Carbohydrate vaccines: developing sweet solutions to sticky situations?

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Apr;9(4):308-24. doi: 10.1038/nrd3012.


Recent technological advances in glycobiology and glycochemistry are paving the way for a new era in carbohydrate vaccine design. This is enabling greater efficiency in the identification, synthesis and evaluation of unique glycan epitopes found on a plethora of pathogens and malignant cells. Here, we review the progress being made in addressing challenges posed by targeting the surface carbohydrates of bacteria, protozoa, helminths, viruses, fungi and cancer cells for vaccine purposes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrates / chemistry
  • Carbohydrates / immunology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Design
  • Epitopes
  • Glycoconjugates / chemistry
  • Glycoconjugates / immunology*
  • Glycomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • Vaccines / chemistry
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Carbohydrates
  • Epitopes
  • Glycoconjugates
  • Polysaccharides
  • Vaccines