"Professor James Paton, a director at GPN Vaccines and Director of the University of Adelaide's Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, says that the current pneumococcal vaccine works by targeting the complex carbohydrates that coat the outside of the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium, which is the main cause of pneumonia. He points out that this vaccine, which costs more than US$100 a shot, only covers 13 types of these complex carbohydrates, when there are 98 structurally distinct types. And while there are vaccines being developed that are effective against a greater number of strains, there are still some that slip through the cracks.
The new vaccine developed by GPN Vaccines in partnership with The University of Adelaide works by removing the complex carbohydrates that form an outer coating of the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium, exposing the surface proteins that are common to all serotypes of the bacteria. The immune system of individuals that have previously been exposed to those surface proteins or vaccinated can mount a defense against the infection."