Welcome to the iVAX Toolkit
Using the iVax toolkit, researchers can quickly and efficiently identify the most reactive proteins contained within a given pathogen, and optimize the antigenic content of vaccines. By selecting the highest quality epitopes from a protein sequence new antigens that are relevant for vaccine development can be discovered. A T cell reaction to a particular peptide epitope, typically measured by ELISA or ELISpot assay, implies that the protein from which the peptide was derived was expressed, processed, and presented to the immune system in the course of a ‘natural’ immune response. Using this method, measuring immune response to an epitope reveals a protein antigen. The EpiVax/I’Cubed group describes this approach as “fishing for antigens using epitopes as bait” an approach used to discover new antigens for F. tularensis (a bioterror agent) and tuberculosis vaccines [,]. T cell specific responses can also be characterized through multiplex ELISA or flow cytometry and used to map and monitor the profile of immune response pre- and post- vaccination or infection. When paired with detailed iTEM analysis, T cell epitope reagents can even be used to anticipate response profiles within individual research subjects. The tools are not only useful for designing vaccines, but also for selecting reagents that can be used to profile immune response to a pathogen.
. McMurry, J.A., Sbai, H., Gennaro, M.L., Carter, E.J., Martin, W., and De Groot, A.S. 2005. Analyzing Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteomes for candidate vaccine epitopes. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 85:95-105.. McMurry, J.A., Gregory, S.H., Moise, L., Rivera, D.S., Buus, S., and De Groot, A.S. 2007. Diversity of Francisella tularensis Schu4 antigens recognized by T lymphocytes after natural infections in humans: Identification of candidate epitopes for inclusion in a rationally designed tularemia vaccine. Vaccine. 25:3179-3191.