Blood cell infected with malaria parasite

Malaria is caused by the single-celled parasite Plasmodium. It is transmitted from one person to another by certain species of blood sucking mosquito. The parasite spends part of its complex life cycle inside red blood cells.

More about microbes


The Society produces a wide range of microbiology teaching resources for all age groups from primary to post-16. The material is carefully targeted to meet curriculum requirements and fit in with the specifications for science.

Single copies of non-chargeable resources are free to anyone involved with teaching microbiology in the UK and Ireland. Classroom sets of these resources, along with single copies of chargeable resources, are available if you have School Membership of the Society only. Unfortunately we cannot supply resources free of charge to non-members outside of the UK and Ireland. If you are based in an International School please get in touch to discuss the supply of resources.

Resource Filter

Use the filter to browse through all our available resources.


Practical microbiologies

To support microbiology in the prep room and in the classroom laboratory we have produced a series of practical microbiology videos which can be viewed in our podcasts and videos area.

  • Practical Microbiology

    Practical Microbiology for Secondary Schools

    Free. 21 safe practical investigations suitable for KS3 & 4/GCSE and equivalent Scottish qualifications. Many of the experiments also meet the needs of the AS/A2 specifications and can be adapted for project work.
  • Basic Microbiology

    Basic Practical Microbiology: A Manual

    This manual, which explains the basic techniques necessary to carry out microbiology experiments safely and effectively, is intended as a guide for teachers and technicians.

Fact files

Fact files cover more specialist topics, which are relevant to the curriculum and science schemes of work. Written in an easily understood format, they take an in-depth look at the subject, contain useful images and illustrations and include sources of further information.

  • Factfile Antibiotics Resistance

    Antibiotic resistance

    A KS4 and post-16 resource (12 page booklet) The World Health Organization describes antibiotic resistance as “one of the three greatest threats to human health”. This booklet explains what antibiotics are and the history of their discovery. It describes how they work and how resistance develops, with interesting case studies and looks at suggestions for alternatives and ways to slow the spread of resistance.
  • resources_icons_malaria

    Malaria - A Global Challenge

    A KS4 & post-16 resource (12 page booklet) Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers. It infects up to 250 million and kills nearly 800,000 people per year. This resource takes a look at the history of the disease along with its causes, diagnosis, treatment and the prevention strategies employed to tackle this global problem.
  • cold_wars

    Cold Wars

    A KS3 & KS4 resource (4 page booklet) Information about the common cold, including a practical activity to model the spread of this viral infection.
  • H1N1-factfile

    Pandemic H1N1 'Swine flu'

    A KS4 & post-16 resource (8 page booklet) This booklet gives an overview of the swine flu story so far. In eight pages it covers the disease, the causal virus, how it is transmitted, who is affected and how the disease can be treated. International pandemic preparedness and the development of pandemic flu vaccines are also described.
  • Factfile H1N1

    HIV & AIDS

    A KS4 & post-16 resource (12 page booklet) The resource clarifies the difference between HIV and AIDS, describes the virus, how it replicates and how it causes the disease. The stages of the infection are charted and transmission of HIV is explained, together with sections covering tests, treatments and work on developing an effective vaccine.
  • microbes_and_climate_change

    Microbes and Climate Change

    A KS4 & post-16 resource (8 page booklet) Climate change is a hot topic and this 8 page booklet highlights the fundamental importance of micro-organisms as climate engineers.
  • Factfile Influenza

    Influenza: A seasonal disease

    A KS4 & post-16 resource (8 page booklet) Influenza or flu is a common viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. This resource gives an overview of the disease, how the infection is transmitted and how vaccines are developed. It also explores the nature of flu epidemics and pandemics.
  • Tuberculosis-factfile

    Tuberculosis – can the spread be halted?

    A KS4 & post-16 resource (8 page booklet) With an increase in tuberculosis (TB) throughout the world during the 21st century, what are scientists doing to combat a disease that many believed was a problem of the past? The TB factfile describes the disease, its symptoms and incidence and checks out the state of current research into its cause, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Cholera-factfile

    Cholera: Death by diarrhoea

    A KS4 & post-16 resource (12 page booklet) Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. There have been seven worldwide disease outbreaks or pandemics since 1817, killing millions of people and infecting millions more. This resource charts the history of the disease and investigates the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease, as well as vaccine development and community education strategies.


