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Identification of new vaccine candidates against group A Streptococcus by proteomics analysis


The post-genomic era offers exciting new opportunities for vaccine research, which are expected to shorten the time of vaccine. The complete knowledge of the gene repertoire of a given pathogen can become the launching platform for three approaches aiming at the identification of new vaccine candidates. According to one strategy, named reverse vaccinology, genes are selected in silicon utilizing algorithms that can predict genes encoding for secreted and surface-associated proteins and virulence factors. These proteins are considered the most relevant for the induction of a protective immune response. The second approach is aimed at the identification of invasion and virulence-associated antigens and make use of several new technologies including in vivo expression technology, signature-tagged autogenesis and DNA micro array technology. In the third approach, surface exposed antigens are selected experimentally through the characterization of membrane proteins fraction usingproteomics techniques such as two dimensional gel electrophoresis, or two dimensional chromatography and mass spectrometry. The specific area of research in which the proposal refers is to identify a set of potential vaccine candidates against Streptococcus progenies (group A streptococcus, GAS) using a proteomics approach. This approach will complement a reverse vaccinology approach, and a DNA micro array technology based approach already initiated in the laboratory. A range of illness and disease has been associated with GAS infection including pharyngitis, impetigo and scarlet fever. More invasive infection can because by GAS including toxic shock syndrome and narcotising fascistic, as well as rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. GAS infections have increased in frequency and severity in the last decade in the United States and Europe, and they are a major problem in developing countries and indigenous population worldwide, particularly in Australia.

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