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Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, Deanne Erdmann, MS, Sonia Rahmati Clayton, PhD, and James Denk, MA.

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Procedure (cont.)

9. Expand the discussion to address the importance of not taking antibiotics for viral diseases. Ask, Since Allison has a cold, should her doctor prescribe antibiotics? Would it be okay to take leftover antibiotics? Help students understand that antibiotics are effective for bacterial infections, but do not help against viral infections like colds. 

Also, mention that if antibiotics are prescribed for a bacterial infection, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions and to take all the medication, even if symptoms start to improve before the medicine is gone. Otherwise, the disease may reoccur. Taking antibiotics incorrectly, or using them inappropriately (such as taking leftover medicine without a doctor’s guidance) can contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant forms of bacteria, which cannot be killed by existing antibiotics (see “Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria,” PDF). 

10. Have student groups add information to their concept maps.

Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Grant Number: 5R25RR018605