Coraima Yañez, M.P.H.


Education: Bachelor of Science in life science (May 2019)

Master of Public Health in community health sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago

McNair Project: Assessment of The Integrity and Temperature Stability of CFA/I/II/IV MEFA & Toxoid Fusion: Major Components of A Subunit Vaccine For Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) (2017)

Mentor: Weiping Zhang, Ph.D.

Diarrhea remains the second leading cause of death in children in developing countries, partaking in an estimated 1.5 million deaths per year. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) bacteria are among the top causes of children’s diarrhea and travelers’ diarrhea. Currently, there is no licensed vaccine against ETEC diarrhea. Two antigens, toxoid fusion 3xSTaN12S-dmLT and colonization factor antigen CFA/I/II/IV MEFA were demonstrated top antigen candidates for developing an effective subunit vaccine against ETEC. To further characterize these two antigens for protein integrity and particularly temperature stability, this study tested two proteins at temperature settings of 37°C and 50°C for six weeks. Results showed that toxoid fusion antigen 3xSTaN12S-dmLT was not stable at both temperatures. In fact 3xSTaN12S-dmLT protein started degradation on day 5-7 at 37⁰C and day 2 at 50⁰C. In contrast, protein CFA/I/II/IV MEFA was shown stable at both temperatures for at least 6 weeks. These results provided very helpful information regarding formulation, transportation and shelf life on a potential ETEC subunit vaccine.