UniServe Science Biology Table of Contents

9.4 The Search for Better Health
What is a healthy organism? General resources
Cleanliness, personal hygiene and water quality Microbes as causes of disease
Pathogens Infectious diseases
Immunity and immunisation Prevention and control of disease
Epidemiological Studies Non-infectious diseases
Plant diseases
Search for Better Health (Plant Diseases)
Quarantine measures

What is a healthy organism?


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General resources

Fact Sheets - from World Health Organisation. Listed alphbetically by name, the sheets include many infectious diseases

Center for Disease Control and Prevention - a US Government site. CDC.gov is CDC's primary online communication channel. Annually, there are close to 500 million page views to the site, averaging 41 million page views per month. CDC.gov provides users with credible, reliable health information.

Fact Sheets - on a range of topics including Adolescent Immunization, Hepatitis B, Reduce the Risk of Infectious Diseases, from National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit, tax-exempt (501c3) organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.

Surviving Challenges from Organisms that Cause Disease: Introduction - from VCE Biology Students' site at La Trobe University.

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Cleanliness, personal hygiene and water quality

Viruses - from WATERSHEDSS, North Carolina State University. An introduction to various viruses

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines - from National Health and Medical Research Council. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines is undergoing a rolling revision process that ensures it represents the latest scientific evidence on good quality drinking water. As sections of the Guidelines continue to be reviewed, this page will be updated to provide the latest information. Good background information for teachers.

Education - from Sydney Water. For students, teachers or self-educators, everything from how the water cycle works, to how to organise a school excursion to a treatment plant. Includes teaching notes

Water Treatment Report - from Craville Studies. A summary of water treatment methods

Education and Action - from Sydney Catchment Authority. The SCA works to increase awareness and understanding of our water supply catchments and dams through information sharing and education. Our aim is to inspire individuals and communities to take positive actions that contribute to catchment health and water quality. Includes HSC online resources

The Botany Aquifer

Treating toxic water useless, warns expert - Sydney Morning Herald 2003
The Ban on Bore water - Sydney Morning Herald August 2006
Orica to spend $167 mln cleaning up Botany Bay water - Industry Search December 2004

Build your own watershed - Activity from US EPA for grades 8-12

Drinking Water Contaminants - from US EPA. An introduction to various contaminants in drinking water

Water and Public Health Factsheets - from NSW Department of Public Health, includes Giardiasis and Cryptosporidiosis. The Environmental Health Branch works in collaboration with the Public Health Network which is a network of 16 Public Health Units, each with a dedicated environmental health section.

Safe Food: It's Your Job Too! - food safety lessons were developed by the Food Safety Project at Iowa State University Extension to provide consumers and future consumers with the tools they need to help minimize their risk from harmful pathogens in the food supply.

Bugs in the News! - from the University of Kansas. A collection of articles relating to pathogenic bugs

A-Z Index of Common Health Topics - site maintained by NSW Health. Includes information on diseases such as Ross River Fever and Water and Public Health

Slow Sand Filtration - An introduction to Slow Sand Filtration. The history of slow sand filtration in the United States has been one of reluctant acceptance. Many European cities choose slow sand filtration as a water treatment method because of its simplicity, reliability, and economy (Collins).

National Drinking Water Clearinghouse - a Tech Brief factsheet on Slow Sand Filtration (pdf 212kb)

A simple water filter - Transcript from Radio Australia. An Australian scientist has developed a new water filtration system, an invention that potentially will benefit millions of people in developing countries and would enable anyone in the world to drink water safely.

Parasitology Research - site maintained by the Division of Biology, Kansas State University. Contains details of Cryptosporidium outbreaks world wide

Understanding Intestinal Spore-forming protozoa  - from Annals of Internal Medicine. This article aims to summarise recent information about the “new” gastrointestinal protozoal pathogens (cryptosporidia, microsporidia, isospora, and cyclospora) and to help practicing clinicians integrate this information into their clinical databases by emphasizing the similarities among these organisms.

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Louis Pasteur

The Life and Times of Louis Pasteur - by David V. Cohn, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Louisville Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. An introduction to Louis Pasteur and his work

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) - from Access Excellence. An introduction to Louis Pasteur and his work

Spontaneous Generation - briefly covers the work of Francesco Redi, Lazzaro Spallanzani and Louis Pasteur with some focus questions, from Kent School District

Spontaneous Generation - from Washington State University. An introduction to Spontaneous Generation

Louis Pasteur - Biography and introduction to his contributions to science


Pasteur's swan-necked flask experiment - Through this experiment, students learn about the contribution of Pasteur and Koch to our understanding of infectious diseases

Robert Koch

Robert Koch - Biography - from Nobel Prize Official Website

Robert Koch - An introduction to Robert Koch and his scientific contributions

Demonstrating Koch's Postulates - A student sheet for studying Koch's Postulates. Robert Koch was a bacteriologist who lived from 1843 to 1910. In his work on diseases, he was trying to establish whether a microbe, obtained from a diseased patient, was in fact the cause of the disease. This led him to formulate ‘Koch’s Postulates’ - a set of conditions which need to be fulfilled to establish which organism is causing a particular disease.



Microbes in Action - from University of Missouri - St. Louis. The Science in the Real World: Microbes in Action program serves to promote an understanding and appreciation of the importance of microorganisms in our world. This program provides scientific information and hands-on activities in microbiology to K-12 teachers via curriculum units, workshops, a newsletter, and this web site.

MicrobeWorld - from American Society for Microbiology. Good education resource for basic understanding of the science, including advice for starting a career, microbial record holders, tools of the trade, and much more.

Name that bug - an educational game from St Louis Community College

The Mystery Spot: Access Excellence Mysteries - from Access Excellence. Various classroom activities

Virology - from Alan Cann, Microbiology Bytes. Various classroom resources

Koch's Postulates - from Alan Cann, Microbiology Bytes

Diseases covered by CSR (Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response) - from WHO, includes African trypanosomiasis, hepatitis, rabies and more

Historical development of our understanding of cause and prevention of malaria

History of Malaria - from The Malaria Site

Ronald Ross - brief biography of Ronald Ross and his work with malaria from the Nobel e-Museum

Malaria - a growing threat - from the Australian Academy of Science, includes the life cycle of malarial parasite

Malaria - from Hoslink, a resource portal for Medical and Biomedical Professionals

Plasmodium Falciparum - Life Cycle Diagram from Atlas of Medical Parasitology

Malaria - from the Why Files

Keeping Malaria at Bay: Insecticide-treated Nets - an introduction to the use of insecticide-treated nets to keep malaria at bay

Malaria: An On-line Resource - excellent reources from Division of Laboratory Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital

Malaria in Malawi, Bitter-sweet Success - from ABC Science Online, the Lab

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Fact Sheets - on a range of topics including Adolescent Immunization, Hepatitis B, Reduce the Risk of Infectious Diseases, from National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Images of Parasites - a page of links, from Ohio State University


Mad cow disease - a human problem! - from the Australian Academy of Science

Prion Background page - from BioQuest. An introduction to Prions

The Prion Diseases - by Stanley B. Prusiner who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of Prions, a new biological principle of infection

Prion Diseases and the BSE Crisis - by Stanley B. Prusiner in Science, October, 1997

Prions - transcript of an interview with Stanley Prusiner on the health report, Radio National, ABC

The Neuropathology of CJD - from The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit. UK



All the Virology on the WWW - maintained by the Garry Lab, Tulane University School of Medicine, this site contains of links to all aspects of virology

Medical Virology Lecture Notes - from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, this site covers a number of diseases caused by viruses such as Mumps Viral Gastroenteritis, Influenza, Herpes viruses, Viral Haemorrhagic fevers, Rabies, Rubella as well as details of Vaccination for the prevention of these diseases.

Dr. Donald P. Francis Talks to Teachers About the Ebola Outbreak - transcript from Access Excellence

Dr. Frederick A. Murphy Talks about the Ebola Virus - transcript from Access Excellence

An end to influenza? - from The Academy of Science, printer-friendly version

Avian Influenza - from WHO. Information about 'bird flu'

Bird flu – the pandemic clock is ticking - from NOVA, Australian Academy of Science

Influenza - a fact sheet from World Health Organisation

Emerging and Re-emerging Viruses: An Essay - by Alison Jacobson, Department of Microbiology, University of Cape Town includes ebola and influenza

Kissing the Epstein-Barr virus goodbye? - from NOVA (Science in the News) The Australian Academy of Science

Equine Influenza

Equine influenza - from NSW Department of Primary Industries

Equine influenza - fact sheet from CSIRO

Equine influenza - from Animal Health Australia




Beginning with bacteria - description of different types of bacteria

Bacteria of Medical Importance - from University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Bacteriology

What the Heck is an E. coli? - from the University of Kansas. Details what E. coli is, when it is OK and when it is a problem

Some Interesting Bacteria and Facts About Them - from Des Moines Area Community College's Urban Campus



African trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness) - an introduction from World Health Organisation (WHO)

Human Parasites - from Des Moines Area Community College's Urban Campus

Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas disease - from Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Vol. 94, Suppl. I, 1999, a special issue to commemorate the the 90th anniversary of the discovery of Chagas disease

Malaria - a fact sheet from World Health Organisation


Fungal Infections - from National Institute of Health, USA

Doctor Fungus - a website dedicated to the dissemination of information about fungal infections via the world-wide web. DoctorFungus gratefully acknowledges the funding for this project that it has received from its pharmaceutical sponsors

Tinea Versicolor - an introduction to this tyoe if fungal disease - from American Academy of Dermatology

Tinea Infections: Athlete's Foot, Jock Itch and Ringworm - from FamilyDoctor.org



Hydatids - when a dog is not man's best friend - from NOVA (Science in the News) Australian Academy of Science

Human Parasites - from Des Moines Area Community College's Urban Campus. An introduction to parasitic diseases in humans

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) - fact sheet from CDC

River blindness 'breakthrough' - article from BBC


Ounce of prevention - a campaign from National Center for Infectious Diseases, USA

Fleming discovers penicillin 1928 - 1945 - from A Science Odyssey. An introduction to Fleming and his contribution to discovering penicillin

Penicillin, The Wonder Drug - from Botany, University of Hawaii

The Aftermath of Penicillin - from Botany, University of Hawaii

Microbes: What They Do & How Antibiotics Change Them - article from Action Bioscience


Microbes: Too smart for antibiotics - Lesson Plan, from Action Bioscience

Leaving Certificate Microbiology - educational resources from TeacherNet, Ireland

An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Disease - activities and teaching guide from Teachers Network

Antibiotic Resistance

Microbes: Their Diversity, Antibacterial Targets and Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance - from Access Excellence

Microbes: What doesn't kill them makes them stronger - from the Whyfiles

Antimicrobial Resistance - a fact sheet from the WHO

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Infectious diseases

Communicable diseases

Notifications for communicable diseases - data table from Health NSW



Learn more about malaria -from Global Health Reporting

Insects, Disease and History - from Montana State University. An introduction to various diseases throughout history

Malaria - a growing threat - from the Australian Academy of Science, includes the life cycle of malarial parasite

Malaria - from the Why Files

Keeping Malaria at Bay: Insecticide-treated Nets - from International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada

Malaria An On-line Resource - excellent reource from Division of Laboratory Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital

Malaria in Malawi, Bitter-sweet Success - from ABC Science Online, the Lab



Definition of 'Arbovirus' - from Biology Online

Arbovirus Surveillance - a project from Westmead Hospital

Ross River Virus

The New South Wales Arbovirus Surveillance & Mosquito Monitoring Program - includes Barmah Forest Virus and Ross River Fever


West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus factsheet - designed for distribution to households in affected areas (pdf 1011kb)

West Nile Virus Basics - from Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Meningococcal meningitis

Meningococcal: Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia - from Meningococcal Education. Covers various aspects of the disease, including symptoms and prevention
Meningococcal meningitis - fact sheet from World Health Organisation
Meningitis - from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently asked questions about the disease

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever - from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Dengue Fever - from Queensland Health. Covers symptoms, treatments and variations of the disease
Dengue Fever - from Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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Immunity and immunisation

Microflora imbalance

Biology 9.4.4. Defence against disease - includes report scaffoldiing, from HSC Online

The Bacterial Flora of Humans - from Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin

Crohn's Disease - from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. An introduction to Chron's Disease

Crohn's Disease - Interactive tutorials, from National Institutes of Health. Includes interactive tutorial and text

Candidiasis - from Mycology Online. Introduction to various forms Candidiasis can occur in. Includes pictures

Is Candida an Endocrine Disorder? - from National Candida Society, UK. The National Candida Society was set up by Dr. Christine Tomlinson, an ex-sufferer. Publicity for the launch was provided by the Mail on Sunday's YOU magazine; with this website as supplementary material.



The Constitutive Defenses of the Host against Microbial Pathogens - from University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Bacteriology Online textbook

Lymphocyte Homing Research - on-line lecture, together with diagrams and electromicroscope photos, on the role of lymphocytes in immunity from Arthur O. Anderson, M.D., U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

How Lymphocytes Produce Antibody - from CELLS alive! includes photomicrograph, text and animation


Development of Polio Vaccines - from Access Excellence. An introduction to the development vaccines against Polio

Salk produces polio vaccine: 1952 - from A Science Odyssey. An introduction to Salk's contribution to the Polio vaccine

Vaccines--How and Why? - from Access Excellence, includes how vaccines works and how to make vaccines

Immunisation - protecting our children from disease - from NOVA (Science in the News) The Australian Academy of Science

What is immunisation? - from the GP resources, Victoria. Introduction and definition of immunisation

Immunisation Resources - from NE Valley Division of Victorian GP Society. Links to various resources

Immunization Safety - from World Health Organization

Edible Vaccines - from Alkek Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A & M University. An article about edible vaccines

The Hepatitis B Story - article from Beyond Discovery, The National Academy of Sciences


Smallpox - fact sheet from Department of Health and Aging, Australian Government

Smallpox information sheets - fact sheet from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA)

Organ transplant, rejection and the immune system

Understanding the Immune System - Immunology and Transplants - from the National Institute of Health

How Organ Transplants Work - from How Stuff Works, including rejection of organ in Living with a New Organ

Transplant Rejection - notes for heart transplant patients

Transplant Rejection - from American Association of Kidney Patients

Repeated Transplant Rejection: Why Does It Happen? - from American Association of Kidney Patients

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Prevention and control of disease

Public Health Programmes

A-Z Health Topics - information from NSW Health, Public Health Divisions. Fact sheets in pdf format

The World Health Organization Smallpox Eradication Programme - an article that outlines the programme that eradicated smallpox with discussion questions, from University of Toronto

World Health Organization declares smallpox eradicated 1980 - an article from A Science Odyssey

Diptheria - epidemiology, treatment, vaccine programme from World Health Organisation (pdf 330kb)

Diphtheria in the Former Soviet Union: Reemergence of a Pandemic Disease - from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Diphtheria Outbreak -- Russian Federation, 1990-1993 - an article from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Poliomyelitis - fact sheet from World Health Organisation

Oral Diseases - from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (pdf 308kb)

Water fluoridation - from Victoria Government Health Information. An introduction to the benefits of water fluoridation

Community Water Fluoridation - from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Water Fluoridation In New South Wales - article, from Medical News Today

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Epidemiological studies

Epidemiology - from John Kimball's Biology Pages. An introduction to Epidemiology

Epidemiology - from Medical Anthropology, Palomar College, San Marcos, California. An introduction to Epidemiology

Epidemiology for the Uninitiated - an on-line textbook from the British Medical Journal

Adventures in Epidemiology - web site of Reimert Thorolf Ravenholt, MD MPH, President, Population Health Imperatives, Washington. This page links to an autobiography of an epidemiologist and numerous case studies in epidemiology.

Report of the New South Wales Chief Health Officer - from the Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, Public Health Division, Health NSW, includes statistics for tobacco use, nutrition and skin cancer for NSW in various years

All lectures - in the Epidemiology Supercourse, PowerPoint presentations on a vast list of diseases e.g. Toxic Oil Sydrome and Diabetes, excellent background information for teachers, from University of Pittsburgh

Lung Cancer

Epidemiology - from John Kimball's Biology Pages, uses Cigarette Smoking as example of epidemiology

Lung Cancer Dissertation - from Leicester University, includes epimediology of lung cancer, UK data

Lung cancer: Still a significant problem among Queensland men & an increasing problem among Queensland women - from Queensland Department of Health (pdf 51kb)

Lung cancer - New cases and deaths - chart from NSW Department of Health


Demonstrating an Epidemic - a classroom activity from Access Excellence

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Non-infectious diseases

Inherited Diseases

Human Gene Testing - from Beyond Discovery, The National Academy of Sciences. An article about human gene testing

The Genetics File - Human Genetics Counselling material from Victoria. This resource is targeted to Victorian GPs but has information relevant for GPs throughout Australia.

Understanding Cancer Series: Gene Testing - from National Cancer Institute, USA, various slides on this topic.

