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Mol Microbiol. 1998 Jul;29(1):1-11.

Meaning and therapeutic potential of microbial recognition of host glycoconjugates.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Göteborg University, Sweden.


The microbe-host interface is currently in focus because of attempts to develop infection therapy in humans based on either natural receptor saccharide (respiratory and gastrointestinal disease) or sophisticated sialic acid analogues designed from crystal structures (influenza). Most of the known host receptors for microbes are glycoconjugates, and the diversity and selectivity of host tissue glycosylation allow for the tropism of infections. However, among the many binding specificities detected so far, the biological role has been proven only in a few infectious model systems. The existence of multiple specificities of a single microbe is both a complicating factor and a challenge, requiring expanded research with a special demand on glycoscience.

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