A Streptococcus pneumoniae Type 2 Oligosaccharide Glycoconjugate Elicits Opsonic Antibodies and Is Protective in an Animal Model of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease

J Am Chem Soc. 2017 Oct 18;139(41):14783-14791. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b07836. Epub 2017 Oct 4.


Invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) remain the leading cause of vaccine-preventable childhood death, even though highly effective pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are used in national immunization programs in many developing countries. Licensed PCVs currently cover only 13 of the over 90 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae (Sp), so nonvaccine serotypes are a major obstacle to the effective control of IPD. Sp serotype 2 (ST2) is such a nonvaccine serotype that is the main cause of IPD in many countries, including Nepal, Bangladesh, and Guatemala. Glycoconjugate vaccines based on synthetic oligosaccharides instead of isolated polysaccharides offer an attractive alternative to the traditional process for PCV development. To prevent the IPDs caused by ST2, we identified an effective ST2 neoglycoconjugate vaccine candidate that was identified using a medicinal chemistry approach. Glycan microarrays containing a series of synthetic glycans resembling portions of the ST2 capsular polysaccharide (CPS) repeating unit were used to screen human and rabbit sera and identify epitope hits. Synthetic hexasaccharide 2, resembling one repeating unit (RU) of ST2 CPS, emerged as a hit from the glycan array screens. Vaccination with neoglycoconjugates consisting of hexasaccharide 2 coupled to carrier protein CRM197 stimulates a T-cell-dependent B-cell response that induced CPS-specific opsonic antibodies in mice, resulting in killing of encapsulated bacteria by phagocytic activity. Subcutaneous immunization with neoglycoconjugate protected mice from transnasal challenge with the highly virulent ST2 strain NCTC 7466 by reducing the bacterial load in lung tissue and blood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Bacterial Load
  • Blood / microbiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Glycoconjugates / chemical synthesis
  • Glycoconjugates / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oligosaccharides / chemical synthesis
  • Oligosaccharides / immunology*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / chemistry
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / immunology
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology
  • Rabbits
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / chemistry*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / classification
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / pathogenicity
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / chemistry
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / immunology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Glycoconjugates
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Vaccines, Conjugate