Discriminating antigen and non-antigen using proteome dissimilarity: bacterial antigens

Kamna Ramakrishnan, Darren R Flower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been postulated that immunogenicity results from the overall dissimilarity of pathogenic proteins versus the host proteome. We have sought to use this concept to discriminate between antigens and non-antigens of bacterial origin. Sets of 100 known antigenic and nonantigenic peptide sequences from bacteria were compared to human and mouse proteomes. Both antigenic and non-antigenic sequences lacked human or mouse homologues. Observed distributions were compared using the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. The statistical null hypothesis was accepted, indicating that antigen and non-antigens did not differ significantly. Likewise, we were unable to determine a threshold able to separate meaningfully antigen from non-antigen. Thus, antigens cannot be predicted from pathogen genomes based solely on their dissimilarity to the human genome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-7
Number of pages3
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • antigen
  • non-antigen
  • proteome
  • dissimilarity
  • bacterial antigens


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