Carolina Garcia, M.S.


Education: Bachelor of Science in biology (May 2016)

Master of Science in veterinary biomedical sciences from Kansas State University

McNair Project: Characterization of Adherence of Enterotoxigenic E. Coli (ETEC) to human Intestinal Cell Lines (2015)

Mentor: Weiping Zhang, Ph.D.

Escherichia coli (E.coli) strains producing enterotoxins, ETEC, are the most common bacterial causes of diarrhea1. ETEC cause 280-400 million cases of diarrhea in children < 5 years, and additional 100 million cases in children > 5 years, resulting in 150,000 – 300,000 annual deaths of young children.ETEC also cause 400 million cases of diarrhea in adult travelers2. Currently, there are no effective methods of preventing diarrheal diseases. Vaccines are considered the most effective and most practical against children’s diarrhea and traveler’s diarrhea3. The goal of this study is to establish an in vitro assay to assess vaccine efficacy, particularly efficacy against ETEC colonization. We will screen cell lines, establish baseline of ETEC adherence to cell lines, and optimize in vitro assays; then apply selecting cell lines in antibody adherence inhibition assays to assess antibodies induced by vaccine candidates against ETEC bacterial colonization.

  1. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). (2005, October 25). Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  2. Qadri, F., Svennerholm, A.-M., Faruque, A. S. G., & Sack, R. B. (2005). Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in Developing Countries: Epidemiology, Microbiology, Clinical Features, Treatment, and Prevention. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 18(3), 465–483. doi:10.1128/CMR.18.3.465-483.2005
  3. WHO (2006). Future directions for research on entertoxigenic Escherichia coli vaccines for developing countries. Wkly. Epidemiol. Rec. 81, 97–107