Of novel and increasing number of numerous biological roles of carbohydrates , glycomics has explored the field of carbohydrate vaccines. Glycoconjugate vaccines in which the cell surface carbohydrate from a microorganism is covalently attached to a carrier protein are proving to be highly effective in generating protective immune responses to prevent a wide range of diseases. The carbohydrate based agents – glycoproteins and polysaccharides can be difficult to isolate from natural sources and the natural isolates can have heterogeneity and contamination. So, the alternative would be to identify antigenic carbohydrates and then synthesize them in the laboratory. Novel chemical and enzymatic oligosaccharide techniques are making it possible to envision a new generation of carbohydrate based vaccines. Carbohydrate vaccines have leading roles in cancer, haemophilus influenza B, malaria, candidiasis, AIDS etc. The present article focuses on the potential of carbohydrate vaccines, thus paving the way for development in the field of glycomics.
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