Progress towards a glycoconjugate vaccine against Group A Streptococcus

Keira Burns, Helge C. Dorfmueller, Brendan W. Wren, Fatme Mawas, Helen A. Shaw (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


The Group A Carbohydrate (GAC) is a defining feature of Group A Streptococcus (Strep A) or Streptococcus pyogenes. It is a conserved and simple polysaccharide, comprising a rhamnose backbone and GlcNAc side chains, further decorated with glycerol phosphate on approximately 40% GlcNAc residues. Its conservation, surface exposure and antigenicity have made it an interesting focus on Strep A vaccine design. Glycoconjugates containing this conserved carbohydrate should be a key approach towards the successful mission to build a universal Strep A vaccine candidate. In this review, a brief introduction to GAC, the main carbohydrate component of Strep A bacteria, and a variety of published carrier proteins and conjugation technologies are discussed. Components and technologies should be chosen carefully for building affordable Strep A vaccine candidates, particularly for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Towards this, novel technologies are discussed, such as the prospective use of bioconjugation with PglB for rhamnose polymer conjugation and generalised modules for membrane antigens (GMMA), particularly as low-cost solutions to vaccine production. Rational design of "double-hit" conjugates encompassing species specific glycan and protein components would be beneficial and production of a conserved vaccine to target Strep A colonisation without invoking an autoimmune response would be ideal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages10
JournalNPJ Vaccines
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2023


  • Bacterial infection
  • Conjugate vaccines
  • Policy and public health in microbiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology


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