Tools, databases, and applications of immunoinformatics

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Book Chapter

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Current trends in Bioinformatics: An Insight


A large volume of data relevant to immunology research has accumulated due to sequencing of the human and other model organism genomes. At the same time, huge amounts of clinical and epidemiologic data are being deposited in various scientific literature and clinical records. This accumulation of the information is like a gold mine for researchers looking for mechanisms of immune function and disease pathogenesis. Thus the need to handle this rapidly growing immunological resource has given rise to the field known as immunoinformatics. Immunoinformatics, otherwise known as computational immunology, is the interface between computer science and experimental immunology. It represents the use of computational methods and resources for the understanding of immunological information. It not only helps in dealing with huge amount of data but also plays a great role in defining new hypotheses related to immune responses. This article reviews classical immunology, different databases, and prediction tools. Further, it describes applications of immunoinformatics in designing in silico vaccination and immune system modeling, cancer diagnosis, and therapy. It also explores the idea of integrating immunoinformatics with Systems Biology for the development of personalized medicine.

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