The immune vulnerability landscape of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

James Zhu, Jiwoong Kim, Xue Xiao, Yunguan Wang, Danni Luo, Shuang Jiang, Ran Chen, Lin Xu, He Zhang, Lenny Moise, Andres H. Gutierrz, Anne S. de Groot, Guanghua Xiao, John W Schoggins, Xiaowei Zhan, Tao Wang, Yang Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly spread from Wuhan, China to more than 150 countries, areas or territories, causing staggering number of infections and deaths. A systematic profiling of the immune vulnerability landscape of SARS-CoV-2, which can bring critical insights into the immune clearance mechanism, peptide vaccine development, and antiviral antibody development, is lacking. In this study, we investigated the potential of the SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins to induce class I and II MHC presentation and to form linear antibody epitopes. We created an online database to broadly share the predictions as a resource for the research community. Using this resource, we showed that genetic variations in SARS-CoV-2, though still few for the moment, already follow the pattern of mutations in related coronaviruses, and could alter the immune vulnerability landscape of this virus. Importantly, we discovered evidence that SARS-CoV-2, along with related coronaviruses, used mutations to evade attack from the human immune system. Overall, we present an immunological resource for SARS-CoV-2 that could promote both therapeutic development and mechanistic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Feb 12 2020


  • B cell
  • Immunogenicity
  • Mutation
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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