Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16424198
J. Immunol. 2006 Feb;176(3):1686-94
Protection against reinfection with noncapsulated Gram-negative bacteria, such as Shigella, an enteroinvasive bacterium responsible for bacillary dysentery, is mainly achieved by Abs specific for the O-Ag, the polysaccharide part of the LPS, the major bacterial surface Ag. The use of chemically defined glycoconjugates encompassing oligosaccharides mimicking the protective determinants carried by the O-Ag, thus expected to induce an efficient anti-LPS Ab response, has been considered an alternative to detoxified LPS-protein conjugate vaccines. The aim of this study was to identify such functional oligosaccharide mimics of the S. flexneri serotype 2a O-Ag. Using protective murine mAbs specific for S. flexneri serotype 2a and synthetic oligosaccharides designed to analyze the contribution of each sugar residue of the branched pentasaccharide repeating unit of the O-Ag, we demonstrated that the O-Ag exhibited an immunodominant serotype-specific determinant. We also showed that elongating the oligosaccharide sequence improved Ab recognition. From these antigenicity data, selected synthetic oligosaccharides were assessed for their potential to mimic the O-Ag by analyzing their immunogenicity in mice when coupled to tetanus toxoid via single point attachment. Our results demonstrated that induction of an efficient serotype 2a-specific anti-O-Ag Ab response was dependent on the length of the oligosaccharide sequence. A pentadecasaccharide representing three biological repeating units was identified as a potential candidate for further development of a chemically defined glycoconjugate vaccine against S. flexneri 2a infection.