FRONTLINE Antibiotic Resistance Collection

Expand/Collapse FRONTLINE Antibiotic Resistance Collection


These resources from FRONTLINE focus on issues related to antibiotic resistance.

  • The Trouble with Antibiotics | Antibiotic Resistance and Public Policy

    Learn why the FDA's first attempt to restrict antibiotic use on farms in 1977 was opposed by interest groups and a powerful congressional ally, in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. Farm lobbies and interest groups labeled the FDA's 1977 proposal as financially ruinous and pressured Congress to slash the FDA's budget unless the agency provided specific scientific evidence. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource:

    Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Trouble with Antibiotics | Tracing E. coli Infections Back to the Food Supply

    Follow along with scientists as they attempt to trace a virulent strand of antibiotic-resistant E. coli found in humans back to the food supply in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. Learn how an outbreak of life-threatening urinary tract infections in Flagstaff, Arizona, led scientists to investigate whether the meat we buy can be the source of E. coli infections in humans. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

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    Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Trouble with Antibiotics | How Widespread Is Antibiotic Use on Farms?

    Learn about the widespread use of antibiotics on farm animals and the challenge the FDA faces in collecting data about the drugs, in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. Learn how antibiotics have been used to promote growth and why researchers suspect that their increased use on farms is contributing to the problem of antibiotic resistance in humans. Over 70 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. currently go to farms; however, efforts to obtain information and regulate antibiotic use has been opposed by interest groups. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource:

    Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Trouble with Antibiotics | Impacts of Treatment Strategies on Farms

    Learn how increased use of one type of antibiotic can increase resistance to other types of antibiotics, in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. After two veterinarians noticed that cattle were developing infections that were resisting treatment with cephalosporins (a class of antibiotics that is very important to humans in treating certain infections in children and pregnant women), they conducted a study to see if they could preserve their effectiveness. The study produced a surprising result: the increased use of a different type of antibiotic (tetracycline) on farms caused bacteria to become resistant to cephalosporins, indicating that the widespread use of tetracyclines on farms may accelerate the overall spread of antibiotic resistance and have impacts on human health. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

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    Teaching Tips  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Trouble with Antibiotics | Study: Antibiotic Use in Animals Projected to Soar

    Learn about the implications of a study predicting that rising rates of meat consumption will lead to an estimated 67 percent increase in the use of antibiotics in livestock around the globe from 2010–2030, in this article from FRONTLINE. Read why scientists and public health officials fear that overuse of antibiotics is fueling potentially life-threatening antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource: Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms 

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Trouble with Chicken | Food Safety Standards

    Explore the reasons behind the 2011 recall of ground turkey by the meat-packing company Cargill Foods in Springdale, AK, and the implications on our food safety, in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Chicken. Noticing high levels of salmonella in its ground turkey, Cargill Foods eventually recalled its product, but the delay still sickened 132 people and killed one person. The contamination also revealed serious problems with the standards and practices set by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) public health agency the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

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    Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Background Essay  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Trouble with Chicken | Deadly Bacteria and Food Safety

    Discover how an outbreak of the deadly bacteria E. coli in 1993 led to a public health crisis and controversy about food safety, in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Chicken. When four children died after eating undercooked hamburger at a fast food restaurant, food safety regulations were overhauled. E. coli was declared an “adulterant” and banned from food. Yet salmonella, another foodborne bacterium which sickens and kills, was not. This has led to conflicts among the meat and poultry industries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the legal system, and Congress as to who is responsible for ensuring food safety. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

    Download teacher support materials for this resource:

    Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Background Essay  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Trouble with Chicken | The Dangers of Salmonella

    Learn how new and stronger strains of salmonella can impact our lives in this Media Gallery excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Chicken. Discover what salmonella is, why it’s become increasingly dangerous, and its impact on a little boy’s life in Phoenix, AZ, in 2013. Use these videos to enhance your teaching of other resources from The Trouble with Chicken and The Trouble with Antibiotics. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

    Caution: Video 2, “Noah’s Story,” which tells the story of the impact of a virulent form of Salmonella on an 18-month-old boy, may be upsetting to watch for some students.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Decreasing Effectiveness of Antibiotics

    Explore the public health implications of increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics, in this video from FRONTLINE: Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria. Two doctors explain that, while antibiotics have helped protect people from infections since becoming widely available after World War II, this unique class of drugs is losing its effectiveness from overuse. The more exposure bacteria have to an antibiotic, the more likely they will develop resistance to the antibiotic. Because as much as half of all antibiotic use in the United States is either unnecessary or inappropriate, more and more people may die of infections that were once easily treatable. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

    Grades: 6-12

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