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Carbohydrate Scaffolds for the Study of the Autism-associated Bacterium, Clostridium bolteae

[ Vol. 26 , Issue. 35 ]


Brittany Pequegnat and Mario A. Monteiro*   Pages 6341 - 6348 ( 8 )


A large number of children in the autism spectrum disorder suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, such as constipation and diarrhea. Clostridium bolteae is a part of a set of pathogens being regularly detected in the stool samples of hosts affected by GI and autism symptoms. Accompanying studies have pointed out the possibility that such microbes affect behaviour through the production of neurotoxic metabolites in a so-called, gut-brain connection. As an extension of our Clostridium difficile polysaccharide (PS)-based vaccine research, we engaged in the discovery of C. bolteae surface carbohydrates. So far, studies revealed that C. bolteae produces a specific immunogenic PS capsule comprised of disaccharide repeating blocks of mannose (Manp) and rhamnose (Rhap) units: α-D-Manp-(1→[-4)-β-D-Rhap- (1→3)-α-D-Manp-(1→]n. For vaccinology and further immunogenic experiments, a method to produce C. bolteae PS conjugates has been developed, along with the chemical syntheses of the PS non-reducing end linkage, with D-Rha or L-Rha, α-D-Manp-(1→4)-α-D-Rhap- (1→O(CH2)5NH2 and α-D-Manp-(1→4)-α-L-Rhap-(1→O(CH2)5NH2, equipped with an aminopentyl linker at the reducing end for conjugation purposes. The discovery of C. bolteae PS immunogen opens the door to the creation of non-evasive diagnostic tools to evaluate the frequency and role of this microbe in autistic subjects and to a vaccine to reduce colonization levels in the GI tract, thus impeding the concentration of neurotoxins.


Clostridium bolteae, polysaccharide, synthesis, conjugate, TEMPO, autism, diagnostic, vaccine, gastrointestinal disorders, gut-brain axis.


Department of Chemistry, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Department of Chemistry, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

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