New textbook uses real disease outbreaks to teach undergraduate microbiology

WASHINGTON, DC August 7, 2006 A new textbook uses real-world case studies to teach basic foundations of microbiology to students while simultaneously demonstrating how microbiology affects their lives. Outbreak: Cases in Real-World Microbiology, from ASM Press uses 96 classroom-tested case studies that cover the core topics of microbiology and integrate recent outbreaks that have been featured in the news.

"The goal of Outbreak: Cases in Real-World Microbiology is to help students make the important connections between the content of the course, their everyday lives and the ways in which microbiology impacts society as a whole," says author Rodney P. Anderson of Ohio Northern University.

The cases that are presented cover a wide array of outbreaks at differing levels of difficulty and can be taught at all undergraduate levels. At the end of each case study are questions for students to think about and answer. An appendix directs students to specific reference material which provides information relevant to the study questions and encourages students to apply the reference content to the case being studied. An additional appendix provides handy information about antimicrobial agents in table format.

Each of the nine sections of the book features a college perspective and a global perspective case study. The college perspective provides a direct and practical link between the microbiology course and the daily lives of students. The global perspective connects students with outbreaks that have occurred in countries around the world. The global perspective also facilitates understanding of the social, religious, and political values at play in a given outbreak situation and introduces students to the economic forces that impact the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.

"With much of science, learning the content base, although often challenging, is just the beginning. The real objective is to integrate and apply scientific

Contact: Jim Sliwa
American Society for Microbiology

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