Infectious Diseases

We live in a world shaped by infectious disease. What does that mean? Over the course of five units, let’s explore the history and science of diseases like smallpox and the common cold to better understand how our own bodies work and what we can do to avoid dying of future plagues.

Unit 1

Why should we care about infectious disease?

Lesson 1: What is an infectious disease and why do we care?
Lesson 2: How infectious disease has molded history – including ours
Lesson 3: Bacterial structures
Lesson 4: Viral sizes and structures
Lesson 5: So why aren’t we always sick? Our body’s defenses

Bacterial Pathogen Pronunciation Station
Visit the Bacterial Pathogen Pronunciation Station site to listen to the pronunciations of most, if not all, of the microbial names you will encounter throughout ID.

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 5

How do we get better?

Lesson 1: Our body’s barriers – the innate immune system
Lesson 2: Evolving pathogens – the adaptive immune system
Lesson 3: Evolving pathogens – our body’s responses – B and T cells
Lesson 4: Our body’s responses – putting it all together!
Lesson 5: What makes a good vaccine?

The Great Debate – Are vaccines worth the risk?

Recommended resources:

Final Project: Make a public health brochure about an infectious disease of your choice.

Recommended resources:

Lab Case Study

The Tragic Case of Stan: Extended Reading and Lab Videos

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The Lab Case Study looks at the clinical side of pathogen isolation, treatment and the challenges that may arise in the process. This extended reading provides more detail about the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Lab Case Study – Extended Reading : Antibiotic Resistance

The Basics of Lab Safety

Isolating Bacterial Colonies – Streaking

Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing