Experimental and molecular pathology

Prediction of common epitopes on hemagglutinin of the influenza A virus (H1 subtype).

PMID 25533547


Influenza A virus infection is a persistent threat to public health worldwide due to hemagglutinin (HA) variation. Current vaccines against influenza A virus provide immunity to viral isolates similar to vaccine strains. Antibodies against common epitopes provide immunity to diverse influenza virus strains and protect against future pandemic influenza. Therefore, it is vital to analyze common HA antigenic epitopes of influenza virus. In this study, 14 strains of monoclonal antibodies with high sensitivity to common epitopes of influenza virus antigens identified in our previous study were selected as the tool to predict common HA epitopes. The common HA antigenic epitopes were divided into four categories by ELISA blocking experiments, and separately, into three categories according to the preliminary results of computer simulation. Comparison between the results of computer simulations and ELISA blocking experiments indicated that at least two classes of common epitopes are present in influenza virus HA. This study provides experimental data for improving the prediction of HA epitopes of influenza virus (H1 subtype) and the development of a potential universal vaccine as well as a novel approach for the prediction of epitopes on other pathogenic microorganisms.