Computational design and evaluation of mRNA- and protein-based conjugate vaccines for influenza A and SARS-CoV-2 viruses

Amir Elalouf, Tomer Kedarya, Hadas Elalouf, Ariel Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Israel confirmed the first case of “flurona”—a co-infection of seasonal flu (IAV) and SARS-CoV-2 in an unvaccinated pregnant woman. This twindemic has been confirmed in multiple countries and underscores the importance of managing respiratory viral illnesses. Results: The novel conjugate vaccine was designed by joining four hemagglutinin, three neuraminidase, and four S protein of B-cell epitopes, two hemagglutinin, three neuraminidase, and four S proteins of MHC-I epitopes, and three hemagglutinin, nine neuraminidase, and five S proteins of MHC-II epitopes with linkers and adjuvants. The constructed conjugate vaccine was found stable, non-toxic, non-allergic, and antigenic with 0.6466 scores. The vaccine contained 14.87% alpha helix, 29.85% extended strand, 9.64% beta-turn, and 45.64% random coil, which was modeled to a 3D structure with 94.7% residues in the most favored region of the Ramachandran plot and Z-score of −3.33. The molecular docking of the vaccine with TLR3 represented −1513.9 kcal/mol of binding energy with 39 hydrogen bonds and 514 non-bonded contacts, and 1.582925e-07 of eigenvalue complex. Immune stimulation prediction showed the conjugate vaccine could activate T and B lymphocytes to produce high levels of Th1 cytokines and antibodies. Conclusion: The in silico-designed vaccine against IAV and SARS-CoV-2 showed good population coverage and immune response with predicted T- and B-cell epitopes, favorable molecular docking, Ramachandran plot results, and good protein expression. It fulfilled safety criteria, indicating potential for preclinical studies and experimental clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120
JournalJournal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Conjugate vaccine
  • Flurona
  • In silico vaccine
  • Influenza A virus
  • SARS-CoV-2

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