Reverse immunogenetics: from HLA-disease associations to vaccine candidates.
Davenport MP., Hill AV.
Analysis of the human leukocyte antigens (HLA) in patients with either infectious or autoimmune diseases has led to the identification of several HLA alleles associated with either resistance or susceptibility to disease. Understanding the role of HLA molecules in the presentation of peptide antigens to T cells has led to the use of 'reverse immunogenetics': a novel approach to analysing the key antigenic peptides that are presented by the relevant HLA molecules. Recent advances in the analysis of naturally occurring peptides bound to HLA molecules has allowed the direct identification of antigenic peptides from living cells and has supported the development of vaccine candidates, such as the liver-stage antigen 1 in malaria.