Characterization of the peptide‐binding specificity of swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) class I and II molecules is critical to the understanding of adaptive immune responses of swine toward infectious pathogens. Here, we describe the complete binding motif of the SLA‐2*0401 molecule based on a positional scanning combinatorial peptide library approach. By combining this binding motif with data achieved by applying the NetMHCpan peptide prediction algorithm to both SLA‐1*0401 and SLA‐2*0401, we identified high‐affinity binding peptides. A total of 727 different 9mer and 726 different 10mer peptides within the structural proteins of foot‐and‐mouth disease virus (FMDV), strain A24 were analyzed as candidate T‐cell epitopes. Peptides predicted by the NetMHCpan were tested in ELISA for binding to the SLA‐1*0401 and SLA‐2*0401 major histocompatibility complex class I proteins. Four of the 10 predicted FMDV peptides bound to SLA‐2*0401, whereas five of the nine predicted FMDV peptides bound to SLA‐1*0401. These methods provide the characterization of T‐cell epitopes in response to pathogens in more detail. The development of such approaches to analyze vaccine performance will contribute to a more accelerated improvement of livestock vaccines by virtue of identifying and focusing analysis on bona fide T‐cell epitopes.
Animal Genetics, 2013, Vol 44, Issue 3, p. 251-258