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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 541282, 8 pages
Research Article

Applying the Concept of Peptide Uniqueness to Anti-Polio Vaccination

1Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies, and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy
2Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari, 70124 Bari, Italy

Received 5 February 2015; Accepted 28 April 2015

Academic Editor: Yoshihiko Hoshino

Copyright © 2015 Darja Kanduc 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.


Background. Although rare, adverse events may associate with anti-poliovirus vaccination thus possibly hampering global polio eradication worldwide. Objective. To design peptide-based anti-polio vaccines exempt from potential cross-reactivity risks and possibly able to reduce rare potential adverse events such as the postvaccine paralytic poliomyelitis due to the tendency of the poliovirus genome to mutate. Methods. Proteins from poliovirus type 1, strain Mahoney, were analyzed for amino acid sequence identity to the human proteome at the pentapeptide level, searching for sequences that (1) have zero percent of identity to human proteins, (2) are potentially endowed with an immunologic potential, and (3) are highly conserved among poliovirus strains. Results. Sequence analyses produced a set of consensus epitopic peptides potentially able to generate specific anti-polio immune responses exempt from cross-reactivity with the human host. Conclusion. Peptide sequences unique to poliovirus proteins and conserved among polio strains might help formulate a specific and universal anti-polio vaccine able to react with multiple viral strains and exempt from the burden of possible cross-reactions with human proteins. As an additional advantage, using a peptide-based vaccine instead of current anti-polio DNA vaccines would eliminate the rare post-polio poliomyelitis cases and other disabling symptoms that may appear following vaccination.