Laboratory activity to teach about the proliferation of salmonella in vegetables

Marvasi, Massimiliano, Choudhury, Manika and Teplitski, Max (2015) Laboratory activity to teach about the proliferation of salmonella in vegetables. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 16 (2). pp. 230-236. ISSN 1935-7877 (doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.948)

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Abstract

We designed a three-week laboratory experience that can complement any Microbiology teaching laboratory to expand students’ knowledge of the ecology of human enteric pathogens outside of their animal hosts. Through their participation in this laboratory activity, students learned that vegetative and reproductive plant parts could be a natural habitat for enteric bacteria such as non-typhoidal strains of Salmonella enterica. This field was recently brought to the forefront of the scientific and public interest by outbreaks of human illness linked to the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Students were encouraged to develop their own testable hypotheses to compare proliferation of Salmonella enterica sv Typhimurium LT2 in different vegetables: cherry and regular size tomatoes, onions, lettuce, yellow and red bell peppers (Escherichia coli can be substituted for BSL1 laboratories). Upon completion of the laboratory experience, students were able to: 1) Develop testable hypotheses addressing the ability of a human pathogen Salmonella enterica to colonize and proliferate in vegetables; 2) Determine that different vegetables support the growth of Salmonella to a different extent; 3) Conduct statistical analysis and identify any significant differences. The teaching-learning process was assessed with a pre/post test, with an average increase in content understanding from ~15% to 85%. We also measured students’ proficiency while conducting specific technical tasks, revealing no major difficulties while conducting the experiments. Students indicated satisfaction with organization and content of the practices. 100% of the students agreed that the exercises improved their knowledge of this subject.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 17970
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Massimiliano Marvasi
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2015 11:52
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2019 09:21
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/17970

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