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Seeking vaccine antigen epitopes presented by BoLA-DR for development of a multi epitope-based vaccine against R. microplus tick infestations

Grant number: 17/21401-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): September 01, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology
Principal Investigator:Beatriz Rossetti Ferreira
Grantee:Andressa Fisch
Supervisor abroad: Timothy Connelley
Home Institution: Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto (EERP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Edinburgh, Scotland  
Associated to the scholarship:14/11010-0 - Development of a recombinant multicomponent chimeric vaccine based in proteins epitopes from Rhipicephalus microplus ticks, BP.DR


Ticks are important vectors of diseases to humans and animals and promote significant losses in cattle production sector. The vaccines currently available against ticks show variable outcome of protection between the cattle and little lasting memory immune response, indicating the need to develop more efficient vaccines. The development of epitope-based vaccines rather than full antigen vaccines has some advantages. Among them: possibility of inclusion of several antigens in a single construct, selection of epitopes shared between different tick species, improved security, reduced cost and ease of manufacturing. In order to identify T cell epitopes for epitope-based vaccine construction, we propose to characterize the BoLA DRB3 (bovine MHC II) haplotypes from bovines of our previous experiments through NGS; subsequently, we will stimulate the bovine PBMC with the antigens used in vaccinations and identify the eluted peptides from BoLA DRB3 through mass spectrometry. The sequences of peptides and DRB3 haplotypes will be analyzed by Machine learning in order to predict the interactions between these molecules. Hereafter, the sequences of the identified epitopes will be used for the synthesis of a multi epitope-based protein, together with the sequences identified by phage display and peptide-array (ongoing work), allowing expression of the fused epitopes in a single structure. The epitope-based recombinant protein will be used to immunize host that subsequently will undergo a challenge infestation with R. sanguineus and R. microplus ticks in which the efficacy of the vaccine will be evaluated. (AU)

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