The basic idea behind Reverse Vaccinology is that an entire pathogenic genome can be screened using bioinformatics approaches to find genes. Next, those genes are filtered for desirable attributes that would make good vaccine targets such as outer membrane proteins. Those proteins then undergo normal wet lab testing for immune responses.
The term was coined by Dr Rino Rappuoli, now Head of Research at Novartis Vaccines in Sienna.
At the World Vaccine Congress Washington we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr Kate Seib, one of the closest collaborators of Dr Rappuoli in Sienna. Dr Seib shared the team's view on how they believe that reverse vaccinology is the key to novel antigens and talked us through the following points in her very interesting presentation:
- Using reverse vaccinology to identify novel antigens for vaccine development
- Applying genomics, immunology & engineering to rapidly assess vaccine candidates
- New applications for reverse vaccinology and their impact on vaccine R&D
RV is now poised to deliver on its early promise, with the European Medicines Agency currently reviewing the first RV-derived vaccine: Novartis’s Bexsero.
Download the full presentation here.