Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), present in the extracellular matrix, are exploited by numerous, distinct microbes for cellular attachment, adhesion, invasion and evasion of the host immune system. Glycosaminoglycans, including the widely used, clinical anticoagulant heparin and semi-synthetic analogues thereof, have been reported to inhibit and disrupt interactions between microbial proteins and carbohydrates present on the surface of host cells. However, the anticoagulant properties of unmodified, pharmaceutical heparin preparations preclude their capabilities as therapeutics for infectious disease states. Here, unique Glycosaminoglycan-like saccharides from various, distinct marine species are reported for their potential use as therapeutics against infectious diseases; many of which possess highly attenuated anticoagulant activities, while retaining significant antimicrobial properties.

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