Antimicrobial Resistance #3 – Mutation and resistant bacteria spread (Sequence 2)

Author(s)

Èlia Tena, Maria Navarro and Digna Couso

Institution(s)

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The aim of this activity is to help students facilitate students’ comprehension of three key concepts concerning antimicrobial resistance and its connection to the growing environment. The first idea to underscore is that bacteria grow exponentially under ideal environment conditions. The second one is the idea that in some bacterial replication some random DNA mutations can occur, the apparition of this mutations are random. The third idea is that, despite the death of some bacteria due to antibiotic presence in the environment, those that randomly mutate and develop resistance continue to proliferate.

Age

  • 14
  • 15
  • 16

Topic

  • Antimicrobial resistance

Duration

  • More than 10 hours

Students’ resources

The activity starts by presenting students some news articles from media focused on antimicrobial resistance.

Following this, a dice game is used to simulate three relevant ideas regarding the ARM and the environmental context: the bacterial growing, the randomness in DNA mutations of bacteria, and the difference on growing of resistant versus non-resistant bacteria in the presence of antibiotics. Engaging in three rounds of this dice game, each with distinct rules, students need to simulate various scenarios and subsequently conducting an analysis of each simulated situation.

Teachers’ resources

The simulation game is useful to help students to build some relevant ideas regarding ARM. However, it is essential to help them to identify the relation between the simulation and the real world highlighting the limitations of the dice game.