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“All Sorts of People”

This historical case study is based upon events surrounding the deadly 1721 smallpox epidemic in Boston. It recounts the story of Cotton Mather, hi ...


A Case Study Involving Influenza and the Influenza Vaccine

This interrupted case study presents a discussion about the benefits of the influenza vaccine between Mary, a nursing student, and her coworker, Ka ...


A Mysterious Illness on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Something is killing organisms from dolphins to dogs to humans on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. What is it? How did it get to the island? How ...


A Shot in the Arm or a Hard Pill to Swallow?

The immune response to a vaccine is influenced by the nature of the vaccine and the delivery method. In this interrupted case study, students trave ...


A Simple Plan

This case study introduces students to Dr. E.L. Trudeau, who performed a seminal early experiment validating the germ theory of infection. Part I i ...


African Illness: A Case of Parasites?

This case is based on a British patient presenting to a hospital with an array of symptoms after returning from an African safari. Students learn a ...


Aliens on Earth?

The discovery of a bacterium capable of substituting arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA was announced with much fanfare in 2010. It was immediately ...


An End to Ulcers?

This “clicker case” teaches students about the scientific method by following the story of the discovery of the cause of human gastric ...


An Infectious Cure

This four-part interrupted case on phage therapy was developed for a freshmen non-majors course in molecular biology. The case begins with a story ...


Antibiotic Resistance

Resistance to antibiotics arose very shortly after these "wonder drugs" were first introduced.  This case study examines resistance to the mos ...


Applying High-Throughput Analysis to Biofilms

This case study describes a hypothetical scenario in which a dental practice is contaminated from an unknown source resulting in multiple patients ...


Are Vaccines and Autism Linked?

This case study was written to reinforce the understanding that a successful hypothesis accounts for all relevant observations and is falsifiable t ...


Between the Living and the Dead

As Jen pores over her introductory biology textbook, she falls asleep and enters a nightmarish world in which bacteria and viruses dwarf human bein ...


Biological Terrorism

In the weeks following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, anthrax-laced envelopes were mailed t ...


Blake's Illness

Blake is sick.  With his background in the sciences and a little help from the Internet, he should be able to do a self-diagnosis.  Or ca ...


Bringing Home More than a Medal

This case study was inspired by the Zika virus outbreak that occurred around the time of the 2016 Olympic Games. Many athletes were fearful of atte ...


BSL-4: Authorized Personnel Only

This case study is based on the 2014 Ebola epidemic that spread to multiple highly populated countries in West Africa, making it the largest and mo ...


Campus Outbreak!

This PowerPoint-driven case study follows the progress of three undergraduate students as they attempt to model the rapid spread of an influenza ou ...


Chickens and Humans and Pigs, Oh My!

Influenza is a common topic in the popular press and a point of interest for many students.  This case study was written to promote interdisci ...


Closing the Gap

In this problem-based learning/role playing case, students apply their knowledge of the biology of HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy to developin ...


Cooking Under Pressure

The Clarksons are making dinner for friends and decide to try out their new pressure cooker. As students read the dialogue that ensues, they learn ...


Cow of the Future

In this case developed for an introductory general microbiology course, students consider concepts of bacterial genetics as they act as consultants ...


Danielle's Difficulty

The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), including severe infection, has increased in both institutional settings and the g ...


Death Becomes Us

This interrupted case study reviews the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in apoptosis, or programmed cell death, and how it may be used i ...


Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

This interrupted case study introduces the topic of bacterial sporulation and cannibalism in Bacillus subtilis. The storyline follows Susa ...


Diagnosing and Treating Charlie’s Strange Spots

This case study introduces a patient who comes into a doctor's office with an interesting set of symptoms that leads to an exotic cancer diagnosis. ...


Differential Diagnosis and Treatment of an Autoimmune Response

There are a number of medical disorders that mimic each other and accordingly prove problematic for diagnosis, including autoimmune disorders (rheu ...


Disease Along the River: A Case Study and Cholera Outbreak Game

This case study centers on an active teaching game that simulates a cholera outbreak among five villages along a river, similar to the Haitian outb ...


Do You Really Know What You're Eating?

Starting from a fictional “news” report about an apparent allergic reaction to a taco tainted by genetically modified corn, students co ...


Dolphin Deaths: A Case Study in Environmental Toxicology

This case study examines a variety of biological factors that may have been involved in the 2013 dolphin "unusual mortality event" (UME) on the Eas ...


Dr. Collins and the Case of the Mysterious Infection

In this case study, Dr. Collins must diagnose and prescribe treatment for a young patient with a serious infection. Students receive pieces of the ...


