Key Features and Benefits
* Individual chapters provided by leading international scientists in the field yield insightful, concise and stimulating reviews.
- Provides researchers with an overview and synthesis of the latest research
* Each chapter begins with a brief 200 word Summary/Abstract detailing the topic and focus of the chapter, as well as the concepts to be addressed.
- Allows researchers to see at a glance what each chapter will cover
* Each chapter includes a Research Focus Box
- Identifies important problems that still need to be solved and areas that require further investigation
This book presents in an easy-to-read format a summary of the important central aspects of microbial glycobiology, i.e. the study of carbohydrates as related to the biology of microorganisms. Microbial glycobiology represents a multidisciplinary and emerging area with implications for a range of basic and applied research fields, as well as having industrial, medical and biotechnological implications.
Researchers and graduate students in both academia and industry:
Infectious disease specialists
These researchers are trying to understand how certain microbial pathogens (protozoa, bacteria, fungi, viruses etc) cause disease in humans. With insights from microbial glycobiology new diagnostic methods can be designed to detect the infectious agent and also to determine if one bug is more virulent than another, thus, helping disease diagnosis.
Microbial glycobiology allows them to examine the role that sugars play in the disease process and help them determine a way to prevent a pathogen causing disease. Hence, new insights will be gained that could aid boost the immune system, thereby new biotheraputics and vaccines are being developed
Carbohydrate chemists (analytical and synthetic)
By determining the structure of glycosylated proteins, lipids and other natural products from microbes, researchers can reveal the location of the sugars. They then have the ability to modify and control which sugars are attached and exactly how they are attached. This is important as it enables them to modify glycosylated biomolecules that are important in disease processes and turn these into better drugs.
Researchers in biomedical, diagnostic and biopharmaceutical companies
Pharmacologists are using microbial glycobiology to produce carbohydrate-based diagnostics, vaccines, drugs and immunotherapeutics.
From the insights gained of the enzymes used in the natural synthesis of the glycosylated molecules in microbes, manipulations using these enzymes can be made to synthesise newer glycosylated structures that can be used in therapeutics or for obtaining correct glycosylation of cloned human proteins used in biotherapeutics.
Since glycosylation determines the half-life of many biotherapeutics, usage of knowledge from glycosylation systems from microbes can help manufacture more effective therapeutics.
Molecular and cell biologists
These researchers are trying to map the complex pathways of how specific sugar polymers are made by pathogenic microbes including bacteria and fungi. The outcome of this research will allow them to identify important drug targets that could be used to screen for novel antimicrobials against a variety of infections. Also, the information gained allows manipulation of biosynthetic pathways in genetic engineering of a variety of glycosylation or carbohydrate products.
Food industry and biotechnology industry
These researchers are using microbial polysaccharides as thickening agents in food products and as probiotic materials, e.g. in yogurts. This plays an important role in the development of so-called designer foods.
In industrial processes, certain microbial polysaccharides are involved in corrosion and biofouling and knowledge gained of microbial glycobiology is being applied to overcome these problems.
The biotechnology industry is using and manipulating bacteria to produce glycosylated products of importance for the agrifood and biopharma industrial sectors.