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EpiCC Analysis: Predicting Immunogenicity of Vaccines

T cell Epitope Content Comparison – EpiCC

EpiCC (Epitope Content Comparison) is a proprietary in silico tool used to assess the relatedness of T cell epitopes contained in two or more protein sequences and renders results as an EpiCC score. Typically, the input sequences include a vaccine sequence and field strain virus sequences, and the EpiCC score quantifies the relatedness of the putative epitope content shared between them.

EpiVax researchers initially hypothesized (and subsequently validated) that higher epitope conservation between a vaccine sequence and field strain sequence leads to increased vaccine efficacy.

How does it work?

EpiCC analysis steps. Figure adapted from Swan T et al., Vaccines (Basel), 9 May 2021

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EpiCC allows researchers to:

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Compare vaccine sequences against many field strain sequences

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Assess both Class I and Class II T cell epitope content

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Surveil circulating pathogens to identify potential threats

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Quantify vaccine T cell epitope coverage across field strain sequences

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Identify commercially available vaccines or vaccine candidates that may confer the broadest cross-reactive cell-mediated immunity

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Study T cell epitope content evolution

EpiCC was initially developed for application in EpiVax’s animal health research, as the first generation of the tool was implemented to investigate Swine Influenza A virus and Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) outbreaks on pig farms. 

While animal health is still a major focus, EpiCC has been further developed to have a broader application across the vaccine industry, as it is now enhanced to assess human vaccine epitope content. The tool, which is utilized regularly by both academic and industry researchers, can be a critical differentiator to developing effective, long-lasting, targeted vaccines for humans and swine . EpiCC is available on a fee-for-service basis, as well as collaborative research opportunities for publication/joint development. 

EpiCC is very popular in the animal health world too! Our researchers and clients are tackling African Swine Fever (ASF), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), Swine Influenza A, PCV2, and many other swine diseases.

Interested in incorporating EpiCC into your vaccine research? Get in touch!