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Reverse vaccinology: a critical analysis

Part 2. Genomics

2.5. Bacteria and Other Pathogens

Specialist Review

  1. Guido Grandi

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047001153X.g205211

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Grandi, G. 2005. Reverse vaccinology: a critical analysis. Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics. 2:2.5:55.

Author Information

  1. Chiron Vaccines, Siena, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


Reverse vaccinology is a relatively new approach aimed at facilitating and accelerating the discovery of vaccine candidates. It basically consists of the exploitation of genome sequences to predict, among all available genes, those ones encoding proteins likely to represent the targets of protective immune responses (surface-associated proteins, virulence factors, toxins, etc.). Once predictions are made, selected proteins are recombinantly expressed, purified, and finally tested in correlate-of-protection assays to ultimately identify the protective antigens. Since its first published successful application (Pizza et al., 2000), reverse vaccinology has been applied to several bacterial pathogens with promising results. The scope of this review is to describe a few examples of this technology, highlighting the main achievements. In addition, the review also examines the critical aspects of the technology and attempts to draw a series of guidelines for future improvements.


  • vaccine candidates;
  • genomics;
  • proteomics;
  • high-throughput protein expression;
  • Meningococcus;
  • Streptococci;
  • Chlamydia;
  • Porphyromonas