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Immunome Research

, 6:S5

First Online: 27 September 2010


BackgroundBrucella spp. are Gram-negative, facultative intracellular bacteria that cause brucellosis, one of the commonest zoonotic diseases found worldwide in humans and a variety of animal species. While several animal vaccines are available, there is no effective and safe vaccine for prevention of brucellosis in humans. VIOLIN is a web-based vaccine database and analysis system that curates, stores, and analyzes published data of commercialized vaccines, and vaccines in clinical trials or in research. VIOLIN contains information for 454 vaccines or vaccine candidates for 73 pathogens. VIOLIN also contains many bioinformatics tools for vaccine data analysis, data integration, and vaccine target prediction. To demonstrate the applicability of VIOLIN for vaccine research, VIOLIN was used for bioinformatics analysis of existing Brucella vaccines and prediction of new Brucellavaccine targets.

ResultsVIOLIN contains many literature mining programs e.g., Vaxmesh that provide in-depth analysis of Brucella vaccine literature. As a result of manual literature curation, VIOLIN contains information for 38 Brucella vaccines or vaccine candidates, 14 protective Brucella antigens, and 68 host response studies to Brucella vaccines from 97 peer-reviewed articles. These Brucella vaccines are classified in the Vaccine Ontology VO system and used for different ontological applications. The web-based VIOLIN vaccine target prediction program Vaxign was used to predict new Brucella vaccine targets. Vaxign identified 14 outer membrane proteins that are conserved in six virulent strains from B. abortus, B. melitensis, and B. suis that are pathogenic in humans. Of the 14 membrane proteins, two proteins Omp2b and Omp31-1 are not present in B. ovis, a Brucella species that is not pathogenic in humans. Brucella vaccine data stored in VIOLIN were compared and analyzed using the VIOLIN query system.

ConclusionsBioinformatics curation and ontological representation of Brucella vaccines promotes classification and analysis of existing Brucella vaccines and vaccine candidates. Computational prediction of Brucellavaccine targets provides more candidates for rational vaccine development. The use of VIOLIN provides a general approach that can be applied for analyses of vaccines against other pathogens and infection diseases.

List of AbbreviationsCOGThe Clusters of Orthologous Groups

GOGene Ontology

LimixLiterature Mining and Curation System

MeSHMedical Subject Headings

NLMNational Library of Medicine

NCBINational Center for Biotechnology Information

NCBONational Center for Biomedical Ontology

OBOOpen Biomedical Ontologies

OWLWeb Ontology Language

SODSuperoxide Dismutase

VIOLINVaccine Investigation and Online Information Network

VOVaccine Ontology

W3CWorld Wide Web Consortium.

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Autor: Yongqun He - Zuoshuang Xiang


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