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Christian Angeles
Undergraduate Student
Ayala School of Biological Sciences
University of California, Irvine
Antibiotic Resistance in a Russian Prison: Playing with the Spread of Tuberculosis

In this case study, students will have the opportunity to model the spread of tuberculosis and development of antibiotic resistance in a hypothetical prison environment. After reading a brief handout and viewing a short video, students play a simulation game by first identifying a group of prison inmates represented by index cards. The placement of the cards will influence how drug resistance spreads from one inmate to another. Using a dice roll to mimic random probability of infection and antibiotic misuse, students then track the development of resistance to four specific antibiotics, determined by selection of playing card suit. Opportunity for release or transfer on inmates from one facility to another introduces a further level of complexity, allowing students to study resistance spread. This activity was originally designed for a section of an upper-division biology course about antibiotic resistance, but it would also be appropriate for lower-division undergraduate and high school biology courses discussing antibiotic use.