An immunoinformatic approach to design a novel vaccine against the human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) by targeting M2-1 protein

F Momtaz, M.J. Foysal

 

Abstract

Background: Human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) is the leading cause of upper and lower respiratory infection in infants, adults and immunocompromised persons. The matrix protein, M2-1 of hRSV is a cofactor of viral RNA polymerase that plays a crucial role during replication. This programmed study was designed to scrutinize potential immunogens from the M2-1 protein characterized from four different continents.

Methods: Sequence data obtained from NCBI databases were analysed by using a series of web and software based bioinformatics tools to find out the best epitope against hRSV.

Results: The phylogenetic data revealed a homogenized clustering of M2-1 protein for the African, European, and Asian clades while proteins from North American collections found to have a significant evolutionary detachment compared to three other clusters. Using various web-based bioinformatics tools, the study identified four common B-cell epitopes present in all the M2-1 proteins from four different clusters with higher antigenicity and conservancy. Among the 17 M2-1 protein investigated for T-cell epitopes, “VLQNLDVGL” peptide from A2 super-type, and “QSACVAMSK” and “CLNGRRCHY” from A3 super-type showed the highest antigenicity at >0.80 conservancy cut-off value. After evaluation of all antigenic properties, only “CLNGRRCHY” peptide qualified as a potential vaccine candidate against hRSV. Molecular docking revealed strong and stable binding of the epitope to major histocompatibility complexes (MHC) molecules in terms of hydrogen bonding.

Conclusion: The designed epitope could be used as a possible vaccine candidate against hRSV.

Keywords: hRSV; M2-1 protein; phylogenetic cluster; BCL and CTL epitopes; molecular docking

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An immunoinformatic approach to design a novel vaccine against the human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) by targeting M2-1 protein

Phenotypic methods versus PCR-RFLP for the identification of dermatophyte species isolated from patients with dermatophytosis in Egypt

N.M. Gohar, H.M. El-Batal, B.A. Elawady, N Samir

 

Abstract

Background: Dermatophytes are major causative agents of cutaneous fungal infections worldwide. Identification of dermatophyte species is based on macroscopic and microscopic morphology on different culture media. Molecular methods such as PCR-RFLP are rapid, reliable and precise identification methods. This local study aimed to identify the spectrum of dermatophyte species among the studied patients population using different phenotypic and genotypic methods.

Materials and methods: Hair, skin and nail specimens were collected from 135 patients with clinically suspected cases of dermatophytosis. All specimens were subjected to microscopic examination using KOH and culture on SDA and dermasel agar. Phenotypic identification was done by colony and microscopic morphology, and subculture on malt, PDA, lactrimel and urea agar plates. Molecular identification was done by PCR-RFLP using MvaI.

Results: Out of 135 patients included in the study, 78 (57.8%) were positive by culture for dermatophytes. Five different species were identified, the most commonly isolated species was M. canis (51.3%) followed by T. violaceum (42.3%). PCR-RFLP correctly identified the isolated dermatophyte species, producing unique restriction patterns.

Conclusion: Dermatophytosis is common in Egypt where humid hot climate and animal contact play important role in the spread of these fungi. The use of PCR-RFLP directly on clinical specimens rather than its use in the identification of dermatophytes from culture media is recommended.

Keywords: Dermatophytosis, Dermasel agar, SDA, Sporulation media, PCR-RFLP

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Phenotypic methods versus PCR-RFLP for the identification of dermatophyte species isolated from patients with dermatophytosis in Egypt

Micronutrient deficiencies among pregnant women with Plasmodium falciparum infection in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria

F.O. Akinbo, L.O. Alabi, J.A. Aiyeyemi

 

Abstract

Background: Two important barriers to a successful pregnancy outcome are maternal under nutrition and malaria. This study was conducted to determine some micronutrient deficiencies among pregnant women infected with Plasmodium falciparum in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria

Material and methods: Two hundred and fifty four participants aged 18 to 42 years consisting of 154 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic of the Federal Medical Center, Owo, and 100 apparently healthy non-pregnant women as controls were randomly enrolled in this study. Blood specimen was collected and analyzed for the detection of P. falciparum using 10% Giemsa staining technique while micronutrients (calcium, copper, iron and zinc) were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).

Results: Out of 154 pregnant women studied, 91 (59.1%) had micronutrient deficiency (MND) while 5 out of 100 (5.0%) non-pregnant control had micronutrient deficiency (p < 0.0001). Forty three (27.9%) of the 154 pregnant women and 3 (3.0%) of 100 non-pregnant control had P. falciparum infection (p < 0.0001). Forty three of the 91 (47.3%) pregnant women and 3 of the 5 (60%) non-pregnant women with MND had P. falciparum infection (p = 0.6681). All 43 pregnant women with MND but none of the 63 pregnant women without MND had P. falciparum infection (p < 0.0001). Similarly, all 3 non-pregnant women with P. falciparum infection had MND but none of the 95 non-pregnant women without MND had P. falciparum infection (p < 0.0001). Multiple micronutrient deficiencies of iron and calcium (65.3%), iron and zinc (16.1%) and iron and copper (18.6%) were observed among pregnant women but none among non-pregnant women. Factors significantly associated with P. falciparum infection among pregnant women with MND were age group 23-27 years (p = 0.0109), first trimester gestational age (p = 0.0234), primiparity (p = 0.0303) and wet season (p < 0.0173). There was no significant association between anaemia and prevalence of P. falciparuminfection in pregnant women with MND (p = 0.1327) but pregnant women with iron deficiency were more likely to be infected with P. falciparumthan those with other micronutrient deficiencies (p = 0.0013)

Conclusion: This study reported a higher prevalence rate of 27.9% for P. falciparum infection in pregnant women compared to 3% in non-pregnant women population, but a much higher rate of 47.3% among pregnant women with micronutrient deficiencies.

Keywords: Micronutrient deficiencies, Plasmodium falciparum, pregnant women, Owo

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Micronutrient deficiencies among pregnant women with Plasmodium falciparum infection in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria