Elementary Student Outreach Activity Demonstrating the Use of Phage Therapy Heroes to Combat Bacterial Infections.

Published on Mar 30, 2018in Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
· DOI :10.1128/JMBE.V19I1.1407
Mya Breitbart67
Estimated H-index: 67
(USF: University of South Florida),
Kema Malki3
Estimated H-index: 3
(USF: University of South Florida)
+ 2 AuthorsMark O. Martin3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UPS: University of Puget Sound)
Sources
Abstract
The public has recently gained an increased appreciation of “good” or “friendly” bacteria, including commensal bacteria that are part of the healthy human microbiome (1) and bacteria present in common probiotic food products such as yogurt (2). Despite this new perception of bacteria, the term “virus” still has a predominantly negative connotation that is almost exclusively associated with disease (3). Consequently, the public frequently asks questions such as “Are there any good viruses?” In fact, there are many viruses that have mutualistic relationships with their hosts (4), but one viral group of particular interest for benefiting human health is the bacteriophages (phages: viruses that infect bacteria), which can specifically kill disease-causing bacterial pathogens. Battles between superheroes and villains easily capture the attention and enthusiasm of young learners, presenting an excellent opportunity to introduce interactions within the microbial world. This activity, which is appropriate for elementary-school children in a classroom or outreach setting, introduces learners to the concept of phage therapy, where certain phages (heroes) are used to destroy bacterial pathogens (villains) in a targeted and specific approach that does not negatively affect commensal bacteria (5). The specificity of phage therapy provides an advantage over antibiotic treatments, which disrupt the healthy microbiome. In addition, phage therapy presents an alternative strategy to treat bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics (6). In this activity, participants will learn about phage infection and host specificity by viewing photos of plaque assays performed in a laboratory with chromogenic bacteria, followed by a hands-on “fishing” activity using the phage heroes’ superpowers of specificity (hooks, Velcro, magnets) to capture particular bacterial villains. Templates are also provided for making custom temporary tattoos as activity rewards and for printing phage comic strips for a coloring activity.
Download
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
55 Citations
2016
3 Authors (Rucha V. Moharir, ..., M. Tech)
1 Citations
2014
34 Citations
References11
Newest
The explosive pandemic of Zika virus infection in South and Central America is the most recent of four unexpected arrivals of important arthropod-borne viral diseases in the Western Hemisphere over the past 20 years. Is this an important new disease-emergence pattern?
742 CitationsSource
#1Marilyn J. Roossinck (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 50
ABSTRACT Viruses are being redefined as more than just pathogens. They are also critical symbiotic partners in the health of their hosts. In some cases, viruses have fused with their hosts in symbiogenetic relationships. Mutualistic interactions are found in plant, insect, and mammalian viruses, as well as with eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbes, and some interactions involve multiple players of the holobiont. With increased virus discovery, more mutualistic interactions are being described and...
68 CitationsSource
#1Lorraine Endersen (CIT: Cork Institute of Technology)H-Index: 6
#2Jim O'Mahony (CIT: Cork Institute of Technology)H-Index: 26
Last. Aidan Coffey (Teagasc)H-Index: 54
view all 6 authors...
Despite advances in modern technologies, the food industry is continuously challenged with the threat of microbial contamination. The overuse of antibiotics has further escalated this problem, resulting in the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant foodborne pathogens. Efforts to develop new methods for controlling microbial contamination in food and the food processing environment are extremely important. Accordingly, bacteriophages (phages) and their derivatives have emerged as novel, vi...
172 CitationsSource
#1Curtis Huttenhower (Broad Institute)H-Index: 105
#2Dirk Gevers (Broad Institute)H-Index: 79
Last. Owen White (UMB: University of Maryland, Baltimore)H-Index: 83
view all 248 authors...
The Human Microbiome Project Consortium reports the first results of their analysis of microbial communities from distinct, clinically relevant body habitats in a human cohort; the insights into the microbial communities of a healthy population lay foundations for future exploration of the epidemiology, ecology and translational applications of the human microbiome.
