MRSA Gene Hunt

Explore antibiotic resistance by taking a closer look at the genomes of two strains of the bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus.

Understand the role of bacteria in disease and how Staphylococcus aureus can become resistant to antibiotics. By using our gene identification cards you can research and classify key genes that play an important role in the drug resistance and virulence of two strains of S. aureus.

S. aureus is an extremely adaptable bacterium. This is because it has proteins on its surface that enable it to attach to host cells and invade our body tissues. It has become well known due to its ability to acquire resistance to antibiotics and spread around hospitals.

S. aureus infections are usually treated with antibiotics. However, strains of S. aureus have emerged which are resistant to a number of antibiotics due to mutations within the genome. As a consequence, S. aureus infections are becoming more difficult to treat.

One strain of the bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is termed a ‘superbug’ because it is particularly difficult to control and especially dangerous to patients who are already ill or have a compromised immune system. MRSA infections have had a severe impact on the health care system, increasing hospital stays and costs.  

This activity can be carried out using either paper-based or online resources.

Age: 16 years + (KS4 +)

This page was last updated on 2015-06-19