Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Epitope Mapping of the Diphtheria Toxin and Development of an ELISA-Specific Diagnostic Assay

Version 1 : Received: 11 March 2021 / Approved: 11 March 2021 / Online: 11 March 2021 (16:43:02 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

De-Simone, S.G.; Gomes, L.R.; Napoleão-Pêgo, P.; Lechuga, G.C.; Pina, J.S.; Silva, F.R. Epitope Mapping of the Diphtheria Toxin and Development of an ELISA-Specific Diagnostic Assay. Vaccines 2021, 9, 313. De-Simone, S.G.; Gomes, L.R.; Napoleão-Pêgo, P.; Lechuga, G.C.; Pina, J.S.; Silva, F.R. Epitope Mapping of the Diphtheria Toxin and Development of an ELISA-Specific Diagnostic Assay. Vaccines 2021, 9, 313.

Journal reference: Vaccines 2021, 9, 313
DOI: 10.3390/vaccines9040313

Abstract

(1) Background: The diphtheria toxoid antigen is a major component in pediatric and booster combination vaccines and is known to raise a protective humoral immune response upon vaccination. Although antibodies are considered critical for diphtheria protection, little is known about the antigenic determinants that maintain humoral immunity. (2) Methods: One hundred twelve 15-mer peptides covering the entire sequence of DTx protein were prepared by Spot-synthesis. Membrane-bound peptides immunoreactivity with sera from mice immunized with triple DTP vaccine allowed mapping of continuous B-cell epitopes, topological studies, MAPs synthesis, and ELISA development. (3) Results: Twenty epitopes were identified, being 2 in the signal peptide, 5 in the CD, 7 in the HBFT domain, and 5 in the RBD. Two 17-mer (CB/Tx-2/12 and CB/DTx-4-13) derived bi-epitope peptides linked by a Gly-Gly spacer were chemically synthesized. The peptides were used as antigens to coat ELISA plates and assayed with human (huVS) and mice vaccined sera (miVS) for in vitro diagnosis of diphtheria. The assay proved to be highly sensitive (99.96%) and specific (100%) either for huVS and miVS and when compared with a commercial ELISA test, demonstrate high performance. (4) Conclusions: Our work displayed the complete picture of the linear B cell IgG response epitope of the DTx responsible for the protective effect and demonstrated the specificity and eligibility to enter phase IIB studies of some epitopes to develop new and fast diagnostic assays.

Subject Areas

Diphtheria toxin; B epitopes; epitope mapping; bi-specific peptides; ELISA; diagnostic performance

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