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NFPws: a web server for delineating broadly neutralizing antibody specificities from serum HIV-1 neutralization data


Raju N , Setliff I , Georgiev IS , . Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 2019 02 14; ().


MOTIVATION: A better understanding of antibody responses to HIV-1 infection in humans can provide novel insights for the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine. Neutralization fingerprinting (NFP) is an efficient and accurate algorithm for delineating the epitope specificities found in polyclonal antibody responses to HIV-1 infection. Here, we report the development of NFPws, a web server implementation of the NFP algorithm. The server takes as input serum neutralization data for a set of diverse viral strains, and uses a mathematical model to identify similarities between the serum neutralization pattern and the patterns for known broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs), in order to predict the prevalence of bNAb epitope specificities in the given serum. In addition, NFPws also computes and displays a number of estimates related to prediction confidence, as well as the likelihood of presence of novel, previously uncharacterized, antibody specificities in a given serum. NFPws also implements a JSmol viewer for molecular structure visualization of the prediction results. Overall, the NFPws server will be an important tool for the identification and analysis of epitope specificities of bNAb responses against HIV-1.

AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: NFPws is freely available to access at ( The webserver is developed using html, CSS, javascript and perl CGI scripts. The NFP algorithm is implemented with scripts written in octave, linux shell and perl. JSmol is implemented to visualize the prediction results on a representative 3D structure of an HIV-1 antigen.