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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 6760830, 11 pages
Review Article

An Introduction to B-Cell Epitope Mapping and In Silico Epitope Prediction

1Laboratory of Biomedical Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Kosice, 041 81 Kosice, Slovakia
2Institute of Neuroimmunology of Slovak Academy of Sciences, 845 10 Bratislava, Slovakia

Received 14 September 2016; Revised 21 November 2016; Accepted 13 December 2016

Academic Editor: Kristen M. Kahle

Copyright © 2016 Lenka Potocnakova 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.


Identification of B-cell epitopes is a fundamental step for development of epitope-based vaccines, therapeutic antibodies, and diagnostic tools. Epitope-based antibodies are currently the most promising class of biopharmaceuticals. In the last decade, in-depth in silico analysis and categorization of the experimentally identified epitopes stimulated development of algorithms for epitope prediction. Recently, various in silico tools are employed in attempts to predict B-cell epitopes based on sequence and/or structural data. The main objective of epitope identification is to replace an antigen in the immunization, antibody production, and serodiagnosis. The accurate identification of B-cell epitopes still presents major challenges for immunologists. Advances in B-cell epitope mapping and computational prediction have yielded molecular insights into the process of biorecognition and formation of antigen-antibody complex, which may help to localize B-cell epitopes more precisely. In this paper, we have comprehensively reviewed state-of-the-art experimental methods for B-cell epitope identification, existing databases for epitopes, and novel in silico resources and prediction tools available online. We have also elaborated new trends in the antibody-based epitope prediction. The aim of this review is to assist researchers in identification of B-cell epitopes.