Educator Resources

Research Activity

Establish Prior Knowledge

Ask students to share what they know about MRSA—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Discuss with students why MRSA has become such a big concern. Tell students that in the Snapshot they are about to see is about changes in the bacteria’s genome.

Exploration

Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Have students work in teams to research and report on the following topics:

·      What is MRSA and how is it transmitted?

o     http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/AntimicrobialResistance/understanding/examples/mrsa/overview.htm

o      http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca.html

o      http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html - 1 

·      Why do bacteria become resistant to drugs? How is MRSA treated?

o      http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/AntimicrobialResistance/understanding/quickFacts.htm

o      http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html - 1

·      How are researchers studying MRSA and what do their findings show? How can these findings be applied?

o      http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2008/MRSAevolution.htm

o      http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/labs/aboutlabs/lhbp/pathogenHostCellBiologySection/

·      What can you do to prevent MRSA?

o     http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/AntimicrobialResistance/understanding/examples/mrsa/prevention.htm

o      http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html - 1

Wrap-up 

When teams have completed their research, call on them to share what they have learned. Use the following questions to guide further discussion.

1. Now that you know the seriousness of MRSA, what will you do to prevent contracting the disease?

2. What steps should the school take to make students aware of MRSA and the way it is transmitted?

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