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How can vaccine design be modified by the use of synthetic sugars?


Seeberger,  Peter H.
Peter H. Seeberger - Vaccine Development, Biomolekulare Systeme, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Seeberger, P. H. (2017). How can vaccine design be modified by the use of synthetic sugars?. doi:10.21036/LTPUB10402.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-9869-6
Streptococcus pneumoniae kills millions of people worldwide. For the subgroup serotype 8, prevalent in the United States and Western Europe, there is no vaccine to date. In this video, PETER H. SEEBERGER explains the approach of his research group to create a synthetic sugar vaccine against this bacterial infection that works in mice. They relied on synthetic chemistry to assemble sugar chains from monomers; the researchers then connected them to a carrier protein and tested whether they were immunogenic – causing an immune response in living organisms – and whether they were protective. Thus they succeeded in creating the vaccine. Their results have inspired further work in the area in the hope of finding a vaccine for humans. On a fundamental level, the researchers also found that the way in which sugars are presented to the immune system matters with respect to immunogenicity and protection. This has strong implications for future vaccine design.