Drug Wars: An Epic Tale of Asthma and Bacterial Pneumonia

This case study is based on real events that the author experienced with her 10-year-old daughter. Although the names have been changed, all of the ...


East Meets West

Ying is sick and is progressively getting worse. His parents' clashing views on Eastern and Western medicine prevent them from agreeing on a course ...


ELVIS Meltdown!

In this interrupted case study, students assume the role of a microbiologist working at a chemical company that makes polyurethane. When a collecti ...


Evolution in Action

This case study is based on Dr. Richard Lenski’s ongoing studies of evolution in E. coli. Students are introduced to prokaryotic bio ...


Failing to See the Forest for the Trees in Lyme Disease

This clicker case study is based on the true story of Ella Buss, a young girl infected with the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, the causa ...


Fannie’s Fix

This case study is targeted to the middle school science student and written especially with female students in mind. Using an interdisciplinary ap ...


Farmville Future?

Life has changed for the rural residents of Farmville County since the arrival of four concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs); the air has ...


Fatally Flawed?

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, was first detected in China in late 2019 and rapidly spread thro ...


Fecal Coliforms in Antarctica

In this interrupted case study, students explore the environmental consequences of Antarctic research as they design experiments to assess the impa ...


Gastronomic Gastroenteritis at The Fat Duck

This interrupted case study was inspired by and uses data from one of the largest commercial restaurant associated outbreaks of norovirus reported ...


Helicobacter pylori and the Bacterial Theory of Ulcers

This case is an account of the events that led Drs. Robin Warren and Barry Marshall to the bacterial theory of ulcers. The two physicians refused t ...


Hidden in Plain Sight

As nonliving entities, viruses face specific challenges when replicating in a host.  Avoiding the host immune system is something that every v ...


Host-Pathogen Interactions

This case study introduces students to the complex field of immunology and the wide variety of host-pathogen interactions that drive evolutionary c ...


Hot and Bothered

This interrupted case study is a story about Carrie and her infant daughter Hayden who share similar symptoms: weight loss, metabolic abnormalities ...


How to Make ATP

This case study for the flipped classroom introduces the discovery process used to elucidate how cells make ATP. Data from three seminal primary li ...


Hunting the Ebola Reservoir Host

This one-hour introduction to the study of infectious diseases uses recent research on the Ebola reservoir host to motivate students to consider th ...


Is Iron Fertilization Good for the Sea?

This case study describes experiments to seed the ocean with iron to encourage algae growth. It explores how human activities contribute to greenho ...


Is it a Lemon or a Lyme?

This dilemma case was designed for a junior level immunology course. It could also be used in a microbiology or bacteriology course where the empha ...


Is There a Relationship Between Blood Type and Risk of Contracting COVID-19?

This directed case study introduces the basics of blood typing and discusses possible correlations for contracting COVID-19 by blood type. After st ...


It Takes a Herd

This directed case study places students in the role of committee members tasked with developing a strategic long-term plan for building up herd im ...


Just a Spider Bite?

This case relates the story of two fictional college students, Kristen and Brent, who discover that they are infected with Staphylococcus aureu ...


Microbial Pie, or What Did You Feed the Neighbors?

The Emergency Room seems busier than usual, and the cases coming in are all too similar.  Everyone seems to be suffering from the same symptom ...


Nanobacteria

This case study was developed for a first-semester foundations course for biology majors. It is based on two conflicting reports in the scientific ...


No Longer Fond of the Local Pond

When an elementary school teacher calls in sick to work, she finds out that she is not the only one who will be missing school that day.  Chil ...


Patient Zero

Emerging diseases and potential pandemics make the news nearly every year. Students (and everyone else) may wonder where new infectious diseases co ...


Poor Devils

Cancer is usually thought to be a disease that affects individuals. But could cancer evolve to become infectious? This case follows the research on ...


Proper Preparation

In this case study, students assume the role of health officials tasked with communicating to the public about the COVID-19 pandemic caused by seve ...


Resistance is Futile - Or Is It?

While the majority of people are prone to HIV infection, some individuals remain uninfected despite repeated exposure. This case study is based on ...


Resistance Is Futile, Or is It? The Clicker Version

This clicker case is an adaptation of a case by Annie Prud'homme-Généreux that was originally published by the National Center for Ca ...


Resurrection

This case study examines the molecular methods that were used to reverse engineer the 1918 influenza virus strain in order to try and solve the mys ...


Retro Goes Modern

This case study considers the evolution of HIV from SIV, as well as the evolution of HIV within humans by mutation rate. It also discusses the immu ...


