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Optimising sugar attachment site in vaccine
Investigator(s): Dr Jon Cuccui (LSHTM), Prof Brendan Wren (LSHTM)
Amount Awarded: £71,011

One of the most successful types of vaccine to combat bacterial infections are glycoconjugates. These vaccines consist of a carrier protein that is chemically attached to a sugar structure known as a polysaccharide. Over a billion doses have been administered and protect children worldwide against several diseases. Despite their success, glycoconjugate vaccines are difficult and expensive to produce and any refinement in their design could lead to lower doses being needed to achieve the same level of protection. If the effectiveness of the vaccine could be enhanced by intelligently redesigning how the sugar structure is attached to the protein, we could create more effective and potent vaccines. This would mean that for the same production costs many more individuals could be protected than is currently possible. In order to achieve this, this project is going to use a new method of making glycoconjugate vaccines inside safe laboratory bacteria (Escherichia coli). We will design specific sugar attachment sites on an acceptor protein and measure the immune response at each location. This will show which vaccines to take forward for further testing and assessment.

Objectives:

  • Create intelligent designed vaccine
  • Test how effective different variants of this vaccine are
  • Select best vaccine candidates and test for ability to protect against disease

RESEARCH TEAM:

Dr Jon Cuccui, Assistant Professor (LSHTM)
Prof Brendan Wren, Professor of Molecular Immunology (LSHTM)