The seminar will be delivered in the lab, with slides posted to NOW for later reference. During the bacterial pathogenicity labs you studied pili activity, toxin production, biofilm formation and antibiotic susceptibility

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Please write up using your own results (don’t worry if these were negative – you won’t lose marks for the lab experiment not working). But refer also to the expected results (where available), and the literature, when you write your discussion.

Things you could include in an excellent discussion:

  • what do my results mean?
  • what is the significance of my results (what would infection with a biofilm producing organism be? What would an infection with a toxin producing organism mean for the patient?)
  • how do my data compare to what is known/expected? what are the possible explanations for any discrepancies?
  • what were the limitations of my experiment?
  • suggestions for further work e.g. are there better ways to test for biofilm formation or the production of haemolysins, DNAse and lecithinase? is there anything else we’d ideally like to know about these organisms?

Remember to include your section on teamwork. This is the only chance you have of demonstrating you meet Learning Outcome ‘S8. Work independently and as part of a team’. If you don’t meet this learning outcome, then you cannot pass this assessment element

Assessment Requirements

The report must be in the format of a formal laboratory report. You should submit a maximum of 3 sides of A4 for the main body of your formal report. In addition to this, you must provide a reflective paragraph of no more than 350 words (see later guidance) plus references on additional page(s). The reflective paragraph and references do not count towards your 3 sides of A4 page limit. Pages of formal report text (excluding reflective paragraph and references) which exceed this 3 A4 page limit will not be marked. Font size should be 10-12 and this includes table and figure titles/legends.

Further guidance on the formal report will be given in the associated pre - lab seminar in weeks 18 (Group A and 20 (Group B). The seminar will be delivered in the lab, with slides posted to NOW for later reference.

During the bacterial pathogenicity labs you studied pili activity, toxin production, biofilm formation and antibiotic susceptibility. In your formal report you need to write about the biofilm formation and toxin production (haemolysis, lecithinase and DNAse) only. The report should include the following sections:

Aims/Introduction – maximum ½ side A4 to outline the aims of your lab work.

Results – presented in a compact and clear manner. For the biofilm formation you should analyse your bench’s data (96 well plate assay) making appropriate use of statistical tests to determine whether or not there were any statistically significant differences in biofilm forming ability between the bacterial species tested. For the toxin production you should report your own findings.

Discussion and conclusion – this is where it is expected you will critically evaluate your results, with reference to the publications you have used to explain your findings. You should include discussion of what your results mean, their wider implications (in a clinical context), and any limitations of your work.

In particular, you should discuss:

  • Data reliability and experimental limitations
  • Why bacteria produce biofilm and potential impact on the patient
  • Why bacteria produce the 3 toxins studied and their potential impact on the patient.

Reflective paragraph (mandatory)– This is a mandatory element of this assessment and is the only opportunity in this module to be assessed against Learning Outcome S8 – Work independently and as part of a team.

  • Send a copy of your results section only to a fellow student (it does not have to be a member of the bench you were working on in the lab (in fact, it may be better if it wasn’t)). Get your fellow student to provide you with feedback on your results section (looking at things like presentation, graph labelling etc). You should not share your introduction or discussion sections with other students, and you must not copy any of the work of other students during this exercise.
  • You may be asked by fellow students to provide feedback on their results section – please do this if asked in a timely and constructive manner, giving feedback on good points of your fellow student’s work as well as areas for improvement.
  • Once you have received feedback on your results section, determine of you need to make any changes to it before your final submission.
  • You should then write a reflective paragraph on any feedback you have received from your fellow student(s) indicating who gave you the feedback and the type of feedback you received. You should also state if the feedback you received made you change your results section before final submission. You can also reflect on any feedback you gave to fellow students and how useful you found this process to be.
  • As reflection is personal, you can write this paragraph in the first person.
  • The reflective paragraph should be after your conclusion and should be no more than 350 words maximum (any content over the 350-word limit will not be marked). No minimum word limit exists, but you need to adequately demonstrate that you have worked as part of a team in the production of your report through this feedback exercise.
  • References – correctly cited in the text and in a consistent style in the reference list using the NTU Harvard Referencing system.

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