Abstract: Global Health Microbiology

Title: Global Health Microbiology

Authors: Christopher Burns, PhD1 and Joanna Shisler, PhD2

Affiliations: The College of Medicine at Roseman University of Health Sciences, 11 Sunset Way, Henderson, NV, USA 890141 and University of Illinois, 601 S. Goodwin, Urbana, IL, USA 618012

Primary author contact information: Christopher Burns, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, cmburns2006@gmail.com

Resources available with this module: iRAT/tRAT, application exercise, and facilitation notes

Abstract: This Team-based learning (TBL) module addresses basic strategies to control or eliminate infectious disease, focusing on parasites as the main example. Students develop an understanding of parasite life-cycles in the context of solving real-world problems in global health. This includes basic knowledge about the disease, characteristics, habitat and transmission, pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis, prevention, life cycle and any hosts or vectors, number and location of infected population, and eradication or control strategies. An emphasis on neglected tropical diseases provides complex problems with regional and societal facets, and economic and political challenges, in addition to basic and clinical science content. Application exercise problems address major factors in disease elimination including vaccination, physical barriers, targeting vectors, effectiveness of treatment, role of different hosts, and detection of infected individuals. Organisms/diseases covered include Plasmodium (malaria), Dracunculus (Guinea worm), Onchocerca (river blindness), Wuchereria (lymphatic filarisis), and poliovirus (polio), and touch on measles and smallpox as examples of possible recurrence.

Target audience: Second year medical students

Keywords: Microbiology, global health, parasitology, neglected tropical diseases