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A sweet T cell response

Although protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccines provide notable clinical benefits, it is still not fully understood how they work. A new mechanism of action for these vaccines has been identified in which T cells can recognize sugar epitopes in the context of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) provided they are bound to a protein 'anchor', which allows binding of the sugar epitope to the MHC (pages 1602–1609).

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Figure 1: Two models for antigen processing and presentation of a conjugate vaccine.

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Correspondence to Rino Rappuoli.

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R.R. and E.D.G. are employed by Novartis Vaccines. They have collaborated with D. Kasper on GBS vaccines.

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Rappuoli, R., De Gregorio, E. A sweet T cell response. Nat Med 17, 1551–1552 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.2587

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