Fighting Mosquito Borne Disease

An Introduction to Mosquito Borne Diseases

The first module focuses on establishing a basic understanding of the main types of mosquito borne diseases (MBD), how they are transmitted and vocabulary used when discussing ideas within this area of scientific study. This module could take 1-2 hours of class time.

Summary

VCE Biology (2017-2021)

Unit 4, Area of Study 2, Outcome 2, VCE Biology Study Design

Key knowledge

Biological knowledge and society

  • strategies that deal with the emergence of new diseases in a globally connected world (Module 1), including the distinction between epidemics and pandemics (Module 3), the use of scientific knowledge to identify the pathogen, and the types of treatments.

Survival through adaptations and regulations (Unit 1, Area of Study 2, Outcome 2)

  • The structural, physiological and behavior adaptations that enhance an organism’s survival and enable life to exist in a wide range of environments. (i.e. mosquitoes)

Duration

1-2 hours

Student learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • define a mosquito-borne disease (MBD).
  • list some examples of MBDs.
  • describe the general nature of how a MBD is transmitted and the role of insect vectors.
  • use of appropriate terms: vector; infectious disease, virus; non-infectious disease, incubation period, pathogen.
  • describe the disease Dengue Fever.
  • describe and explain the spread of MBDs through a population.
  • describe the mosquito life cycle and explain its importance for disease control.
  • describe and explain current mosquito control strategies.

Teacher background information

Module description

To look at strategies that deal with the emergence of new diseases (Module 3), students will need background knowledge of these diseases and their current treatments. Additionally, understanding the biology of the mosquito is essential for understanding the transmission of MBDs. The biology of the mosquito could be used for teaching key knowledge from VCE Biology Unit 1.

Teaching sequence

Activities

Activity 1.1 - Stopping Mosquito-Borne Disease

The core resource for this module is the HHMI interactive multimedia slide set - Stopping Mosquito-Borne Disease. Using Dengue fever as the context, it introduces and explains fundamental ideas related to mosquito-borne diseases. It uses clear graphics, short embedded videos, interactive questions to prompt students’ thinking, and a large case study. Rather than work through the entire resource from beginning to end, it is suggested that the case study section be used as a separate activity towards the end of the module. The teacher can work through the slides with the whole class. Alternatively, students can work independently on their own devices, with the teacher calling the class together to check student understanding, as well as to discuss, explain and reinforce the main ideas.

The downloadable document below is a suggested approach to using the HHMI Stopping Mosquito-Borne Disease multimedia interactive as a whole- class teacher-led presentation. Of course, there are other ways in which the resource may be used. Students may work through the slides at their own pace and/or in their own time. The structure and support provided is dependent on the learning needs of the students. Some quiz questions might be used to focus the students’ attention on the more important ideas.

Key learning objectives as listed in the video:

  • Think about infectious diseases, and how they can be contained
  • Learn about the role of vectors in spreading infectious diseases
  • Understand the mosquito life cycle, including the major developmental stages
  • Devise intervention to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne infections
Download - Using the Stopping Mosquito-Borne Disease Interactive in a Whole-class setting (2MB docx)

More information about Mosquito Borne Diseases:

Website

World Health Organisation. Mosquito Borne-diseases

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Website

Queensland Government. Other mosquito borne diseases.

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Website

BioInteractive. Factors That Affect the Mosquito Lifecycle

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Website

AMCA The American Mosquito Control Association

Open
Video

Why Can Mosquitoes Transmit Zika, But Not the Flu?

Open
Video

Zika Virus: What We Know (And What We Don't)

Open
Video

3 Reasons Mosquitoes suck

Open

Activity 1.2 - Deadly messengers

This activity uses the document Deadly Messengers produced by Rx for Survival – A Global Health Challenge

Teachers Guide: Deadly Messengers (248KB pdf)

This document is a guide for teachers. It suggests showing the following video to students Deadly Messengers RX FOR SURVIVAL

Note: The video is very long! It’s best to suggest students watch the video as a homework assignment before you do this activity. In this “Deadly Messenger” guide, students conduct a role-play to examine how a vector transmits a disease. Groups of students research West Nile virus and six mosquito-control techniques. They find at least two arguments in favor of and against each technique and use them to debate the pros and cons of spraying insecticide to control mosquitoes. The class then discusses which combination of techniques might work best to reduce the number of malaria-related deaths around the world. There is also a student worksheet at the end.

Activity 1.3 - Researching a Mosquito-borne Disease (Group project)

Purpose: for students to learn about the different types of mosquito borne diseases.

Time: 1 to 2 hours

Setting the task:

  1. There are many types of mosquito borne diseases that occur throughout the world and even within Australia. Ask if students can name a few MBDs.

    Instructions to students: Working in groups you will choose and research a type of MBD with the aim of delivering a 5-minute presentation to the class.

    Research the following information for your chosen disease:

    • Where the disease occurs
    • The number of people affected
    • Details of transmission
    • Treatment options
    • Prevention options
    • Whether vaccinations are available
    • Other import issues specific to the disease
  2. Have students work in groups of 3 or 4.

  3. Assign a MBD from the World Health Organisation list or from the list discussed in Activity 1.

    This may include Ross River, Barmah Forest Virus etc.

  4. Note: the group that is assigned Malaria must explore why its method of transmission is different from other types of MBDs.

  5. Refer the students to the list of references below.

Resources students might use to complete Activity 1.3:

Website

Mosquito borne diseases

Topic - The main types of MBD: Dengue Fever; Zika; Yellow Fever; West Nile Virus; Chikungunya; and Malaria

This could be assigned reading for students or background reading for the teacher to explain in a lesson.

Open
Video and Quiz

The loathsome, lethal mosquito

Topic - Virus transmission

This video introduces mosquitoes and the science behind transmission of virus from mosquito bites in a simplified way.

Open
Video

3 Reasons Mosquitoes Suck

Topic - Mosquito biology

This gives general information on mosquitoes in general and their need for a blood source.

Open
Video

Zika Virus: What We Know (And What We Don't)

Topic - Zika virus

Gives current information on the status of the Zika virus. A current issue in today’s society.

Open
Website

Other Mosquito Bourne Diseases

Topic - Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus and dengue

Mentions other types of MBD in Australia.

Open
Website

Mosquito Borne Diseases

Topic - The main types of MBD: Dengue Fever; Zika; Yellow Fever; West Nile Virus; Chikungunya; and Malaria

This is an Australian site outlining the various mosquito borne diseases.

Open
Website

The mosquito life cycle

Topic - The mosquito life cycle

The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct stages of its life cycle.

Open
Video

Why Can Mosquitoes Transmit Zika, But Not the Flu?

Topic - Zika virus transmission

Informative video on why mosquitoes transmit a number of terrible diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus, but why not the flu?

Open
Document

Mosquito Reference Manual

Topic - Mosquito biology and vector transmission

This a handout that can be given to students for background knowledge. Includes a glossary with key terms.

Open

Activity 1.4 - Student Laboratory Activity - Factors That Affect the Mosquito Life Cycle

Instructions for this activity can be found at: http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/classroom-activities-factors-affect-mosquito-life- cycle

There are three documents available for download.

  1. The teacher’s guide
  2. The students guide
  3. The mosquito reference manual (listed earlier)

Summary:
(Taken directly from the web page)

“Arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and flies, can transmit various disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa between vertebrate hosts. Studying the life cycles of such vectors may suggest strategies for limiting, or even stopping, the spread of the diseases they transmit. In this activity, students test variables that might affect the life cycle of the mosquito. Mosquitoes transmit a number of important diseases, such as malaria, West Nile disease, and dengue fever.

For this practical activity, students rear mosquitoes in chambers that allow them to make observations without risking the release of the insects into the classroom. Although it takes about two weeks for the mosquito life cycle, and this activity, to be completed, observations require only a few minutes each day. The activity is appropriate for a general, honors, or AP high school biology course and an undergraduate biology course. It can also be adapted for the middle school or primary school life science classroom.”

Teacher and Student resources - additional information and activity suggestions

Interactive and Activity

Stopping Mosquito-Borne Disease

Use - A great interactive presentation for teachers to show to the class. I would recommend adding in additional slides to make this lesson more complete. Please see “Additional Slides”

Topic - MBD, Vector, Transmission, Mosquito Life Cycle, current control strategies

This already made multimedia interactive is a great resource that covers this whole lesson plan in a very logical sequence that includes interactive questions to prompt students, short video (embedded) and a large case study. I would recommend ending the presentation before the case study section and using that as an activity towards the end of this module. This can be the bulk of this module.

Activity (Case Study): This case study explores a Mosquito Eradication program that has taken place in Brazil to help decrease Dengue Fever. It requires students to analyze data and graphs from this study and interpret their findings.

Open
Slide (1.9MB pptx)

Incubation Period

Chapter 5: pages 143-145 Borger-Smith et al. 2006. Nelson Biology Units 3&4. National Library of Australia, Victoria

Use - Additional Slides to insert into above video + teacher and student reading

Topic - Incubation Period

Add this slide after slide 3 in “Stopping Mosquito-Borne Disease”. Graph illustrating the various phases of an infection. Note the time lag between the time of infection and the onset of symptoms. This is known as the incubation period.

Download
Textbook

Agents of infectious disease

Chapter 5: pages 143-145 Borger-Smith et al. 2006. Nelson Biology Units 3&4. National Library of Australia, Victoria

Use - Teachers and student reading. Review questions.

Topic - Introduces topic with a focus on background information and appropriate terms. Pathogens, parasites, non-infectious disease, virulence, infected, infection, vector, symptoms.

Great reading to learn terms associated with this topic.

Website

Mosquito borne diseases

Use - Teacher resource, Student reading and Activity

Topic - The main types of MBD: Dengue Fever; Zika, Yellow Fever; West Nile Virus; Chikungunya; and Malaria

This could be assigned reading for students or background reading for the teacher to explain in a lecture.

Activity- Ask students to work in small groups to research a type of mosquito borne disease. Present a five-minute presentation to the class.

Useful links from this website:

Open
Video and Quiz

The loathsome, lethal mosquito

Use - For students

Topic - Virus transmission

This video introduces mosquitoes and the science behind transmission of virus from mosquito bites in a simplified way.

Open
Video

3 Reasons Mosquitoes Suck

Use - For students’ personal interest

Topic - Mosquito biology

This gives general information on mosquitoes in general and their need for a blood source.

Open
Video

Zika Virus: What We Know (And What We Don't)

Use - For teachers and students Background for teachers or students

Topic - Zika virus

Gives current information on the status of the Zika virus. A current issue in today’s society.

Open
Website

Other Mosquito Bourne Diseases

Use - Background for teachers or students

Topic - Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus and dengue

Mentions other types of MBD in Australia.

Open
Website

Mosquito Borne Diseases

Use - Background for teachers

Topic - The main types of MBD: Dengue Fever; Zika; Yellow Fever; West Nile Virus; Chikungunya; and Malaria

This is an Australian site outlining the various mosquito borne diseases.

Open
Website

The mosquito life cycle

Use - Background reading

Topic - The mosquito life cycle

The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct stages of its life cycle.

Open
Activity

Deadly Messengers

Use - How vector transmits disease; insecticides

Topic - How vector transmits disease; insecticides

Students conduct a role-play to examine how a vector transmits a disease. Next, teams of students research West Nile virus and six mosquito-control techniques. They find at least two arguments in favor of and against each technique and use them to debate the pros and cons of spraying insecticide to control mosquitoes. The class then discusses which combination of techniques might work best to reduce the number of malaria-related deaths around the world.

Open
Video

Why Can Mosquitoes Transmit Zika, But Not the Flu?

Use - For students

Topic - Zika virus transmission

Informative video on why mosquitoes transmit a number of terrible diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus, but why not the flu?

Open
Document

Mosquito Reference Manual

Use - Teacher and student information

Topic - Mosquito biology and vector transmission

This a handout that can be given to students for background knowledge. Includes a glossary with key terms.

Open
Activity

Classroom Activities: Factors That Affect the Mosquito Life Cycle

Use - Teacher and Student guide

Topic - The mosquito life cycle

For this activity, students rear mosquitoes in chambers that allow them to make observations without risking the release of the insects into the classroom. Although it takes about two weeks for the mosquito life cycle, and this activity, to be completed, observations require only a few minutes each day. The activity is appropriate for a general, honors, or AP high school biology course and an undergraduate biology course.

Open
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Contributors

Thanks to the following for contributing to the development of these sequences:

Special thanks to Ian Bentley and Mary Vamvakas