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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 9363750, 15 pages
Research Article

Computer-Aided Design of an Epitope-Based Vaccine against Epstein-Barr Virus

1Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Centre for Research in International Health (CRESIB), Hospital Clinic-University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2Laboratory of Immunomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University Complutense of Madrid, Ave Complutense S/N, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Pedro A. Reche; se.mcu.dem@gehcerap

Received 19 May 2017; Revised 7 August 2017; Accepted 20 August 2017; Published 28 September 2017

Academic Editor: Peirong Jiao

Copyright © 2017 Julio Alonso-Padilla 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.


Epstein-Barr virus is a very common human virus that infects 90% of human adults. EBV replicates in epithelial and B cells and causes infectious mononucleosis. EBV infection is also linked to various cancers, including Burkitt’s lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinomas, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Currently, there are no effective drugs or vaccines to treat or prevent EBV infection. Herein, we applied a computer-aided strategy to design a prophylactic epitope vaccine ensemble from experimentally defined T and B cell epitopes. Such strategy relies on identifying conserved epitopes in conjunction with predictions of HLA presentation for T cell epitope selection and calculations of accessibility and flexibility for B cell epitope selection. The T cell component includes 14 CD8 T cell epitopes from early antigens and 4 CD4 T cell epitopes, targeted during the course of a natural infection and providing a population protection coverage of over 95% and 81.8%, respectively. The B cell component consists of 3 experimentally defined B cell epitopes from gp350 plus 4 predicted B cell epitopes from other EBV envelope glycoproteins, all mapping in flexible and solvent accessible regions. We discuss the rationale for the formulation and possible deployment of this epitope vaccine ensemble.