VOLUME 15 NUMBER 2 (July to December 2022)

PSL%202021 vol14-no01-p12-28-Mikita%20and%20Padlan

SciEnggJ. 2022 15 (2) 113-127
available online: October 31, 2022

*Corresponding author
Email Address: eduardo.padlan@gmail.com
Date received: July 16, 2022
Date revised: October 26, 2022
Date accepted: October 26, 2022


Preparing for an avian flu pandemic: Method for designing possible subunit vaccines against highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses

Cecilia P. Mikita1, Eduardo A. Padlan*2

1Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Department of Medicine,
     Allergy/Immunology/Immunizations Service
     4954 North Palmer Road, Bethesda, MD 20889-5600, USA
224006 Simms Drive, Kensington, MD 20895-1336, USA
A method is described for designing possible subunit vaccines that focus the immune response to the cleavage site of the hemagglutinin molecule of highly pathogenic zoonotic avian influenza viruses. Cleavage of the hemagglutinin is critical to the entry of the virus into target cells. Sequence and three-dimensional structural data are analyzed to map the putative epitopes of antibodies against the hemagglutinin molecule, with particular emphasis on the epitope that includes the cleavage-site of the molecule. The chemical reactivity of the residues outside the cleavage-site epitope is reduced by judicious amino acid replacements so that the resulting molecule would be expected to elicit an immune response predominantly directed at the cleavage site, thereby preventing entry of the virus into target cells. The method is described with emphasis on highly pathogenic zoonotic H5N1 avian influenza viruses; the method could be used also on other avian influenza subtypes.

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