To begin the Case Study assignment, you must e-mail your instructor through the Course Messages tool within Blackboard. The instructor will provide the current pathogen selections (which are periodically updated to reflect current events and disease outbreaks). Once you are provided with the list you will select only one (1) for your Case Study.
The rubric for the Case Study is below. Be sure to read it carefully as the rubric is very helpful.
Once you select a Case Study pathogen from your instructor’s list, your case study will be assembled using the detailed rubric (see below). Upon completion, and by a specified due date (within Unit 5), your case study will be submitted using the Blackboard website.
How to create a case study
The case studies are meant to be an enjoyable, interesting, and informative assignment. This is your chance to show that you understand the key teaching points about a microbe and to communicate these points to in a written format. Have at least 3-4 key referenced points in each of the five areas in the chart below. The chart suggests the type of information requested for the pathogen. Outlines can be in whatever form you prefer (bullets/charts/outlines/diagrams or a mix). Be sure to include two discussion questions (and provide complete answers) that you can incorporate into your case study (place them at the end of your write-up). These questions should help connect your case to other material in the course. For example, what other microbes have an A-B toxin? What other viruses are transmitted by fecal-oral spread? Pertinent references can be listed at the bottom of your outline in a small font. Use Council of Science Editors (CSE) Style format for all references. Your textbook may be listed as “Microbiology: A Human Perspective Eugene W. Nester et.al. McGraw-Hill Publisher 7th edition/ 2012”.
What does a typical case look like? Use the standard format for a patient presentation with chief complaint (CC), history of present illness (HPI), key physical exam details (PE), lab findings, signature signs, and any other important findings. If this disease is limited to a certain geographic location, provide information as to how your patient happened to acquire the pathogen.
Description of the infectious agent
If it is a bacterium, how is it classified? If it is a virus, what kind of nucleic acid does it have? Does it target specific cellular types (tropism)? Does it form a spore? Is it aerobic? Is it intracellular? Can it only be grown in a specific type of media? How is it distinguished from other members of the species? Does the pathogen have a significant history with humans or animals?
What do you feel are the most important points about the epidemiology of the disease? Incidence? Portal of entry? Source? Is it a normal microbiota component in the human body? Does it only occur in certain populations or certain geographical areas? Is there a vector involved? What and who is the vector? Is it zoonotic? Does it appear seasonally? What is its ecological niche? Is there an animal reservoir? Are there currently any outbreaks or epidemics of disease from this pathogen?
What is the range of diseases caused by the agent? What specific cell types are targeted by the pathogen (tropism, if any)? What organs are affected? What symptoms might the patient have? What is the disease course? Will the patient recover? Are there any long-term sequelae of infection? Latency? Oncogenic potential?
Is there an antitoxin? Are there specific antibiotics or a class of antibiotics that are used? Are they antibiotic-resistance? Is there a vaccine available? Is treatment curative? Does infection make you immune? Is this immunity life-long? Is there drug resistance? Are there novel treatments?
1. The written case presentations are submitted through Blackboard in Unit 5 of the course. When you reach Unit 5, be sure to e-mail your instructor to receive a list of the Case Study selections.
2. Please name the files in the following manner “Lastname Firstinitial CS Y”. For example, if I am submitting a Case Study on tularemia, I would name the case study file “Frisardi M CS Tularemia”. This will ensure that you receive appropriate credit and that I will be able to identify your Case Study document easily when grading.
For the Case Study, you are asked to provide at least the information requested in the boxes. The boxed questions are suggestions for the minimum amount of information within each category. The more detailed the information, the better the study. You may consult your textbook, CDC, Google Scholar, World Health Organization, NCBI, WebMD, etc. to find the information. For example, if you perform a Google search using the name of the pathogen and the word ‘vaccine’, you will find information on current vaccines (if any are in progress), those vaccines in clinical trials, vaccines used only in animals, etc. Be sure to provide two (2) discussion questions (as well as provide answers) with your case study.
Your library privileges from UNE give you access to all of the scientific literature (including most current scientific journals so you are able to find and read references, abstracts, and complete articles in most cases.
Your library privileges from UNE also give you access to the medical textbooks.
I enjoy reading a narrative, but you may use bullet points for each section (just make sure these are in grammatically correct complete sentences – the choice is yours). Council of Science Editors (CSE) Style format is fine for all references and a document summarizing this format is provided.
Be sure to consider the directions carefully and include all the requested information (especially the two discussion questions with responses and scientific literature references).
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