A Vaccine Construction against COVID-19-Associated Mucormycosis Contrived with Immunoinformatics-Based Scavenging of Potential Mucoralean Epitopes
- Autori: Naveed M.; Ali U.; Karobari M.I.; Ahmed N.; Mohamed R.N.; Abullais S.S.; Kader M.A.; Marya A.; Messina P.; Scardina G.A.
- Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
- Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/558129
Mucormycosis is a group of infections, caused by multiple fungal species, which affect many human organs and is lethal in immunocompromised patients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the current wave of mucormycosis is a challenge to medical professionals as its effects are multiplied because of the severity of COVID-19 infection. The variant of concern, Omicron, has been linked to fatal mucormycosis infections in the US and Asia. Consequently, current postdiagnostic treatments of mucormycosis have been rendered unsatisfactory. In this hour of need, a preinfection cure is needed that may prevent lethal infections in immunocompromised individuals. This study proposes a potential vaccine construct targeting mucor and rhizopus species responsible for mucormycosis infections, providing immunoprotection to immunocompromised patients. The vaccine construct, with an antigenicity score of 0.75 covering, on average, 92–98% of the world population, was designed using an immunoinformatics approach. Molecular interactions with major histocompatibility complex-1 (MHC-I), Toll-like receptors-2 (TLR2), and glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), with scores of −896.0, −948.4, and −925.0, respectively, demonstrated its potential to bind with the human immune receptors. It elicited a strong predicted innate and adaptive immune response in the form of helper T (Th) cells, cytotoxic T (TC) cells, B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and macrophages. The vaccine cloned in the pBR322 vector showed positive amplification, further solidifying its stability and potential. The proposed construct holds a promising approach as the first step towards an antimucormycosis vaccine and may contribute to minimizing postdiagnostic burdens and failures.