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An Extended, Problem-Based Learning Laboratory Exercise on the Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases Suitable for Large Level 1 Undergraduate Biology Classes

Tatner, Mary; Tierney, Anne


Mary Tatner

Anne Tierney


The development and evaluation of a two-week laboratory class, based on the diagnosis of human infectious diseases, is described. It can be easily scaled up or down, to suit class sizes from 50 to 600 and completed in a shorter time scale, and to different audiences as desired. Students employ a range of techniques to solve a real-life and relevant problem, and are introduced to the range and type of infectious agents, their routes of transmission and risk factors, clinical symptoms and diagnoses, and their treatment and prevention. No infectious material is used, and the practical is very inexpensive and easy to prepare. Six ‘patients’ are diagnosed, using their symptoms, patient histories, temperature records, serology, blood and faecal slide examination, and bacteriological isolation from blood, faeces and cerebrospinal fluid.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 6, 2015
Online Publication Date Feb 6, 2015
Publication Date Jan 2, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 29, 2016
Journal Journal of biological education
Print ISSN 0021-9266
Electronic ISSN 2157-6009
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 1
Pages 54-60
Keywords Problem-based learning; Diagnostic laboratory;Infectious diseases; Real-life scenarios;
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