Blind Men and an Elephant

1) Blind Men and an Elephant

Your Discussion should be 3-4 paragraphs in length, detailing your thoughts and position using 2-3 readings references for support.  Also be sure to pose 1-2 well thought out questions from which your colleagues can formulate a response or generate further discussion.

Important: You will create a properly cited with an APA-formatted reference list.

Let’s see if when we describe the characteristics of microorganisms completely your colleagues will provide more accurate answers!

  1. Choose a pathogen that can invade the human body and research it in depth. Describe as many characteristics of the microscopic structure as possible, using size, shape (such as coccus), staining characteristics (such as Gram stain), or any detail other than its name. Include the transmission, etiology, and host of the disease. Try to provide a written “picture” in your colleagues’ minds without directly giving away the answer. Your description must be complete enough to rule out any other answers and avoid confusion (check your work by researching your organism’s characteristics before posting to be sure you could answer it yourself!).

Keep in mind the entire description. Although someone may describe an airborne bacterium that causes pneumonia, it does not necessarily mean the answer is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria meningitidis both also have an airborne mode of transmission, cause typical pneumonia, and are both cocci bacteria, but one is Gram positive and one is Gram negative.

Resources to get you started

The Blind Men and the Elephant

2) Multiple Personality

In a 2-3 page paper, answer the following questions. In addition to the researched facts you present as your answer, you may provide opinions and real-world experiences where appropriate.

Choose a single microorganism that inhabits more than one body system. It should be considered a pathogen in at least one of the areas of the body. Attempt to choose an organism that is unique among your classmates’ selections.

One example includes Bacillus anthracis and its ability to infect the skin, muscles, respiratory system, and digestive tract. Another example is virulent strains of Escherichia coli and their link to gastroenteritis, neonatal meningitis, and urinary tract infections.

  1. Indicate the microorganism you have chosen and provide a summary of the body systems it may infect or inhabit.
  2. Describe the ways it interacts with those systems to live harmoniously with humans or cause disease. Rank the individual conditions in order of severity and the impact it may have on a human’s health.
  3. What are the differences in the severity of the infections between the body systems and what factors affect severity? Is the severity linked to a characteristic of the body system? Does the particular serotype or other characteristics of the organism play a role?

The Written Assignment should be 2-3 double spaced pages in length, not including title or reference pages. (No abstract is needed.) Make sure your assignment is APA format with double-spacing, Times New Roman, 12-point font, and 1” margins. Include citations and a list of references in APA format. Edit for spelling and grammar errors. You can get assistance with APA formatting at:

Resources to get you started


E.coli (Escherichia coli)

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