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Chickens and Humans and Pigs, Oh My!

A Case Study About Influenza



Co Authors:

Jeffrey J. Byrd
Biology Department
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
jjbyrd@smcm.edu

Samantha L. Elliott
Biology Department
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
slelliott@smcm.edu

Abstract:

Influenza is a common topic in the popular press and a point of interest for many students.  This case study was written to promote interdisciplinary connections between upper division virology and immunology classes.  Students that participate in this case will address many important concepts, including antigenic shift/drift, reassortment of viral antigens, viral entry via sialic acid residues, vaccinations, and pandemics.  Developed in an interrupted case format, instructors may use the case in its entirety or portions that are relevant for their own needs. The case would be appropriate for us in immunology, virology or microbiology courses.

Objectives:
  • Explain the background information of their discipline to others (virology students: the influenza replication process; immunology students: how antigens are seen by the immune system).
  • Describe the basic mechanisms from the counterpart discipline.
  • Understand how viral reassortment affects host immune response and vaccine strategy.
  • Apply the mechanisms studied to future class content.
  • Locate and evaluate appropriate sources of electronic information.
Keywords: Influenza; flu; infectious disease; vaccine; vaccination; antigen; antigenic drift; antigenic shift; original antigenic sin; virus; viral antigen; host immune response; cytokine storm; pandemic; immunity; immunology; virology
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Discussion, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Microbiology   Medicine (General)   Public Health   Interdisciplinary Sciences  
Date Posted: 12/1/2011
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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