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© The Author(s) 2018. Background: e-Bug is an international health education resource which support World Health Organization (WHO) public health recommendations by educating young people about microbes, hygiene and antibiotics use. The e-Bug team collaborated with Kingfisher Treasure Seekers to develop a six-session course for community groups called Beat the Bugs covering: microbes; hygiene; antibiotic use; and self-care. A pilot was used to inform further development and evaluation. Methods: Pilot courses with 9–12 adults with learning difficulties and young parents were delivered by community leaders and observed by researchers. Participants completed before and after knowledge questionnaires. Two participant focus groups and two course leader interviews explored views on the course and retention of knowledge. Results: Completed questionnaires and qualitative results showed an improvement in participant knowledge in each session; microbes and antibiotics sessions showed the greatest knowledge improvement. Self-care showed the greatest knowledge retention and participants reported behaviour change including an increase in appropriate hand-washing and tooth-brushing. Conclusion: The Beat the Bugs course is a useful intervention for communities to give individuals the knowledge and confidence to manage their own infection and change behaviour around hygiene, self-care and antibiotics. Beat the Bugs is freely available to download.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Infection Prevention

Publication Date





278 - 286