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Carbohydr Res. 2013 Aug 30;378:15-25. doi: 10.1016/j.carres.2013.03.018. Epub 2013 Mar 30.

Clostridium difficile PSI polysaccharide: synthesis of pentasaccharide repeating block, conjugation to exotoxin B subunit, and detection of natural anti-PSI IgG antibodies in horse serum.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.


Clostridium difficile is the most common cause of antimicrobial-associated diarrhea in humans and may cause death. Previously, we discovered that C. difficile expresses three polysaccharides, named PSI, PSII, and PSIII. It has now been established that PSII is a conserved antigen abundantly present on the cell-surface and biofilm of C. difficile. In contrast, the expression of PSI and PSIII appears to be stochastic processes. In this work, the total chemical synthesis of the PSI pentasaccharide repeating unit carrying a linker at the reducing end, α-l-Rhap-(1→3)-β-d-Glcp-(1→4)-[α-l-Rhap-(1→3)]-α-d-Glcp-(1→2)-α-d-Glcp-(1→O(CH2)5NH2, was achieved by a linear synthesis strategy from four monosaccharide building blocks. The synthesized PSI pentasaccharide was conjugated to a subunit of C. difficile exotoxin B yielding a potential dual C. difficile vaccine. More significantly, sera from healthy horses were shown to contain natural anti-PSI IgG antibodies that detected both the synthetic non-phosphorylated PSI repeat and the native PSI polysaccharide, with a slightly higher recognition of the native PSI polysaccharide.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Anti-PSI IgG antibodies; C. difficile PSI polysaccharide; C. difficile Toxin B conjugate; Clostridium difficile; Vaccine

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