Associate Professor Jenny Wilson,
School of Medical Science,
Griffith University, presents: 

Structural insights into Gram-negative virulence factors of the family Moraxellaceae

Moraxella is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria in the Moraxellaceae family, many found as commensals of mucosal surfaces of mammals. Some of these species can also cause opportunistic infection. In an attempt to understand factors that contribute to disease or commensal lifestyle, we have been studying the structural and biosynthetic assembly of the cell surface glycans called lipo-oligosaccharides (LOS) in pathogens of humans (M. catarrhalis and cattle (M. bovis & M. bovoculis). LOS is well recognised as a virulence factor for Gram negative bacteria. These studies have revealed some unique structural features of the LOS that differ from other Gram negative bacteria. Moreover, we have been able to exploit these structural features to design a potential vaccine candidate for one member of this family.  I will present an overview of this research and the results of animal experiments that have trialled the efficacy of the vaccine candidate.

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