6,401 CitationsSource
#1Ben H Burrowes (University of Bedfordshire)H-Index: 2
#2David R Harper (University of Bedfordshire)H-Index: 11
Last. Mark C. Enright (University of Bedfordshire)H-Index: 64
view all 5 authors...
The use of bacteriophages (phages) to treat bacterial infections, known as phage therapy, has a history substantially longer than that of antibiotics, yet these drugs have been the treatment of choice in the West for over 60 years owing to efficacy, low toxicity and ease of production. Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics while efforts to discover new agents have drastically reduced. Phages have co-evolved with their hosts over billions of years and have acquired mechanism...
128 CitationsSource
#1Elizabeth Kutter (The Evergreen State College)H-Index: 35
#2Daniel De VosH-Index: 1
Last. Stephen T. AbedonH-Index: 46
view all 7 authors...
Phage therapy is the application of bacteria-specific viruses with the goal of reducing or eliminating pathogenic or nuisance bacteria. While phage therapy has become a broadly relevant technology, including veterinary, agricultural, and food microbiology applications, it is for the treatment or prevention of human infections that phage therapy first caught the worlds imagination - see, especially, Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis (1925) - and which today is the primary motivator of the field. Nonet...
422 CitationsSource
#1Susanne Guenther (ETH Zurich)H-Index: 3
#2Dominique Huwyler (ETH Zurich)H-Index: 1
Last. Martin J. Loessner (ETH Zurich)H-Index: 68
view all 4 authors...
Food-borne Listeria monocytogenes is a serious threat to human health, and new strategies to combat this opportunistic pathogen in foods are needed. Bacteriophages are natural enemies of bacteria and are suitable candidates for the environmentally friendly biocontrol of these pathogens. In a comprehensive set of experiments, we have evaluated the virulent, broad-host-range phages A511 and P100 for control of L. monocytogenes strains Scott A (serovar 4b) and WSLC 1001 (serovar 1/2a) in different ...
317 CitationsSource
#1Andrew M. Kropinski (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 64
#2Amanda MazzoccoH-Index: 9
Last. Roger P. JohnsonH-Index: 34
view all 5 authors...
: The determination of the concentration of infectious phage particles is fundamental to many protocols in phage biology, genetics, and molecular biology. In this chapter the classical overlay protocol is described.
373 CitationsSource
#1Rosanna Capparelli (University of Naples Federico II)H-Index: 25
#2Marianna Parlato (University of Naples Federico II)H-Index: 5
Last. Domenico Iannelli (University of Naples Federico II)H-Index: 17
view all 5 authors...
The present study describes a bacteriophage (MSa) active against Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcal strains. When inoculated into mice simultaneously with S. aureus A170 (108 CFU/mouse), phage (109 PFU) rescued 97% of the mice; when applied to nonlethal (5 × 106 CFU/mouse) 10-day infections, the phage also fully cleared the bacteria. The phage MSa, delivered inside macrophages by S. aureus, kills the intracellular staphylococci in vivo and in vitro. The phage c...
230 CitationsSource
#1R. Efrony (TAU: Tel Aviv University)H-Index: 1
#2Yossi Loya (TAU: Tel Aviv University)H-Index: 76
Last. Eugene Rosenberg (TAU: Tel Aviv University)H-Index: 81
view all 4 authors...
At present there are no known procedures for preventing or treating infectious diseases of corals. Toward this end, the use of phage therapy has been investigated. Lytic bacteriophages (phages) were isolated for two bacterial pathogens that are responsible for coral diseases, Vibrio coralliilyticus, which is the causative agent of bleaching and tissue lysis of Pocillopora damicornis, and Thalosomonas loyaeana, which causes the white plague-like disease of Favia favus. By using these phages in co...
66 CitationsSource
Cited By10
Newest
#1Bret R. Shaw (UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)H-Index: 29
#2Tim Campbell (UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Last. Barry RadlerH-Index: 12
view all 3 authors...
Message frames are often used to communicate about invasive species due to the additional meaning they provide. They appear in calls to action like "join the battle against invasive species," "unwelcome exotics," or "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers." However, little is known about how stakeholders respond to these message frames. This research tested five common message emphasis frames used in invasive species communication. These message frames were placed in social media advertisements about zebra mu...
