Infectious Disease Research Project (100 points)
I. Introduction Infectious diseases are important in all of our lives. In this project, you will focus attention on a specific infectious disease with the goal of determining the underlying cause of the disease, what the microbe does to our bodies, how we treat the disease, and how social, economic, and political factors affect our ability to deal with the disease. As you become an expert on one particular disease, the general microbiological concepts discussed throughout the course and encountered as your proceed through your careers should gain more relevance.
II. II. Rationale
A. Upon completion of this project, the successful student will demonstrate: 1. a detailed understanding of the disease interaction between the human body and a pathogenic microbe; 2. an ability to effectively communicate complex scientific information; 3. effective personal time management, organization, and study skills; 4. the ability to work effectively as part of a small group.
B. The specific learning objectives involve mastery of concepts presented during the course. They include demonstration of comprehension of the: history of our knowledge of the disease; causative agent of a disease; cellular (or acellular) anatomy of the pathogenic microbe; epidemiology; immune response; drug treatments or other medical interventions; sociological, economical, and/or political factors that influence our ability to deal with the disease.
III. Project Format
A. Disease Assignment 1. You may choose the disease that you are to study though the instructor reserves the right to limit the number of people doing the same topic to two. 2) You will perform a search of the literature (books, magazines, news media, scientific journals, internet) to learn about your disease.
IV. Project Products
A. Written Report 1. You will submit one written report that details all of the info about your disease.
B. Due Dates:
Rough Draft if you wish me to pre-read to offer suggestions:
Final Draft of Paper must contain the following:
1. Disease Fact Sheet
2. COVER SHEET must have a title with the name of the disease and student name
3. TEXT (main body of info)— minimal seven double-spaced, single-sided pages, Does not include title page or literature cited.
4. a. Must describe all aspects of the disease that are itemized in the Project Content section.
b. As much as possible, the text should be written in your words. Use direct quotes only when absolutely necessary.
c. LITERATURE CITED – Any information that is not common knowledge (either directly quoted or paraphrased) must be credited to the proper source.
d. The final report must be submitted via email to me.
C. Infectious Disease Fact Sheet (due on same day as the written report)
1. Fact sheets may not exceed one single-sided page.
2. Fact sheets must be completed using the provided template
V. Project Content
A. What is the causative agent of the disease? Is it a bacterium, a virus, a prion, or a eukaryote? 1. If it is a bacterium, what are the characteristics of the cell (Gram-reaction?, cell shape and arrangement? metabolic capabilities?).
2. If it is a virus, what are its characteristics (DNA, positive-strand RNA, negative-strand RNA, or retrovirus? enveloped or naked? how large is it? does it form a provirus? any unique characteristics of its multiplication cycle?).
3. If it is a prion, what is a prion? Wherein the body does it occur? What is the function of the normal-type protein?
4. If it is eukaryote, is it a fungus, an alga, a protozoan, a platyhelminth, or a nematode? Is it multicellular or unicellular? What is its life cycle?
B. History: How long have we known about this disease?
1. Describe the changes in our knowledge and attitudes toward this disease throughout history.
C. Epidemiology: Describe the prevalence and transmission of this disease.
1. Where (in the world) is the disease prevalent? How many people are currently infected? What is the rate of new infections? What are the rates of morbidity and mortality?
2. What is (are) the reservoir(s) of the pathogen?
What is (are) the mode(s) of transmission?
D. Pathology: Describe the pathogenic effects on cells, tissues, and organ systems.
1. Where in the body (what tissues/organs/cells) does the pathogen affect?
2. What damage does the pathogen inflict? How is this damage inflicted (is there direct mechanical damage? Is a toxin produced? Does the immune response cause damage?)?
3. What is the time sequence of the disease (length of incubation, prodrome, illness, decline, and convalescence)? Are there sequalae
4. What are the major signs and symptoms?
E. Response and Treatment
1. Describe the activity of our immune system against the pathogen.
2. What types of medical treatments exist? Describe how these treatments affect the progression of the disease.
3. Describe prophylactic measures that can be taken to limit the risk of infection.
1. Describe any historic or present day social, economic, or political issues that either help or hinder us in limiting the spread of the disease.
2. Suggest policies and practices that can be employed to help with limiting the spread of the disease. For each policy and practice, describe what will be needed (what we have to sacrifice) in order to properly implement the proposal.
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