MicroMundo@UPorto: an experimental microbiology project fostering student's antimicrobial resistance awareness and personal and social development

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2021 Mar 3;368(4):fnab016. doi: 10.1093/femsle/fnab016.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global societal challenge requiring the contribution of professionals along with general community citizens for their containment. Portugal is one of the European countries where a lack of knowledge on the correct use of antimicrobials and AMR problematic is preeminent. Moreover, youth demotivation to pursue science careers is emerging. To address these problems an innovative experimental service-learning pedagogical strategy, MicroMundo@UPorto, was implemented in Portugal during 2018 through University of Porto as a partner of the global Citizen Science project 'Tiny Earth' responding to the AMR crisis. In this first edition of MicroMundo@UPorto, university students (n = 41; Pharmaceutical Sciences and Nutrition Sciences) organized in eight teams tutored by university professors/researchers (n = 13) on Microbiology and AMR theoretical and practical aspects as well on communication skills to enable their guidance of younger school students (n = 140/3 schools) in experiments to discover antimicrobial-producing microorganisms while exploring the soil microbial diversity. Post-survey-based evaluation revealed that this project allowed university students to acquire diverse personal, social and scientific skills while increasing AMR awareness, in the One-Health perspective, and interest for science in school students. This University to Society approach can be successfully extended across Portugal and for education in Microbiology in general, with benefits for the future generations contributing to socially responsible and scientifically-literate citizens.

Keywords: active learning; antimicrobial resistance; education; microbiology; public engagement; service-learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Community Participation
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Education, Professional*
  • Humans
  • Microbiology / education*
  • Portugal
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Program Evaluation
  • Schools
  • Social Change*
  • Students


  • Anti-Infective Agents