SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, was first identified in humans in late 2019 and is a coronavirus which is zoonotic in origin. As it spread around the world there has been an unprecedented effort in developing effective vaccines. Computational methods can be used to speed up the long and costly process of vaccine development. Antigen selection, epitope prediction, and toxicity and allergenicity prediction are areas in which computational tools have already been applied as part of reverse vaccinology for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development. However, there is potential for computational methods to assist further. We review approaches which have been used and highlight additional bioinformatic approaches and PK modelling as in silico approaches which may be useful for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine design but remain currently unexplored. As more novel viruses with pandemic potential are expected to arise in future, these techniques are not limited to application to SARS-CoV-2 but also useful to rapidly respond to novel emerging viruses.
About The Expert
Nicholas M Katritsis