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This article is part of the supplement: Abstracts from the First International Science Symposium on HIV and Infectious Diseases (HIV SCIENCE 2012)

Open Access Oral presentation

HLA-A*0201-specific epitopes of Indian HIV-1C as candidates for vaccine design

Jagadish Chandrabose Sundaramurthi1* and Luke Elizabeth Hanna2

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Biomedical Informatics, Department of Clinical Research, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (formerly Tuberculosis Research Centre) (ICMR), Chennai, 600031, Tamil Nadu, India

2 Division of HIV/AIDS, Department of Clinical Research, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (formerly Tuberculosis Research Centre) (ICMR), Chennai, 600031, Tamil Nadu, India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12(Suppl 1):O15  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-S1-O15


The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/12/S1/O15


Published:4 May 2012

© 2012 Sundaramurthi and Hanna; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background

HLA alleles are associated with differential outcomes of infections/diseases. We hypothesize that epitopes that interact with HLA alleles associated with resistance elicit a protective immune response in the host, and could therefore serve as good vaccine candidates. Among the HLA alleles reported to be associated with resistance to HIV infection/slow progression to AIDS, HLA-A*0201 occurs most frequently in the Indian population. We undertook this study to identify HIV epitopes specific to this HLA allele from HIV-1C.

Methods

1769 sequences of all proteins of Indian HIV-1C were downloaded from the HIV sequence database and consensus sequence for each protein was built. Epitopes specific to HLA-A*0201, but not to any of the HLA alleles known to be associated with susceptibility to HIV/AIDS, were identified using ProPred1 and modeled on to HLA-A*0201.

Results

Twenty six peptides specific to HLA-A*0201 were identified as better binders to the HLA molecule than a control peptide which is a known immunodominant HIV epitope. Eleven of these have also been reported by others as immunogenic. Ten of the 11 epitopes were found to be conserved in Indie-C1, an infectious Indian subtype C clone. Four epitopes were reported to elicit CD4+ as well as CD8+ specific responses. Fifteen epitopes identified in this study are novel.

Conclusion

The short-listed epitopes could be tested for their potential as vaccine candidates for the Indian HIV epidemic. This approach has been extended to identify epitopes specific to other HLA alleles associated with resistance to HIV, and in vitro evaluation is being undertaken.