  • icons_antibiotics_comic

    Marvellous Microbes: Using Antibiotics (Issue 4)

    A KS2 and KS3 resource (4 page booklet). This is the fourth edition of Marvellous Microbes, and is all about antibiotic resistance. The story follows a brother and sister, one who has a bacterial throat infection and the other a viral infection. They visit the doctor and learn about how antibiotics work and how they are best used.
  • resources_icons_microbes_comic

    Marvellous Microbes: Brushing Teeth (Issue 3)

    A KS2 and KS3 resource (4 page booklet). In this issue of Marvellous Microbes, a boy, curious to know why he needs to brush and floss his teeth twice a day, takes a trip to the dentist who introduces him to the plaque acid producing bacteria that live on our teeth. The comic includes an experiment to try at home looking at the function of fluoride toothpaste in our daily brushing routine.
  • 4_8_whywash

    The Why, When, and How of Hand Washing

    A KS2 and KS3 resource (4 page booklet) The brightly coloured leaflet explains how good hand hygiene can reduce the spread of infection and also help avoid food poisoning. Specially designed, bold cartoons are used to illustrate the key points and on the back is a list of fascinating facts about microbial transmission.
  • hand_washing_2

    Marvellous Microbes: Washing Hands (Issue 2)

    A KS2 and KS3 resource (4 page booklet with experiment page). Marvellous Microbes: Washing Hands is the second in the series of microbiology comic strips produced by the Microbiology Society. The story follows a little girl called Lucy whose mum is encouraging her to wash her hands, Lucy learns about when and why she should wash her hands. The comic includes an experiment to try at home to look at how well we wash our hands.
  • 4_8_pasteurs_1

    Marvellous Microbes: Baking Bread (Issue 1)

    A KS2 and KS3 resource (4 page booklet with double sided experiment insert page). Marvellous Microbes: Baking Bread is the first ever microbiology comic strip to be produced by the Microbiology Society. The story follows Louis and Marie Pasteur in their quest to find out what makes bread rise. This resource is accompanied by a recipe for bread and two yeast experiments Yeast Power and High Rise Dough which can be performed at home or in the classroom.

Further Resources

These resources have been produced for education and outreach events and are all aimed at age 16+

  • travellers_diarrhoea

    Travellers’ diarrhoea: boil it, peel it, cook it wash it or forget it!

    Travellers’ diarrhoea (TD) is the most common illness that affects international travellers. Each year 20–60% of globetrotters, an estimated 10 million people, develop TD. This resource gives an overview of the microbes that cause TD, how the infection is transmitted, how it is treated and how it can be prevented.
  • couch_potato

    Couch potato or elite athlete? Finding the happy medium

    Exercise can have both a positive and negative effect on immune function and can influence an individual’s vulnerability to infection. This resource gives an overview of role of the immune system and how it is affected by training intensity.

Careers Informations

The Society has a dedicated careers website.

Web-based resources

The Food E-source

Micro-organisms are found in every environment on earth. This includes the food we eat. The majority of microbes in food are completely harmless but we tend to hear of the ones responsible for food poisoning - Salmonella, E.coli O157 and enteroviruses are often in the headlines. Yet while some make us ill and others can be a nuisance by causing spoilage, without the activities of microbes there would be no bread, cheese, beer or chocolate. Friend or foe, microbes are always on the menu. This interactive electronic (e) source takes at look at some of the microbes associated with food through the menu of a typical café. It reveals which kinds help to produce some of the ingredients, which ones can make the food unfit to eat and which ones might damage your health.

The resource is suitable for Key Stage 3 Science students and those studying GCSE Food Technology.


Briefing documents

A number of 2 page briefing documents are available which are meant as overviews to specific areas of microbiology. While these are not targeted at schools directly they provide a rich source of information and are available to download.

Back to top