B-cell epitopes of antigenic proteins inLeishmania infantum: anin silicoanalysis

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Serodiagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis is often hindered by cross-reactions to other parasitic diseases. Identifying specific B-cell epitopes in proteins is therefore important for immunodiagnostics, as well as for disease control by vaccines. This study aimed to identify linear and conformational B-cell epitopes and to evaluate the secondary structure of antigen proteins in Leishmania infantum using in silico analysis. Linear epitopes were predicted using the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB), BepiPred and BcePred programs. The conformational B-cell epitopes were identified using the CBTOPE server. The combination of the predictions using IEDB, BepiPred and BcePred generated 148 linear epitopes from the calpain-like cysteine peptidase (CP), thiol-dependent reductase 1 (TDR1) and HSP70 proteins. In total, 164 conformational epitopes were predicted, mostly located in the linear epitope region. The predicted epitopes are located in α helix and random coil regions in the thiol-dependent reductase 1 and HSP70 proteins. New linear and conformational B-cell epitopes of L. infantum proteins were identified in silico, and the prediction using various programs ensures greater accuracy of the results, as suggested by confirmation of previously identified HSP70 epitopes.

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