COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSIS OF STRUCTURAL AND NON-STRUCTURAL PROTEIN SYNTHESIZED BY CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS - MOSQUITO BORNE DISEASE AS POTENTIAL TARGET MOLECULES FOR VACCINE. Mahdieh. Khosroheydari1, K.R. Rupesh2 1) Medical Genetic Department, Special Medical Center, P.O. Box 15815/3333, Tehran, Iran; 2) Laboratoire de Microbiologie des Environnements Extrêmes, CNRS UMR 6197, IFREMER-Centre de Brest, BP 70, 29280 PLOUZANE, France.

   Background & Objective: Chikungunya virus (CHIK) is an alphavirus borne by Aedes mosquitoes that produces a dengue-like illness in humans, characterized by fever, rash, painful arthralgia and arthritis throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific. The recent widespread geographic distribution, recurrent epidemics, and infection of military personnel, travelers, and laboratory staff working with CHIK have indicated the need for more understanding and to have a efficacious vaccine. Results: In our present study we have analyzed the characteristics of structural and non-structural proteins synthesized by CHIK using computational tools and predicted the effective possible candidates for use as potential vaccine. The computational analysis of the non-structural protein revealed that it is 275.65 kDa hydrophilic protein, whose pI is 6.841 while that of the structural protein revealed a 138.88 kDa hydrophilic protein of pI 8.88. The antigenic prediction sites on the non-structural and structural proteins predicted were examined for their use in as vaccine candidates for effective control of the disease. The positions of the alpha helix and b-sheets in the secondary structure of the proteins were predicted which laid the path for 3D structural characterization of the target proteins. On analyzing the hydropathy plot, the structural protein and the non-structural protein was found to be hydrophilic. Using the nucleotide sequence of the proteins, degenerate primers were designed for its use in PCR based diagnostic identification of the CHIK. Conclusion: The primers designed could find its use as a diagnostic tool for identifying CHIK infected patients specifically and sensitively. The predicted antigenic sites on the non-structural and structural proteins could be used as effective vaccine candidate which will be further evaluated for its effectiveness by in vitro and in vivo methods.