Glycan Array Evaluation of Synthetic Epitopes between the Capsular Polysaccharides from Streptococcus pneumoniae 19F and 19A

Laura Morelli, Luigi Lay, Darielys Santana-Mederos, Yury Valdes-Balbin, Vicente Verez Bencomo, Angela van Diepen, Cornelis H. Hokke, Fabrizio Chiodo, Federica Compostella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Vaccination represents the most effective way to prevent invasive pneumococcal diseases. The glycoconjugate vaccines licensed so far are obtained from capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) of the most virulent serotypes. Protection is largely limited to the specific vaccine serotypes, and the continuous need for broader coverage to control the outbreak of emerging serotypes is pushing the development of new vaccine candidates. Indeed, the development of efficacious vaccine formulation is complicated by the high number of bacterial serotypes with different CPSs. In this context, to simplify vaccine composition, we propose the design of new saccharide fragments containing chemical structures shared by different serotypes as cross-reactive and potentially cross-protective common antigens. In particular, we focused on Streptococcus pneumoniae (Sp) 19A and 19F. The CPS repeating units of Sp 19F and 19A are very similar and share a common structure, the disaccharide ManNAc-β-(1→4)-Glc (A-B). Herein, we describe the synthesis of a small library of compounds containing different combinations of the common 19F/19A disaccharide. The six new compounds were tested with a glycan array to evaluate their recognition by antibodies in reference group 19 antisera and factor reference antisera (reacting against 19F or 19A). The disaccharide A-B, phosphorylated at the upstream end, emerged as a hit from the glycan array screening because it is strongly recognized by the group 19 antisera and by the 19F and 19A factor antisera, with similar intensity compared with the CPSs used as controls. Our data give a strong indication that the phosphorylated disaccharide A-B can be considered a common epitope among different Sp 19 serotypes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcs chemical biology
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Cite this