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Role of Evolutionary Selection Acting on Vaccine Antigens in the Re-Emergence of Bordetella Pertussis

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, ME 04005, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diseases 2019, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases7020035
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
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Abstract

Pertussis (“whooping cough”) is a re-emerging disease with increasing incidence among fully vaccinated individuals. We explored the genetic diversity of five Bordetella pertussis proteins used to generate the subunit vaccine across ancestral and newly emergent strains using immunoinformatics and evolutionary selection measurements. The five subunits of pertussis toxin (Ptx1–Ptx5) were highly conserved with regard to sequence, predicted structure, predicted antigenicity, and were under purifying selection. In contrast, the adhesin proteins pertactin (Prn) and filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) were under statistically significant (p < 0.01) diversifying selection. Most heavily diversified sites of each protein fell within antigenic epitopes, and the functional adhesin motifs were conserved. Protein secondary structure was conserved despite sequence diversity for FHA but was changeable in Prn. These findings suggest that subunit vaccine-derived immunity does not impact Ptx1–Ptx5 but may apply evolutionary pressure to Prn and FHA to undergo diversifying selection. These findings offer further insight into the emergence of vaccine-resistant strains of B. pertussis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bordetella pertussis; pertussis; whooping cough; vaccine escape; re-emerging disease; pertactin; pertussis toxin; FH Bordetella pertussis; pertussis; whooping cough; vaccine escape; re-emerging disease; pertactin; pertussis toxin; FH
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    Doi: DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29971.53280
    Description: The attached file contains strain information, and the linked DOI contains phylogenetic tree data. Supplemental Figure image files and legend is embedded in manuscript file.
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Etskovitz, H.; Anastasio, N.; Green, E.; May, M. Role of Evolutionary Selection Acting on Vaccine Antigens in the Re-Emergence of Bordetella Pertussis. Diseases 2019, 7, 35.

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