A Web-Based Platform for Designing Vaccines against Existing and Emerging Strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

PLoS One. 2016 Apr 20;11(4):e0153771. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153771. eCollection 2016.


Development of an effective vaccine against drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is crucial for saving millions of premature deaths every year due to tuberculosis. This paper describes a web portal developed for assisting researchers in designing vaccines against emerging Mtb strains using traditional and modern approaches. Firstly, we annotated 59 genomes of Mycobacterium species to understand similarity/dissimilarity between tuberculoid, non-tuberculoid and vaccine strains at genome level. Secondly, antigen-based vaccine candidates have been predicted in each Mtb strain. Thirdly, epitopes-based vaccine candidates were predicted/discovered in above antigen-based vaccine candidates that can stimulate all arms of immune system. Finally, a database of predicted vaccine candidates at epitopes as well at antigen level has been developed for above strains. In order to design vaccine against a newly sequenced genome of Mtb strain, server integrates three modules for identification of strain-, antigen-, epitope-specific vaccine candidates. We observed that 103,522 unique peptides (9mers) had the potential to induce an antibody response and/or promiscuous binder to MHC alleles and/or have the capability to stimulate T lymphocytes. In summary, this web-portal will be useful for researchers working on designing vaccines against Mtb including drug-resistant strains.

Availability: The database is available freely at http://crdd.osdd.net/raghava/mtbveb/.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial / genetics
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Databases, Factual
  • Epitope Mapping / methods
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control*
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines / genetics*
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines / immunology*
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / immunology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines
  • Virulence Factors

Grant support

The authors acknowledge the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research funding through OSDD consortium and GENESIS projects. The authors are also thankful to Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for funding the project through BTISNET. SKD acknowledges the Indian Council of Medical Research for a fellowship.