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Most pathogens including bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa carry unique glycans on their surface. Currently, several vaccines against bacteria are marketed very successfully. Since many pathogens cannot be cultured and the isolation of pure oligosaccharides is extremely difficult, synthetic oligosaccharide antigens provide now a viable alternative. The automated synthesis platform,1, 2 has been commercialized.3,4 The quality control of synthetic oligosaccharides by ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) is fast and extremely sensitive.5 Currently, the laboratory is pursuing the development of several semi- and fully synthetic carbohydrate vaccines against severe bacterial infections, including multi-resistant hospital acquired infections.5,6 In addition to their function as antigens, synthetic oligosaccharides serve as tools to create monoclonal antibodies, and to establish glycan microarrays to map vaccine epitopes.7 Diagnostic and preventive approaches against a host of bacteria, fungi, and parasites are being pursued.
In recent years continuous flow systems have become increasingly interesting to practitioners of synthetic chemistry. Described is the use of continuous flow systems to produce drug substances and other chemicals via multi step reactions including continuous purification.8 The anti-malaria drug artemisinin and its derivatives as well as other life-saving drugs are used as examples. 8-10
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