Researchers and students co-create book to teach young people about antibiotic resistance

A new book that helps children understand the importance of antibiotic resistance has been published by a team of academic experts and students at De Montfort Leicester University (DMU).

“A Germ’s Journey: A Fight Against Resistance” was written by Joe Glover, Graduated in English and Creative Writing, based on research from Professor Microbiologist Katie Laird and Education Specialist Professor Sarah Younie.

Developed for children ages 7 to 11, the book has a superhero theme that aims to help young people learn more about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and why taking antibiotic classes is important.

He also explores why antibiotics should not be shared with family members or friends, and the difference between a virus and bacteria and when antibiotics are needed for treating an infection.

A Fight Against Resistance is the latest edition of the “Germ’s Journey” series, established by Professor Laird and Professor Younie to educate and communicate to young children the importance of hygiene to prevent disease.

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health that we face, but it has gone unnoticed and has become less relevant due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” explained the professor. Laird. “But it hasn’t gone away – it’s still a serious health threat.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said AMR – when bacteria change in response to the use of antibiotics – is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity and that it requires urgent action.

Without action, the number of people for whom treatment fails or who die from infections will increase and medical procedures will become riskier.

“The idea of ​​this new book is to bring this urgent problem back to the fore and teach children about antibiotics so that we can preserve our antibiotics through education,” added Professor Laird.

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This latest version from the Germs Journey team is a ‘pathfinder’ book, which means it was designed with activities for children to complete, which requires them to make decisions and learn as they go. measure.

“This book is an interactive experience which means children cannot be passive – they have to engage while they read,” explained Prof Younie.

“We chose this type of book for the 7-11 age group because the children are of an age they can read and understand but are still young enough to invest in storytelling and super activities. hero.”

The concept of A Fight Against Resistance was developed through a collaboration between the Germs Journey team and DMU graduate Joe, who had just completed his undergraduate studies and was beginning his postgraduate studies.

Joe glover
A graduate of English Language and Creative Writing, Joe Glover is the author

“I met Katie and Sarah on a DMU Global trip to Ahmedabad, India a few years ago, where the Germs Journey team was running workshops for young children to educate them about the importance of hand hygiene, ”explained Joe, who is also now working. at DMU in a public engagement role.

“After the trip they asked me if I would be interested in writing a new book they were working on and I said yes straight away.

“It was an incredible experience. This is my first time working with an editor which in itself is a big deal and certainly a boost of confidence as an English language and creative writing graduate.

GJ India
Joe (center) on a DMU Global trip to India, with the Germs Journey team

Alongside Joe, the team also worked with Sarah Robinson, a Game Art Design graduate who illustrated the book, and Graphic Design student Abbie Law, who develops story-based school workshops with help from Dr. Ryan Hamilton, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy. at DMU (and expert in AMR). This was made possible with funding from the National Biofilm Innovation Center (NBIC), which also contributed to the costs of printing the books.

A Germ’s Journey: A Fight Against Resistance is now available for purchase online direct from Troubador Publishing, or as an eBook through Amazon. A number of free copies are also available for schools and can be requested from the Germs Journey team by sending an email to [email protected]

Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2021

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