- Reading 1 Module Introduction
- Activity 1 Protection from Infection
- Reading 2 An Ounce of Prevention
- Activity 2 Stop That Disease
- Reading 3 On Guard
- Reading 3 Videos
- Activity 3 Defending
- Reading 4 Mimicking an Infection
- Reading 4 Discussion
- Additional Resources
Defending Against Infection
Students select a disease from the Timeline of Infectious Diseases and model how the immune system would respond to the pathogenic agent of that disease using information from Reading 3 (On Guard), Table 1: The Immune Response to Infection.
Encourage students to take careful notes, particularly while watching the video and to watch the videos more than once, pausing when needed.
The immune system is extremely complex. For simplicity students may choose to model only a cellular response or a humoral response for the sake of clarity and simplicity. They should be reminded that in most cases both responses are occurring. Alternatively you may want to have students play the Immune System Game, which gives students a feel for the complexity of the immune response.
In this task you will model how the immune system responds to a viral or a bacterial infection using information from the reading On Guard, the table The Immune Response to Infection, and the video The Immune Response from Reading 3.
Cellular Immune Response
The following two videos provide more detailed information about the cellular and humoral immune responses to bacteria and to viruses.
Humoral Immune Response
The table below provides a detailed description of the major players in the immune response to viruses and bacteria.
|Immune System Component||Action||Interacts with|
|Helper T Cell||
|Killer (Cytotoxic) Cell||
infected host cell displaying viral antigen on its surface
|Memory B Cell||
viruses and bacteria that have infected the body before
- Select a disease on the Timeline of Infectious Diseases. It can be the same one you chose for Activity 2 or a different one.
- Review Reading 3, Table 1 and the 3 videos. As you review, take careful notes about the actions of the immune cells and proteins that are relevant to your pathogen.
- Prepare a diagram, drawing, animation, cartoon or other means of displaying how the immune system fights to ward off infection of your pathogen. Figure 3 models the two types of responses, cellular and humoral, to a chicken pox infection as an example.
- Be prepared to share your model with the class.
Note: It is important to realize that the immune system will respond to infections, but may not be able to fight off all infections. When the infection cannot be stopped by the immune response, treatment, if it exists, must be carried out. Otherwise, the patient will die.