The production of "Shigella plus" low-cost recombinant Shigella glycoconjugate vaccines

Year of award: 2021


  • Prof Brendan Wren

    London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

  • Dr Stephen Baker

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project summary

Worldwide, there are approximately 150 million cases of Shigellosis annually, which is exacerbated by increasing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat Shigellosis. The WHO has highlighted that there are no currently effective vaccines for any Shigella species. The O-antigen, a sugar that coats Shigella cells is a validated vaccine candidate, particularly when conjugated to a carrier protein, but current methods to achieve this are complex and costly. Using our glycoengineering technology, we will multiply conjugate Shigella O-antigens to novel conserved immunogenic Shigella proteins we have validated to produce broad-spectrum Shigella glycoconjugate vaccines. These "double-hit" Shigella vaccines will be expressed in E. coli cells that act as mini-factories to produce affordable vaccines. Our Shigella-plus vaccine will be (i) safe, (ii) effective, (iii) broad-spectrum to cover all Shigella species and (iv) low-cost so that it can be deployed where it is most needed, providing an effective global solution to Shigellosis.