The global health crisis caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of COVID-19, has resulted in a negative impact on human health and on social and economic activities worldwide. Researchers around the globe need to design and develop successful therapeutics as well as vaccines against the novel COVID-19 disease. In the present study, we conducted comprehensive computer-assisted analysis on the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 in order to design a safe and potent multiepitope vaccine. In silico epitope prioritization shortlisted six HLA I epitopes and six B-cell-derived HLA II epitopes. These high-ranked epitopes were all connected to each other via flexible GPGPG linkers, and at the N-terminus side, the sequence of Cholera Toxin β subunit was attached via an EAAAK linker. Structural modeling of the vaccine was performed, and molecular docking analysis strongly suggested a positive association of a multiepitope vaccine with Toll-like Receptor 3. The structural investigations of the vaccine-TLR3 complex revealed the formation of fifteen interchain hydrogen bonds, thus validating its integrity and stability. Moreover, it was found that this interaction was thermodynamically feasible. In conclusion, our data supports the proposition that a multiepitope vaccine will provide protective immunity against COVID-19. However, further in vivo and in vitro experiments are needed to validate the immunogenicity and safety of the candidate vaccine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy