Activity Sheet

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BioTRAC Science Saturday Activity: Operation
Year 6 Area – Infectious Diseases
Your body has built-in defenses to help keep you from
becoming sick, even when you have been exposed to a
pathogen. You can help your body out by having good
Your body’s first lines of defense, its barriers, do a
great deal to help keep out pathogens. Any that actually
make it past barriers then have to go toe-to-toe with the
immune system. The immune system has a variety of
mechanism to help prevent infections.
When infectious diseases spread throughout the population,
it becomes important for public measures to be undertaken
to keep the community healthy. Developed countries have
regulations that help to protect the general public from
infectious agents. However, the countries that have the
most problems are the ones that can’t afford to impose
public health measures.
Food for Thought
What are some of the reasons that infectious agents ran
rampant in ancient times? List some hygiene techniques
that may help protect you against infectious diseases.
What are your first defenses to pathogens, or barriers?
How is it possible for pathogens to get past it? What is
the immune system? In general, how does it work?
are some signs that your immune system is working?
Describe some of the mechanisms of the immune system. How
does the body use the immune system to develop immunity to
certain pathogens? What is a vaccine? How does it work?
Why doesn’t our immune system work with HIV. What effect
does HIV/AIDS have on the immune system? What is the
reason for imposing public health measures? What are some
of these measures?
Hygiene: practices that ensure cleanliness and good health
Immune system: the body’s defense system against invasion
by foreign substances or disease; it detects pathogens and
eliminates them by launching an attack against them
Immunity: natural or acquired resistance to a specific
disease; the ability to remember a previous encounter with
a foreign substance and react, quickly, to it
Nonspecific mechanisms: work against a wide variety of
invaders; includes skin, inflammatory responses, fever,
tears, saliva, mucous
Specific mechanisms:
to a disease
effective only against specific
treatment with a vaccine to produce immunity
Antibiotics: substances produced by molds/fungi that kill
or inhibit bacterial growth
the body
molecule that stimulates an immune response in
Antibodies: proteins used by the immune system to identify
and neutralize foreign objects; each recognizes a specific
antigen and can be found in the blood and tissue fluids or
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Operation Antibody!
Apply your knowledge of the immune system to explain what
is going on as the body is invaded.
Index cards each with one of the 6 case studies
Construction Paper
Poster Board
1. Each group chooses an index card describing a specific
2. Using what you’ve learned, plus other sources of
information, analyze the case.
3. Create a diagram or concept map that illustrates the
interaction between the invading antigen and the
immune system. Include:
a. Type of antigen
b. The reaction caused
c. Mode of entry
d. Transmission
e. How the immune system deals with it; the immune
4. Present to class!
1. What was different about the response you dealt with
when compared to the responses of the other groups in
the class?
2. Describe some of the ways microbes/pathogens evade the
body’s immune system.
3. What is the difference between an antigen and an
4. Explain the similarities/differences in the ways that
bacteria and viruses affect the immune system.
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