Return of the Whoop!

This interrupted case study outlines the history of pertussis or whooping cough, a disease that in the early 1900s claimed the lives of more people ...


Revolt on the Tuberculosis Ward

Monique is a 30-year-old Haitian woman with advanced pulmonary tuberculosis who has been transferred from a tuberculosis sanatorium to a large gene ...


Rising to the Top

This case study was designed for use in teacher-education courses for both graduate student laboratory assistants and lecturers or professors in na ...


Salem's Secrets

This case study examines the Salem witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in the late 1600s. It is designed to provide students with ...


Sarah's Sickness

This story is based on the true account of a student who suffered years of misdiagnoses of her illness while she was in a professional school. As t ...


Sick on a South American Sugarcane Plantation

This case study familiarizes readers with a disease that affects millions of people in Central and South America while illustrating a relatively un ...


Stomp the Stomach Bug

Norovirus is one of the most common causes of infectious diarrhea and vomiting, leading to the nickname “winter vomiting disease.” The ...


Sunny Skies and a Lurking Microbe

Based on a true story, this case study chronicles the development of a wound infection that began as a minor cut that occurred while carrying out a ...


Super Bug

Sam, a pre-med college student, routinely gets dialysis and develops a urinary tract infection. The infection is from a bacterium that the news med ...


Take a Deep Breath

This interrupted case study tells the story of “Callie,” a 26-year-old baker from San Francisco who runs a successful new cupcake busin ...


Take Two and Call Me in the Morning

In this “clicker case,” students read about a college student who becomes sick. As they set out to identify the cause of the illness, s ...


The 1st New Disease of the 21st Century

This case study uses a PowerPoint (~1MB) combined with role-playing to present the epidemiology and pathophysiology of Severe Acute Respiratory Syn ...


The Case of a Tropical Disease and its Treatment

This case study highlights the epidemiological and socioeconomic factors associated with a disease which plagues thousands of people in Central and ...


The Case of the Newborn Nightmare

Three newborns left in the care of "Dr. Mark Maddison" have developed a mysterious rash. Under increasing pressure from hospital administrators and ...


The Ebola Wars: Advanced Edition

This case study was written for upper level undergraduate and graduate students to review foundational aspects of virology and to examine Ebola vir ...


The Ebola Wars: General Edition

This case study introduces students to viruses and is suitable for a general biology course. Terry is a college student who travels to a West Afric ...


The Ebola Wars: Mission Immune Evasion

Through a unique anthropomorphic view and the integration of game-based learning, this case study explores how the Ebola virus can evade the immune ...


The Fun in Fermentation

When covering the process of cellular respiration, advanced high school and undergraduate biology classes present fermentation as a means of anaero ...


The Haemophilus Vaccine

This case study focuses on a young mother whose child attends a day care center where there has been an outbreak of bacterial meningitis. The case ...


The Mystery of the Blue Death

This historical case study describes the story of John Snow’s discovery of water-borne transmission of cholera in 19th-century London. Design ...


The Power of a Test

In this directed case study, students follow the story of “Marcus,” a recent college graduate who is working as a technician in a clini ...


The Unfortunate Nurse

Dengue (pronounced "deng-ee") is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, usually Aedes aegypti. It is common in ...


To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate

The case was prompted by a newspaper story about a couple who refused on religious grounds to have their son vaccinated even though vaccination is ...


Vaccines, Social Media, and the Public Health

While the "vaccine controversy" has made headlines since the late 1990s, the emergence and popularity of social media has created a public opinion ...


Vikings on Mars

Three experiments carried out by the Mars Viking landers in 1976 remain, to this day, our only attempt to detect life on another planet. All other ...


We Are Not Alone

This interrupted case study for the flipped classroom introduces the human microbiome from the perspective of one of its occupants, Heidi Helicobac ...


What Should the Victor Do with the Vanquished?

Smallpox, the worst infectious disease mankind has known, represents a major triumph as the first disease to be intentionally and completely remove ...


Where’s the Evidence?

This analysis case study uses a jigsaw activity in which students learn about characteristics of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 ...


Which Came First, the Mutation or the Antibiotic?

This case study presents the story of Phil, an undergraduate majoring in biology, whose Russian cousin Dimitri has contracted tuberculosis (TB) fro ...


Why Was the 1918 Influenza So Deadly?

In this intimate debate, students examine the causes of the devastation wrought by the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic. Students consider whether t ...


Yeast Cryptography

This "clicker case" focuses on the use of molecular biology concepts and techniques to protect the property of a fictional bread company. Students ...