CC BY 4.0 · Global Medical Genetics 2020; 07(02): 064-067
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1716334
Original Article

Medical, Genomic, and Evolutionary Aspects of the Peptide Sharing between Pathogens, Primates, and Humans

1  Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies, and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Yehuda Shoenfeld
2  Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, University School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Hashomer, Israel
3  I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Sechenov University, Moscow, Russia
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Comparing mammalian proteomes for molecular mimicry with infectious pathogens highlights the highest levels of heptapeptide sharing between pathogens and human, murine, and rat proteomes, while the peptide sharing level is minimal (or absent) with proteomes from nonhuman primates such as gorilla, chimpanzee, and rhesus macaque. From the medical point of view, the data might be useful to clinicians and vaccinologists to develop and evaluate immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic approaches. As a matter of fact, primates seem to be unreliable animal models for revealing potential autoimmune events in preclinical testing of immunotherapies. In terms of genomics, the scarce or absent peptide sharing between pathogens and primates versus the massive peptide sharing existing between pathogens and humans lets foresee mechanisms of pathogen sequence insertion/deletion/alteration that have differently operated in mammals over evolutionary timescales. Why and how the human genome has been colonized by pathogen sequences and why and how primates escaped such a colonization appears to be the new scientific challenge in our efforts to understand not only the origin of Homo sapiens but also his autoimmune diseasome.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Publication Date:
31 August 2020 (online)

© 2020. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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