Questions for The war on superbugs


Before reading 

1.    With a partner, research the difference between bacteria and viruses.

2.    Think of the last time you were ill with something other than a cold. What symptoms did you have? What kind of medicines were you given?

During reading

1.    How do microbes become resistant to antibiotics?

2.    What is the leading cause of death among young adults, worldwide?

3.    Some disease experts once thought that tuberculosis could be wiped out by 2025. Why is that now unlikely?

4.    Why might a doctor prescribe an antibiotic for a patient that won’t be helped by it?

5.    What did Daniella Meeker have doctors do that resulted in them reducing the number of antibiotics they prescribed?

6.    What are hospitalists?

7.    How can researchers find out what kind of antibiotics a TB germ might be resistant to?

8.    What are broad-spectrum antibiotics and why are they a problem for antibiotic resistance?

9.    Where might you find Lactobacillus bacteria in your kitchen?

10.What were the first two classes of antibiotics that were discovered in the early 20th century?

After reading

1.    What might happen if more bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?

2.    Read the Explainer “What you can do to fight antibiotic resistance.” Pick one of the tips and then explain why following that piece of advice will help to fight antibiotic resistance.


1.    Research Alexander Fleming. Why did he begin looking for chemicals that could kill bacteria?