Dr. Zhang from the University of Illinois has developed a promising candidate protein for a vaccine against cholera. Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the toxigenic bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The protein is a multiepitope fusion antigen (MEFA), incorporating virulence factors which are conserved across multiple Vibrio serotypes.
When administered to animals, the cholera MEFA is broadly immunogenic and induces protective antibodies against Vibrio. Since virulence factors from multiple serotypes are included in the fusion protein, this protection can be extended to the various Vibrio serotypes.