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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 380975, 11 pages
Research Article

FluKB: A Knowledge-Based System for Influenza Vaccine Target Discovery and Analysis of the Immunological Properties of Influenza Viruses

1Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
2Department of Disease Systems Biology, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
3Cancer Vaccine Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4Bioinformatics Centre, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, 1017 Copenhagen, Denmark
5Department of Computer Science, Metropolitan College, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
6Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
7Laboratory of Immunobiology, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 16 January 2015; Accepted 12 March 2015

Academic Editor: Peirong Jiao

Copyright © 2015 Christian Simon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


FluKB is a knowledge-based system focusing on data and analytical tools for influenza vaccine discovery. The main goal of FluKB is to provide access to curated influenza sequence and epitope data and enhance the analysis of influenza sequence diversity and the analysis of targets of immune responses. FluKB consists of more than 400,000 influenza protein sequences, known epitope data (357 verified T-cell epitopes, 685 HLA binders, and 16 naturally processed MHC ligands), and a collection of 28 influenza antibodies and their structurally defined B-cell epitopes. FluKB was built using a modular framework allowing the implementation of analytical workflows and includes standard search tools, such as keyword search and sequence similarity queries, as well as advanced tools for the analysis of sequence variability. The advanced analytical tools for vaccine discovery include visual mapping of T- and B-cell vaccine targets and assessment of neutralizing antibody coverage. FluKB supports the discovery of vaccine targets and the analysis of viral diversity and its implications for vaccine discovery as well as potential T-cell breadth and antibody cross neutralization involving multiple strains. FluKB is representation of a new generation of databases that integrates data, analytical tools, and analytical workflows that enable comprehensive analysis and automatic generation of analysis reports.