Vaccine development


Lack of universal vaccines against the highly variable influenza virus forces scientists to continuously design vaccines a` la carte, which is an expensive and risky practice overall when dealing with virulent strains. MS approach allowed the selection of highly conserved peptide sequences from hemagglutinin from either H5 or H1 viruses with the potential to elicit broader immune responses than conventional vaccines. Confirming the theoretical predictions, immunization of conventional farm pigs with the synthetic peptides induced humoral responses in every single pig. Induced antibodies were able to recognize in vitro heterologous influenza viruses such as the pandemic H1N1 virus (pH1N1), two swine influenza field isolates (SwH1N1 and SwH3N2) and a H5N1 highly pathogenic avian virus.


Conserved synthetic peptides from the hemagglutinin of influenza viruses induce broad humoral and T-cell responses in a pig model.
Vergara-Alert J, Argilaguet JM, Busquets N, Ballester M, Martín-Valls GE, Rivas R, López-Soria S, Solanes D, Majó N, Segalés J, Veljkovic V, Rodríguez F, Darji A. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40524.



Despite plausible evidence for beneficial effects of the vaccination against influenza in cardiovascular diseases, very limited studies have been carried out to explain the molecular mechanism of this phenomenon. Using the MS-based tool, the bradykinin 2 receptor (BKB2R) was identified as a principal host protein which could mediate molecular processes underlying the cardioprotective effect of influenza vaccines. This result opens possibility for development of preventive and therapeutic vaccines for CVD.


Influenza vaccine as prevention for cardiovascular diseases: possible molecular mechanism.
Veljkovic V, Glisic S, Veljkovic N, Bojic T, Dietrich U, Perovic VR, Colombatti A. Vaccine. 2014 Nov 12;32(48):6569-75.



MS-based tool was used for de novo design peptide antigen with high spectral similarity and with low sequence similarity with HIV-1 gp120-derived peptide antigen. When tested against a battery of sera from 46 AIDS patients, these two peptides, in spite of a significant difference in their primary structures, showed a similar reactivity profiles. This point out that similarity in MS properties plays a significant role in determination of immunological crossreactivity.


Design of peptide mimetics of HIV-1 gp120 for prevention and therapy of HIV disease.
Veljkovic N, Branch DR, Metlas R, Prljic J, Vlahovicek K, Pongor S, Veljkovic V. J Pept Res. 2003 Oct;62(4):158-66.