Source
#1Adrienne Sexton (Royal Melbourne Hospital)H-Index: 16
#2Paul A. James (University of Melbourne)H-Index: 43
Metaphors appear simple but are fundamental schemata allowing expression and processing of complex emotions and information. They are so embedded in language and thinking that we are often unaware of their impact, despite the crucial role of metaphors in communication, learning and creating meaning from experiences. A deeper understanding of how to recognize and work with client-generated and counselor-generated metaphors has great potential as an addition to the genetic counseling 'tool-box'. H...
Source
#1José-Antonio Marín-Marín (UGR: University of Granada)H-Index: 6
#2Antonio-José Moreno-Guerrero (UGR: University of Granada)H-Index: 13
Last. Jesús López-Belmonte (UGR: University of Granada)H-Index: 10
view all 4 authors...
Emerging methodologies that apply and integrate science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) in education have appeared in recent years as a pedagogical alternative providing more holistic and attractive education. The research methodology used in this work is of a bibliometric nature. Specifically, an academic performance analysis and a co-word analysis has been carried out. The term STEAM was analyzed in the Web of Science (WoS) database. The WoS programs Analyze Results, Creation C...
Source
#1Miguel-Ángel Queiruga-Dios (UBU: University of Burgos)
#2Emilia López-Iñesta (University of Valencia)H-Index: 6
Last. José-Benito Vázquez-Dorrío (University of Vigo)
view all 5 authors...
Source
#1Cong Wang (Yale University)
#2Melanie Bauer (Yale University)H-Index: 2
Last. Mark J. Graham (Yale University)H-Index: 26
view all 5 authors...
In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 the national landscape of higher education changed quickly and dramatically to move “online” in the Spring semester of 2020 While distressing to both faculty and students, it presents a unique opportunity to explore how students responded to this unexpected and challenging learning situation In four undergraduate STEM courses that incorporated course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs)—which are often focused on discovery learning and laborato...
Source
#1Emily A. Holt (UNC: University of Northern Colorado)H-Index: 10
#2Ashley B. Heim (UNC: University of Northern Colorado)H-Index: 4
Last. Robert Walker (UNC: University of Northern Colorado)H-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
Abstract COVID-19 presented the world with trauma and isolation, but many people, including educators, have offered bright spots of creativity and engagement As we confronted these issues in our own ecology classroom, we sought solutions to carry-forward the learning objectives we set for our students in January 2020, yet encourage interaction with the sensitivity that a pandemic requires In the rapid transition to online course delivery, we opted to retain the original end-of-semester poster pr...
7 CitationsSource
This article presents a study focused on analysing the effectiveness of an activity about the use of analogies in science communication. The activity consisted of reading two science articles published in a prestigious digital newspaper about the first image of a black hole. The purpose was (i) to identify and analyse the analogies used in the news articles and (ii) to assess the advantages and possible limitations of their use in communicating scientific ideas. The activity was performed with p...
Source
#1Barbara A. Reisner (JMU: James Madison University)H-Index: 12
#2Joanne L. Stewart (Hope College)H-Index: 8
Source
#1Jay N. Pieczynski (Rollins College)H-Index: 1
#2Amber Deets (Stetson University)H-Index: 1
Last. H. Lynn Kee (Stetson University)H-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
: Undergraduates learn that gene editing in diverse organisms is now possible. How targeted manipulation of genes and genomes is utilized in basic science and biomedicine to address biological questions is challenging for undergraduates to conceptualize. Thus, we developed a lab experience that would allow students to be actively engaged in the full process of design, implementation of a gene editing strategy, and interpretation of results within an 8-week lab period of a Genetics course. The la...
8 CitationsSource
#1Matthew Kararo (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 1
#2Melissa McCartney (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 5
Last. Melissa McCartney (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 2
view all 2 authors...
Annotated primary scientific literature is a teaching and learning resource that provides scaffolding for undergraduate students acculturating to the authentic scientific practice of obtaining and evaluating information through the medium of primary scientific literature. Utilizing annotated primary scientific literature as an integrated pedagogical tool could enable more widespread use of primary scientific literature in undergraduate science classrooms with minimal disruption to existing sylla...
11 CitationsSource