Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been used successfully both in research and for clinical purposes. The possible use of protective mAbs directed against different microbial pathogens is currently being considered. The fine definition of the epitope recognized by a protective mAb is an important aspect to be considered for possible development in epitope-based vaccinology. The most accurate approach to this is the X-ray resolution of mAb/antigen crystal complex. Unfortunately, this approach is not always feasible. Under this perspective, several surrogate epitope mapping strategies based on the use of bioinformatics have been developed. In this article, we review the most common, freely accessible, bioinformatic tools used for epitope characterization and provide some basic examples of molecular visualization, editing and computational analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery