Indexed on: 23 Jun '10Published on: 23 Jun '10Published in: Viral immunology
A meta-analysis was performed in order to inventory the immune epitope data related to viruses in the genus Flavivirus. Nearly 2000 epitopes were captured from over 130 individual Flavivirus-related references identified from PubMed and reported as of September 2009. This report includes all epitope structures and associated immune reactivity from the past and current literature, including: the epitope distribution among pathogens and related strains, the epitope distribution among different pathogen antigens, the number of epitopes defined in human and animal models of disease, the relationship between epitopes identified in different disease states following natural (or experimental) infection, and data from studies focused on candidate vaccines. We found that the majority of epitopes were defined for dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus (WNV). The prominence of DENV and WNV data in the epitope literature is likely a reflection of their overall worldwide impact on human disease, and the lack of vaccines. Conversely, the relatively smaller number of epitopes defined for the other viruses within the genus (yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis virus) most likely reflects the presence of established prophylaxis and/or their more modest impact on morbidity and mortality globally. Through this work we hope to provide useful data to those working in the area of Flavivirus research.