We have reviewed the information about epitopes of immunological interest from Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis, by mining the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource. For both pathogens, the vast majority of epitopes reported to date are derived from a single protein: the protective antigen of B. anthracis and the neurotoxin type A of C. botulinum. A detailed analysis of the data was performed to characterize the function, localization and conservancy of epitopes identified as neutralizing and/or protective. In order to broaden the scope of this analysis, we have also included data describing immune responses against defined fragments (over 50 amino acids long) of the relevant antigens. The scarce information on T-cell determinants and on epitopes from other antigens besides the toxins, highlights a gap in our knowledge and identifies areas for future research. Despite this, several distinct structures at the epitope and fragment level are described herein, which could be potential additions to future vaccines or targets of novel immunotherapeutics and diagnostic reagents.
Keywords: anthrax toxin, Bacillus anthracis, botulinum toxin, Clostridium botulinum, epitope, therapeutic antibodies, vaccine