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Bio-science: Case study

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Bio-science: Case study

Word count: 1200 words

Aim of Assessment

Is to increase students understanding of how microorganisms can cause health breakdown, and the role of relevant pharmacological interventions in the recovery process. Students will explore various modes of transmission, relevant characteristics of pathogens and the importance of breaking the chain of infection. This assessment facilitates the development of the following skills: critical appraisal of the nurse’s role in infection control, literature searching, and academic writing and referencing.


Students are provided with a hypothetical case study to read. They then must answer the questions provided relating to the study. Student should draw on relevant literature provided to support their answers, and reference using the APA 6th Ed. Style


  • Students must respond to each questions using academic writing. It is anticipated that this work will be presented in a question/ answer format using full sentences and paragraphs.
  • As a guide, please aim to write around 35 words per allocated mark for each question. Thus, if question is worth 10 marks, aim to answer it in around 350 words. Please note, the suggested WORD COUNT is a guide.  You are NOT expected to strictly adhere to 35 words per mark

Case study:

Peter Smith, a 19-year-old university student, was suffering from influenza and visited his local GP. He said he began to feel unwell two days earlier and his condition had worsened since, with an acute onset of a sore throat (pharyngitis).

On examination the following observations were made:

  • Fever of 38.9’ C
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Enlarged anterior cervical lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

In addition, peter also complained of:

  • Aching joints
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache

Peter’s throat was observed to have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Swollen
  • Having a patchy covering of yellow- white exudate over his tonsils.

The doctor prescribed phenoxymethylpenicillin 500mg twice per day for ten days.

Using the supplied template answer the following questions:

Q1. Explain how Peter’s fever developed and state, with explanation, two benefits of fever. (Total: 5 marks)

Q2. Given that influenza is caused by a virus, why was Peter prescribed an antibiotic? The doctor prescribed phenoxymethylpenicillin. Discuss the mode of action of phenoxymethylpenicillin. Explain why antibiotics are not effective against viruses. (Total: 10 marks).

Q3. Describe 2 possible ways that Peter could have contracted the influenza virus (modes of transmission). Identify 2 ways by which the modes of transmission could be broken. (Total 5 marks)

Q4. Describe the physiological basis of †he three signs and symptoms of Peter’s throat. Relate your response to this case study. (Total 10 marks)

Q5. Compare and contrast the processes by which viruses and bacteria replicate (Total: 5 marks)


The following 8 resources MUST be used and cited in this case study. Additional resources may be also used.


Boland, M. (Director), Santall, J. (Presenter), & Video Education Australasia. (2011). Infection control     in healthcare [Videorecording]. Bendigo, Australia: VEA. Available online

Bullock, S., & Manias, E. (2014). Fundamentals of pharmacology (7th ed.). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Australia.

Craft, J., Gordon, C., Heuther, S., McCance, K., Brashers, V., & Rote, N. (2015). Understanding pathophysiology 2. Chatswood, Australia: Elsevier. Available online (2011 edition)

Lee, G., & Bishop, P. (2016). Microbiology and infection control for health professionals (6thed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Pearson Australia.

Grossman, S. C., & Porth,C. M. (2014). Porth’s pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Lehne, R. A., Moore, L., Crosby, L., & Hamilton, D. (2013). Pharmacology for nursing care (8th ed.). St. Louis, Mo: Saunders/Elsevier. Available online

Marieb, E.N., & Hoehn, K. (2016). Human anatomy & physiology (10th global ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education.

WHO (2015). Influenza,an unpredictable threat. Retrieved from

 Marking Criteria

Criteria 1: fever development and benefits

Presents an accurate and clear scientific description of fever and how it develops. States 2 benefits of fever with succinct and precise explanation.

Criteria 2: prescription, mode of action and effectiveness of phenoxymethylpenicillin

Identifies and explains clearly and precisely the reason why an antibiotic was prescribed. Presents a succinct and precise description of the mechanism action of phenoxymethylpenicillin. Explains with clear and accurate scientific reasoning why antibiotics are ineffective against viruses

Use all relevant prescribed literature appropriately to support the explanation

Criteria 3: spreading of influenza and breaking its mode of transmission

Precisely identifies 2 modes of transmission and presents a clear, succinct and precise explanation of how these modes can be broken.

Use all relevant prescribed literature appropriately to support the explanation

Criteria 4: physiological basis of signs and symptoms

Presents a clear, precise and succinct identification and discussion of the physiological basis of the 3 signs and symptoms.

Relates all the information to the case study.

Use all relevant prescribed literature appropriately to support the explanation

Criteria 5: Presents a clear, precise and succinct description and comparison of viral and bacterial replication processes using scientific explanation.

Use all relevant prescribed literature appropriately to support the explanation

Criteria 6: academic style and referencing

consistent writing style that communicates ideas coherently using correct sentence structure, grammatical construction, spelling and punctuation. Referencing is consistent, thorough and well used to support all claims, and all references, consistently following APA 6th Ed. Style. Uses all the 8 references provided and accurately presents these citations in a reference list.

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