Genetic Disorders - from the Genetic Science Learning Center. An introduction to genetic disorders in a virtual library setting

Human genetics: A Resource for Teachers - lists genetic diseases categorised under the following headings: autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X-linked dominant, X-linked recessive, Y-linked, chromosomal and multi-factorial; includes suggestions for class activities and relevant links

Hemochromatosis - from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, National Institute of Health. An introduction to the condition of hemochromatosis

Hereditary Haemochromatosis - fact sheet from Centre for Genetics Education (pdf, 301kb)

Support Groups and Information Sites for Genetic Diseases - list of human gentic diseases with links to support and information sites

Calculating your odds for disease - a lesson plan from National Institute of Environmental Health, USA (pdf, 79kb)

Nutritional deficiencies

Nutrition History - includes nutritional diseases such as beri-beri, pellagra, rickets and scurvey, from Vanderbilt Medical Center

Pointing the bone at osteoporosis - from the Australian Academy of Science. An introduction to osteoporosis; at risk groups, prevention and treatment

Pellagra shown to be dietary disease 1915 - from A Science Odyssey. An introduction to the discovery of Pellagra disease

Dr. Joseph Goldberger & the War on Pellagra - an on-line exhibition from the National Institute of Health

A Body of Evidence - from NutriQuest (McGraw Hill). This page describes widely recognised symptoms of nutrient deficiency, excess, and toxicity in each major body system.

Nutrition and Your Eyes: In a Nutshell - from All About Vision. An introduction to maintaining the health of your eyes

Unravelling the Enigma of Vitamin D - an article on rickets from Beyond Discovery, The National Academy of Sciences

Environmental diseases


Calculating your odds for disease - a lesson plan from National Institute of Environmental Health, USA (pdf, 79kb)

What is Melanoma? - an introduction to the causes and identification of melanoma, from the Melanoma website

Queensland Sun: How to protect yourself from the sun - from Queensland Beaches website

Understanding Melanoma - from Cancer Council NSW. Introduction to melanoma and advice on the prevention and treatment of the condition

Melanoma - from the Cancer Council of Victoria. Includes diagrams


The rise and rise of asthma - an article introducing asthma and its causes, from the Australian Academy of Science


Minamata disease

Epidemiology of Minamata Disease - a PowerPoint presentation, good background material for teachers

Chapter - 4 Minamata disease - a chapter from Industrial Pollution in Japan published by United Nations University Press

Minamata Disaster - a case study from American University, Washington

The Poisoning of Minamata - a historical case study of pollution in a closed ecosystem

The Day the Cats of Minamata, Japan threw themselves into the Bay! - an anecdotal description of Minamata disease

Mercury poisoning in the Amazon: The tip of the iceberg - presented by Dr jean Lebel from the International Development Research Centre

Health - Mercury poisoning disease re-emerges - an article from BBC NEWS

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Plant diseases

Symptoms of Plant Diseases - from University of Florida, includes images

Plant Disease Lessons - from the American Phytopathological Society - includes lessons on Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Dutch Elm disease, Citrus Canker and Coffee Rust

Plant Disease Central - from University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This site aims to be the plant disease information and management resource for the state of Nebraska.

Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic - facts sheets available from Cornell University

The Red Gum Lerp Psyllid, a new pest of Eucalyptus species in California - from the College of Natural Resources, University of California at Berkeley, good images of this Australian insect pest and the damage it causes

Pest Management and Identification - from the University of California including pests of plants and plant diseases

Key to the forest insect pests of Paupua New Guinea - contains picture of infected plants

Pest and diseases fact sheets - leaflets on quarantine diseases not yet found in Australia or if in Australia of limited distribution and under active control. Includes Citrus canker, Dutch elm disease, Fireblight of apples and pears, Karnal bunt of wheat, Lethal diseases of palms, Pitch canker and Sugarcane smut. From Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia

Management of Blackleg Disease in Canola - from Pioneer Hi-bred International

Pathogen List - including Plant Diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi, from National Istitute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Japan


Plant Pathology - Demonstrating Koch's Postulates - from Science and Plants for Schools. An activity that uses apples as the culture medium

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Quarantine measures

Education - resources for school teachers from Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

Review of the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy - from Quarantine and Exports Council. Good background information for teachers

Fact Sheets for schools - a list of fact sheets available from Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service

Animal pests and diseases - a list of fact sheets available from Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service

Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy Pests and Disease factsheets - For information on exotic pests, weeds and diseases

The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service and the need for quarantine - from NOVA, The Australian Academy of Science

What can't be mailed to Australia? - from Australian Fisheries and Forestry. A list of products that can't be mailed to Australia

Newcastle Disease

Local virus behind Newcastle disease outbreaks - article from CSIRO

Newcastle Disease Management plan - from Animal Health Asutralia. An introduction to Newcastle Disease and its management


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or Mad Cow Disease

BSE - from Food Standards Australia. An introduction to BSE


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