2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Middle Ear Infections-How ComB Protein Works
Anna E. Bailey
Dr. Janice Clark Young, Faculty Mentor

Otitis Media (OM), a middle ear infection, multifactoral disease extremely common in childhood-the number one reason a child visits an ER. OM occurs after an upper respiratory tract viral infection. OM is caused by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a bacterium that adheres to the surface of the nasopharynx using Type IV pili. If the pilus assembly can be disrupted, the ear infection is less likely to occur. Proteins in the com operon such as ComB are predicted to aid in pilus formation; therefore the protein must be characterized using various fusions. ComB, an inner membrane protein, was found to have a large and small domain spanning the membrane once. With the structure detailed, further research can format ways to block pilus formation. A decrease in childhood ear infections would also produce a decrease in hospital visits and medical debt.

Keywords: Otitis Media, Haemophilus influenzae, nasopharynx, Type IV pili, ComB

Topic(s):Health Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 6-1
Location: VH 1010
Time: 8:00

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