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Comparison of polysaccharide glycoconjugates as candidate vaccines to combat Clostridiodes (Clostridium) difficile


Two known Clostridiodes (Clostridium) difficile surface antigens, a lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and a polysaccharide (PS-II) were isolated and purified in order to prepare glycoconjugate vaccines to the carrier protein human serum albumin utilising a reductive amination strategy. Mice and rabbits were immunized with a prime and two boost strategy and the resulting sera were examined for their ability to recognise the purified homologous antigens and subsequently killed whole cells of C. difficile strains and other Clostridia species. Immunisation derived antisera from rabbits and mice, recognised all strains of C. difficile vegetative cells examined, with generally similar titers from animals that received the LTA or the PS-II conjugates. Sera raised to the LTA conjugates were able to recognise other Clostridia species C. butyricum, C. bifermentans and C. subterminale whereas sera raised to the PS-II conjugates were not. These LTA and PS-II sera recognised live cells in an immunofluorescence assay and were also able to recognise the spore form of the bacterium. This study has confirmed that the LTA and PS-II polysaccharides are both highly conserved surface polymers of C. difficile that are easily accessible to the immune system and as such may have potential as vaccine antigens or as targets for therapeutics to combat C. difficile infection.

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This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Glycoconjugate vaccines: classic and novel approaches

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Cox, A., St. Michael, F., Aubry, A. et al. Comparison of polysaccharide glycoconjugates as candidate vaccines to combat Clostridiodes (Clostridium) difficile. Glycoconj J 38, 493–508 (2021).

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  • Clostridiodes difficile
  • Conjugate vaccine
  • Lipoteichoic acid
  • Capsular polysaccharide PS-II