The Fight Against Bacteria
Sammy’s Struggle with an STD
Department of Chemistry
North Carolina State University
This case study tells the story of “Sammy,” a freshman undergraduate student who is experiencing her first weeks on campus, in order to teach the importance of proper antibiotic usage, STD (sexually transmitted disease) screening, and prevention strategies. Sammy ends up contracting chlamydia and is prescribed a one-week treatment of the antibiotic doxycycline. However, once Sammy starts to feel better, she stops her treatment. This allows the chlamydia bacteria to proliferate, some of which are resistant to the antibiotics. The first part of the case study ties in topics such as antibiotic resistance, the theory of natural selection, and the detrimental consequences of improper antibiotic usage. The second part is optional and delves into STD screening and prevention strategies defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Students access NCHHSTP AtlasPlus, an online interactive tool hosted by the CDC, to investigate trends and infection rates of chlamydia in their state. This case study is appropriate for advanced senior-level high school students or freshman undergraduate students with a background in general biology.
- Understand the concept of antibiotic resistance.
- Be able to interpret and describe the growth cycle of bacteria, before and after antibiotic treatment.
- Identify a missense mutation in a DNA sequence.
- Understand the importance of proper antibiotic usage.
- Understand why early intervention is important for medicine and management of STDs.
- Describe five strategies to prevent and control STDs.
KeywordsAntibiotic resistance; antimicrobial resistance; STD; STI; bacteria; chlamydia; sexually transmitted disease; infection; evolution; natural selection;
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsDirected, Discussion
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Nursing | Public Health | Science (General) |
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.