Motivation: Reverse vaccinology (RV) is a milestone in rational vaccine design, and machine learning (ML) has been applied to enhance the accuracy of RV prediction. However, ML-based RV still faces challenges in prediction accuracy and program accessibility.
Results: This study presents Vaxign-ML, a supervised ML classification to predict bacterial protective antigens (BPAgs). To identify the best ML method with optimized conditions, five ML methods were tested with biological and physiochemical features extracted from well-defined training data. Nested 5-fold cross-validation and leave-one-pathogen-out validation were used to ensure unbiased performance assessment and the capability to predict vaccine candidates against a new emerging pathogen. The best performing model (eXtreme Gradient Boosting) was compared to three publicly available programs (Vaxign, VaxiJen, and Antigenic), one SVM-based method, and one epitope-based method using a high-quality benchmark dataset. Vaxign-ML showed superior performance in predicting BPAgs. Vaxign-ML is hosted in a publicly accessible web server and a standalone version is also available.
Availability and implementation: Vaxign-ML website at http://www.violinet.org/vaxign/vaxign-ml, Docker standalone Vaxign-ML available at https://hub.docker.com/r/e4ong1031/vaxign-ml and source code is available at https://github.com/VIOLINet/Vaxign-ML-docker.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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