In silico design of a polypeptide as a vaccine candidate against ascariasis

Francisco M D Evangelista, Arnoud H M van Vliet, Scott P Lawton, Martha Betson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Ascariasis is the most prevalent zoonotic helminthic disease worldwide, and is responsible for nutritional deficiencies, particularly hindering the physical and neurological development of children. The appearance of anthelmintic resistance in Ascaris is a risk for the target of eliminating ascariasis as a public health problem by 2030 set by the World Health Organisation. The development of a vaccine could be key to achieving this target. Here we have applied an in silico approach to design a multi-epitope polypeptide that contains T-cell and B-cell epitopes of reported novel potential vaccination targets, alongside epitopes from established vaccination candidates. An artificial toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) adjuvant (RS09) was added to improve immunogenicity. The constructed peptide was found to be non-allergic, non-toxic, with adequate antigenic and physicochemical characteristics, such as solubility and potential expression in Escherichia coli. A tertiary structure of the polypeptide was used to predict the presence of discontinuous B-cell epitopes and to confirm the molecular binding stability with TLR2 and TLR4 molecules. Immune simulations predicted an increase in B-cell and T-cell immune response after injection. This polypeptide can now be validated experimentally and compared to other vaccine candidates to assess its possible impact in human health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3504
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPrint publication - 2 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s).


  • Child
  • Humans
  • Ascariasis/prevention & control
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte
  • Vaccines
  • Escherichia coli
  • Peptides


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