Designing a multi-epitope vaccine against Mycobacteroides abscessus by pangenome-reverse vaccinology

Hamza Arshad Dar, Saba Ismail, Yasir Waheed, Sajjad Ahmad, Zubia Jamil, Hafsa Aziz, Helal F. Hetta, Khalid Muhammad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Mycobacteroides abscessus (Previously Mycobacterium abscessus) is an emerging microorganism of the newly defined genera Mycobacteroides that causes mainly skin and tissue diseases in humans. The recent availability of total 34 fully sequenced genomes of different strains belonging to this species has provided an opportunity to utilize this genomics data to gain novel insights and guide the development of specific antimicrobial therapies. In the present study, we collected collectively 34 complete genome sequences of M. abscessus from the NCBI GenBank database. Pangenome analysis was conducted on these genomes to understand the genetic diversity and to obtain proteins associated with its core genome. These core proteins were then subjected to various subtractive filters to identify potential antigenic targets that were subjected to multi-epitope vaccine design. Our analysis projected the open pangenome of M. abscessus containing 3443 core genes. After applying various stepwise filtration steps on the core proteins, a total of four potential antigenic targets were identified. Utilizing their constituent CD4 and CD8 T-cell epitopes, a multi-epitope based subunit vaccine was computationally designed. Sequence-based analysis as well as structural characterization revealed the immunological effectiveness of this designed vaccine. Further molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation and binding free energy estimation with Toll-like receptor 2 indicated strong structural associations of the vaccine with the immune receptor. The promising results are encouraging and need to be validated by additional wet laboratory studies for confirmation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11197
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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