EpiCombFlu: exploring known influenza epitopes and their combination to design a universal influenza vaccine

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Influenza is responsible for half a million deaths annually, and vaccination is the best preventive measure against this pervasive health problem. Influenza vaccines developed from surveillance data of each season are strain-specific, and therefore, are unable to provide protection against pandemic strains arising from antigenic shift and drift. Seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics of influenza have created a need for a universal influenza vaccine (UIV). Researchers have shown that a combination of conserved epitopes has the potential to be used as a UIV.


In the present work, available data on strains, proteins, epitopes and their associated information were used to develop a Web resource, ‘EpiCombFlu’, which can explore different influenza epitopes and their combinations for conservation among different strains, population coverage and immune response for vaccine design. Forward selection algorithm was implemented in EpiCombFlu to select optimum combination of epitopes that may be expressed and evaluated as potential UIV.


The Web resource is freely available at



Supplementary information:

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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