MICR 332: Health Microbiology
18 points - Semester 2
Current perspectives of the pathogenesis of microbial diseases, their treatment and control, including emerging problems of antibiotic resistance and the development and use of vaccines and immunotherapy.
A primary interest in microbiology is the study of those microbes that cause disease. The pathogenesis of microbial diseases, how disease might be treated, the development of antimicrobial resistance and the use of vaccines are all intensively studied areas of microbiology.
This course in Health Microbiology provides a core background in medical microbiology, looking at important diseases causing microbes and the issues surrounding disease and control with specific aims of understanding:
- What defines pathogens from non-pathogens, the mechanisms whereby pathogens cause disease, and future problems in infectious disease
- The mechanisms by which the body can resist infection
- The principles behind different forms of medical intervention, including antibiotics and vaccines
This course will be relevant to students who have an interest in medical microbiology. It is not a course designed for medical students, but rather for students that may be potential medical scientists, managers of medical practices or medical laboratories, or future makers of medical policy.
Lecture course overview
Lectures will be taught as three blocks of eight lectures. There will be two tutorials.
- Warren McBurney: Introductory concepts in medical microbiology; Fungal and viral disease.
- Keith Ireton: Molecular approaches to identify bacterial virulence factors and host susceptibility factors; Specific bacterial pathogens and their respective diseases
- Robin Simmonds: The impact of human intervention on microbial diseases
Lab course overview
The human body is home to thousands of different bacteria. Many are innocuous, but others may be pathogenic. For the MICR 332 labs you will get a chance to plan your own experiments, develop your own research project and then prepare a written report of your findings at the end of the lab course.
In the MICR 332 lab classes you will investigate your own body’s microflora. You will isolate bacteria from different sites on your body and then identify the bacterial strains and characterise them. You will also identify and characterise two unknown, medically-significant isolates given to you.
You will be using differential and selective agar for the cultivation of your own bacteria and a variety of medical laboratory tests to examine whether the strains produce bacterial virulence factors such as the presence of a capsule and or production of haemolysins.
- Laboratory report written in the style of a scientific paper (20%)
- Final exam (80%)
MICR 221 and MICR 223 or MICR 201
Note: BBiomedSc students are permitted to take MICR 332 without the MICR 221 prerequisite.
Wednesday, Friday 12:00 – 12:50 pm
Tuesday 14:00 – 17:50, Wednesday 09:00 – 17:50*
*you can leave the Wednesday lab session to attend other courses as needed.
Health Microbiology labs run weeks 1 – 4 of Semester 2.
There will be also be small amounts of work required on additional days of the week but this can be worked around other class commitments.
Note: there are no lecture or practical clashes between any of the 300-level MICR papers
Wilson, B.A., Salyer, A.A., Whitt, D.D. and Winkler, M.E. 2011, Third edition. Bacterial pathogenesis. A Molecular Approach, American Society for Microbiology
For further information on this paper, please contact Course Convenor Keith Ireton (479-7396, email@example.com) or 3rd year Teaching Fellow Rita Przybilski (479-8475, micro300level.TF@otago.ac.nz)
To find out information on the fees, click here.