Boluwatife A. Irewolede

Conference 2022 Live Talk

 

Talk title

Immunoinformatics approach in designing mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variants

 

Authors and Affiliations

Elijah Kolawole Oladipo,1, 2, * Boluwatife Ayobami Irewolede,2 Emmanuel Oluwatobi Dairo,2, 3 Ayodele Eugene Ayeni,2, 4 Kehinde Temitope Kolapo,2 Olawumi Elizabeth Akindiya,2,5 Oluwasegun Jerry Ayobami,2 Bamigboye Favor Oluwadara,2

1. Department of Microbiology, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Immunology and Bioinformatics, Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria.
2. Genomics Unit, Helix Biogen Institute, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
3. Department of Virology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
4. Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
5. Microbiology Programme, Department of Biological Science, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, Nigeria.

 

Abstract

Background

The development of a vaccine is hinged on the spike (S) glycoprotein, which serves as a medium for its entry into the host cells. Although several variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged owing to mutations that cut continental boundaries, about 6000 delta variants have been recorded along the shores of more than 20 countries in Africa, with South Africa scooping the greatest percentage of this unpleasant situation. There are concerns in the scientific community regarding the development of an effective vaccine against these newer variants. In this study, immunoinformatics approaches were utilized in the design of a multi-epitope mRNA vaccine against the spike glycoproteins of circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 in selected African countries.

Methods

Various immunoinformatics tools were employed in the prediction of both T and B lymphocyte epitopes. The epitopes were further subjected to various assessments with the aim of selecting epitopes that are capable of eliciting a robust immunological response. The combined coverage of the CTL and HTL epitopes was assessed to predict the effectiveness of the vaccine construct within the study area.

Results

The vaccine was made up of seven (7) epitopes, a highly immunogenic adjuvant, an MHC I targeting domain (MITD), a signal peptide, and linkers. The physicochemical characterization analyses of the vaccine construct reveal the contents of the vaccine to meet the standard criteria needed for the formulation of vaccines. The vaccine has good population coverage, with maximum coverage found in East Africa (80.44%), and followed by South Africa (77.23%). West Africa and North Africa have a coverage of 76.65% and 76.13%, respectively, while Central Africa (75.64%) has the minimum coverage. No mutation was observed among the seven epitopes in the 100 randomly selected SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoproteins within the study area.

Conclusions

Immunoinformatics-based approaches for designing a multi-epitope mRNA vaccine against the circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 within the African population have demonstrated that this vaccine candidate can be a useful therapeutic in the fight against the deadly virus.