC contents (46.717%), indicating a putative expression of the vaccine in E. coli. Furthermore, immune simulation demonstrated that, after injecting the proposed MEVC, powerful antibodies were produced, resulting in the sharpest peaks of IgM + IgG formation (>11,500) within 5 to 15 days. Experimental testing against S. saprophyticus can evaluate the safety and efficacy of these prophylactic vaccination designs.

pan-genome; immuno-informatics; multi-epitope peptide; docking; MD simulation
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