The task of epitope discovery and vaccine design is increasingly reliant on bioinformatics analytic tools and access to depositories of curated data relevant to immune reactions and specific pathogens. The Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB) was indeed created to assist biomedical researchers in the development of new vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. The Analysis Resource is freely available to all researchers and provides access to a variety of epitope analysis and prediction tools. The tools include validated and benchmarked methods to predict MHC class I and class II binding. The predictions from these tools can be combined with tools predicting antigen processing, TCR recognition, and B cell epitope prediction. In addition, the resource contains a variety of secondary analysis tools that allow the researcher to calculate epitope conservation, population coverage, and other relevant analytic variables. The researcher involved in vaccine design and epitope discovery will also be interested in accessing experimental published data, relevant to the specific indication of interest. The database component of the IEDB contains a vast amount of experimentally derived epitope data that can be queried through a flexible user interface. The IEDB is linked to other pathogen-specific and immunological database resources.
Keywords: MHC class I; MHC class II; T cell; antibody; epitope; immunogenicity; prediction; vaccines.