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Epitopes Determination for OMICRON: The COVID-19 New Variant

Epitopes Determination for OMICRON: The COVID-19 New Variant

Saba Rehman1, Faisal Salih Hayat1, Sadia Norin2, Abdul Aziz1, Siddiq Ur Rahman1* and Noor ul Haq1*

1Department of Computer Science and Bioinformatics, Khushal Khan Khattak University, Karak, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
2Department of Zoology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat, 26000, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
 
Saba Rehman and Faisal Salih Hayat contributed equally to this manuscript.
 
* Corresponding author: siddiqbiotec88@gmail.com, siddiqur.rahman@kkkuk.edu.pk, noorqu@gmail.com, noorulhaq@kkkuk.edu.pk

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly evolved in the last couple of years. This has created major havoc and concern because it has affected millions of people around the world. The new variants of covid-19 are classified into two types, VOI (variant of interest) and VOC (variant of concern). The major variants of concern (VOCs) have shared mutations in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The spike proteins of the novel coronavirus located mostly on the S1 unit result in a higher transmissibility rate and affect the viral virulence and clinical outcome. The spike protein and other non-structural protein mutations in VOCs may lead to escape the approved vaccinations. Here the VOC mutations i.e., OMICRON VARIANT have been discussed in detail, and the therapeutic strategies to enhance the host immune responses have been proposed. Additionally, a computational approach is proposed to design the drug and vaccine for the variant. The protein structure for the OMICRON variant has been predicted through bioinformatics tools and several databases have been used to identify suitable natural inhibitors. The OMICRON variant was analyzed to identify suitable vaccine candidates by identifying B-Cell epitopes. To design a drug, REPAGLINIDE and ENT-NATEGLINIDE were identified as natural inhibitors based on docking score. To design a vaccine the B-cell epitope i.e., CLIGAEYVNNSYECD was found to the highest antigenicity score. The present study identifies natural inhibitors and potential antigenic Epitopes which may be used as effective drug and vaccine candidates to suppress the novel coronavirus.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Vol. 55, Iss. 1, Pages 1-500

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