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Salmonella paratyphi A is increasingly recognized as a common cause of enteric fever cases and there are no licensed vaccines against this infection. Antibodies directed against the O-polysaccharide of the lipopolysaccharide of Salmonella are protective and conjugation of the O-polysaccharide to a carrier protein represents a promising strategy for vaccine development. O-Acetylation of S. paratyphi A O-polysaccharide is considered important for the immunogenicity of S. paratyphi A conjugate vaccines. Here, as part of a programme to produce a bivalent conjugate vaccine against both S. typhi and S. paratyphi A diseases, we have fully elucidated the O-polysaccharide structure of S. paratyphi A by use of HPLC-SEC, HPAEC-PAD/CD, GLC, GLC-MS, 1D and 2D-NMR spectroscopy. In particular, chemical and NMR studies identified the presence of O-acetyl groups on C-2 and C-3 of rhamnose in the lipopolysaccharide repeating unit, at variance with previous reports of O-acetylation at a single position. Moreover HR-MAS NMR analysis performed directly on bacterial pellets from several strains of S. paratyphi A also showed O-acetylation on C-2 and C-3 of rhamnose, thus this pattern is common and not an artefact from O-polysaccharide purification. Conjugation of the O-polysaccharide to the carrier protein had little impact on O-acetylation and therefore should not adversely affect the immunogenicity of the vaccine.

Original publication




Journal article


Carbohydr Res

Publication Date





108 - 116


Bacterial polysaccharide structure, O-Acetylation, O-Polysaccharide, Salmonella paratyphi A, Acetylation, Carbohydrate Conformation, Carbohydrate Sequence, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, O Antigens, Polysaccharides, Bacterial, Rhamnose, Salmonella Vaccines, Salmonella paratyphi A, Vaccines, Conjugate