Image_5_Immunoinformatic Design of a Multivalent Peptide Vaccine Against Mucormycosis: Targeting FTR1 Protein of Major Causative Fungi.pdf (46.38 kB)
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Image_5_Immunoinformatic Design of a Multivalent Peptide Vaccine Against Mucormycosis: Targeting FTR1 Protein of Major Causative Fungi.pdf

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posted on 2022-06-03, 07:41 authored by Yusha Araf, Abu Tayab Moin, Vladimir I. Timofeev, Nairita Ahsan Faruqui, Syeda Afra Saiara, Nafisa Ahmed, Md. Sorwer Alam Parvez, Tanjim Ishraq Rahaman, Bishajit Sarkar, Md. Asad Ullah, Mohammad Jakir Hosen, Chunfu Zheng

Mucormycosis is a potentially fatal illness that arises in immunocompromised people due to diabetic ketoacidosis, neutropenia, organ transplantation, and elevated serum levels of accessible iron. The sudden spread of mucormycosis in COVID-19 patients engendered massive concern worldwide. Comorbidities including diabetes, cancer, steroid-based medications, long-term ventilation, and increased ferritin serum concentration in COVID-19 patients trigger favorable fungi growth that in turn effectuate mucormycosis. The necessity of FTR1 gene-encoded ferrous permease for host iron acquisition by fungi has been found in different studies recently. Thus, targeting the transit component could be a potential solution. Unfortunately, no appropriate antifungal vaccine has been constructed as of yet. To date, mucormycosis has been treated with antiviral therapy and surgical treatment only. Thus, in this study, the FTR1 protein has been targeted to design a convenient and novel epitope-based vaccine with the help of immunoinformatics against four different virulent fungal species. Furthermore, the vaccine was constructed using 8 CTL, 2 HTL, and 1 LBL epitopes that were found to be highly antigenic, non-allergenic, non-toxic, and fully conserved among the fungi under consideration. The vaccine has very reassuring stability due to its high pI value of 9.97, conclusive of a basic range. The vaccine was then subjected to molecular docking, molecular dynamics, and immune simulation studies to confirm the biological environment’s safety, efficacy, and stability. The vaccine constructs were found to be safe in addition to being effective. Finally, we used in-silico cloning to develop an effective strategy for vaccine mass production. The designed vaccine will be a potential therapeutic not only to control mucormycosis in COVID-19 patients but also be effective in general mucormycosis events. However, further in vitro, and in vivo testing is needed to confirm the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in controlling fungal infections. If successful, this vaccine could provide a low-cost and effective method of preventing the spread of mucormycosis worldwide.

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