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All in one shot (press release)

A sugar polymer found on the cell surface of multiple pathogens could be key to developing a broad-spectrum vaccine. Developing new vaccines to protect against diseases that plague humans is fraught with numerous challenges—one being that microbes tend to vary how they look on the surface to avoid being identified and destroyed by the immune system. However, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have discovered a sugar polymer that is common on the cell surface of several pathogens. This common sugar molecule makes it a promising target for the development of a broad-spectrum vaccine that can protect against numerous deadly microbes expressing this sugar on their cell surface.

The study will appear online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of May 27, 2013.

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