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Unit of study_

MEDS2004: Microbes, Infection and Immunity

Transmission, pathogenicity and the immune response to microbes are key concepts for understanding infectious disease processes. In this unit of study you will establish a conceptual foundation and, using an integrated approach, explore selected case studies of infection from a body system of origin perspective. You will explore the characteristics of viral, bacterial, fungal and protist pathogens and their virulence mechanisms for establishment and progression of disease. Comprehensive consideration of the host immune response and characteristic pathological changes to tissue that arise will then be considered. Upon completion of this unit, you will be able to explain microbial pathogenic processes of infection including: mechanisms for colonisation, invasion and damage to host tissue; the ways in which your immune system recognises and destroys invading microbes; how the T cell response is activated and antibodies function. You will learn about pathogenesis, symptoms, current challenges of treatment including antibiotic resistance, control and vaccination strategies. You will develop a holistic perspective of infectious diseases. You will work collaboratively to solve challenging problems in Biomedical Sciences. Practical classes will investigate normal microbiota, host defences and case studies of medically important microbes with linkage to disease outcome. You will also obtain experience and understanding of modern experimental techniques in microbiology and immunopathology.

Code MEDS2004
Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Credit points 6
BIOL1XX3 or BIOL1XX7 or BIOL1X08 or MEDS1X01 or MBLG1XX1
MIMI2002 or MIMI2902 or MICR2021 or MICR2921 or MICR2022 or MICR2922 or IMMU2101 or BMED2404 or BMED2807 or BMED2808
Assumed knowledge:
Human biology (BIOL1XX3 or BIOL1XX8 or MEDS1X01) and biological chemistry (CHEM1XX1 or CHEM1903)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Explain the function/role in protection against infection of non-specific host defences such as normal flora, physical barriers, and inflammation
  • LO2. Compare and contrast the characteristics, diversity, and virulence mechanisms of medically significant microbes
  • LO3. Describe how the innate and adaptive immune system responds to infectious agents, and explain how this underpins the design of successful immunisation strategies.
  • LO4. Explain how pathogens establish infection in various body systems and describe treatment strategies used to control different pathogens
  • LO5. Demonstrate practical dexterity in, and theoretical understanding of, microbiological and immunological laboratory processes
  • LO6. Integrate knowledge and skills drawn from the breadth of biomedical sciences to solve challenging problems related to infection, immunity, and host defence
  • LO7. Communicate effectively, using a range of media, to diverse audiences
  • LO8. Demonstrate effective teamwork skills, professional, and ethical conduct through collaborative learning.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.