Group B Streptococcus (GBS) requires capsular sialic acid (Sia) for virulence and partially modifies this sugar by O-acetylation. We describe serotype specific patterns of GBS Sia O-acetylation that can be manipulated by genetic and biochemical means. In vitro and in vivo assays demonstrate this subtle modification attenuates GBS Sia-mediated neutrophil suppression and animal virulence.

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