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Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

MICR 461: Molecular Microbiology

First Semester - 20 points

Course prescription

This tutorial-based paper investigates selected hot topics in molecular microbiology through analysis of original research papers. You will gain the ability to critically evaluate published scientific research, an essential skill for anyone wishing to be involved in research or other higher learning. The teaching format of this paper will also provide you with the opportunity to work in small groups and develop oral presentation skills.

Course overview

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  • The paper consists of four modules, with each module comprised of three tutorials. In the first tutorial an overview of the topic is considered. In the other tutorials the students take the major role, e.g. presentation of papers pertinent to the topic, etc. Tutorials will cover the following topics:

Module 1: CRISPR-Cas: adaptive immunity in bacteria 

Professor Peter Fineran and Dr Sean Meaden

We will examine the CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR associated) systems. These systems are widespread in bacteria and archaea and provide a small RNA-based resistance mechanism against foreign genetic elements..

Module 2: Molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis

Associate Professor Keith Ireton and Dr Daniel Pletzer

We will critically analyse primary research papers dealing with molecular mechanisms of virulence of several key bacterial pathogens, such such as Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, and nosocomial ESKAPE (Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Enterobacter spp).

Module 3: Whole-genome sequencing of bacterial pathogens 

Professor Greg Cook and Dr Htin Aung

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is an important technique to investigate the epidemiology and evolution of bacterial pathogens. In this module we will discuss the application of this technology in understanding the evolutionary history, global spread and antimicrobial resistance of M. tuberculosis.

Module 4: Phylodynamics of viral disease

Dr Jemma Geoghegan and Professor Vernon Ward

Phylodynamic analyses can track the epidemiological and evolutionary processes of pathogens, both within and between populations, through time and space. We will discuss the application of phylodynamics to a range of key viral diseases and its use in real-time surveillance.

Teaching staff

For more information

View the details of this paper on the University of Otago website

Students are encouraged to contact staff by email to make arrangements for a time to discuss course-related matters.

For more information on this course, please contact Dr Htin Lin Aung.