Prediction and Analysis of Allergenic Epitopes of Tree-Nuts and its Cross-Reactivity
With a whopping 10-25% of the world’s population being affected by it, allergies have become one of the top 10 reasons for visit to primary care physicians. Among this, tree-nut allergies are one of the most common allergies causing food substances. In the contemporary times various computational tools have emerged in order to facilitate time and cost-effective study of food allergens. This does not only aid in fabrication of a cure but also in its prevention as by analyzing for cross-reactivity among different allergens, patients can be advised against a number of possible other food substances which are likely to trigger the same response by their immune system. In the present study, the tool being utilized is EpiPro1.0 which has been developed by the authors in order to carry out accurate and efficient epitope prediction of an allergenic sequence (FASTA format). The tool also utilizes a novel algorithm in order to find the consensus of the results obtained through a number of different web-servers. In the present study, 20 different allergenic sequences from 6 major allergy causing tree-nuts, namely Almonds, Black Walnut, Brazil Nut, Cashew Nut, English Walnut and Hazel Nut, have been analyzed and 326 possible allergy causing epitopes have been predicted. Since, patients suffering from one tree-nut allergy tend to show sensitivity towards other tree-nuts as well, their cross-reactivity has also been studied in order to make accurate predictions regarding possible allergic reactions.
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