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BIO4205 Introductory Medical Microbiology

Semester 1, 2011 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Michael Kotiw
Moderator: John Dearnaley


Pre-requisite: BIO1101


The aim of the course is to further develop the student's understanding of medical microbiology. This requires an understanding of the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis. Introductory analysis of specific disease syndromes, together with discussion of relevant diagnostic and therapeutic options will enable the student to integrate these different fields of study and will enhance their capacity to undertake more advanced studies in the field of infectious diseases. Further, through undertaking WEB based laboratory exercises, the aim of this course is to provide an understanding of current molecular and conventional investigative tools involved in the analysis of complex infectious diseases.


The course focuses on the nature, diagnosis and control of infectious diseases in humans. Areas of specific emphasis include the nature of microbial virulence factors, antimicrobial therapy and mechanisms of resistance and a system approach to clinical infectious disease syndromes. Students will undertake literature searches and report writing training by completing Investigative Reports. Students will also be exposed to the theory and applications of conventional and molecular technologies for generating, organizing, analysing and interpreting complex microbiological data. Students will develop microbiological investigative and analytical skills and be able to provide advanced technical reports and recommendations on the management of infectious disease syndromes. Specific Topics will be published in the course handbook.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. make meaningful comments about each of the microbiological terms encountered during the course;
  2. describe the general characteristics that differentiate bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites;
  3. demonstrate an awareness of the fundamentals of the human immune system;
  4. demonstrate an awareness of the conditions that make patients susceptible to infections;
  5. demonstrate an awareness of the role of the host and pathogen in the development of infections;
  6. demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of bacterial pathogenesis;
  7. demonstrate an understanding of virus biology and pathogenesis;
  8. demonstrate an awareness of fungal biology and pathogenesis;
  9. demonstrate an awareness of the significance of parasitic infections;
  10. demonstrate an awareness of conventional and molecular methods used in medical microbiology for the diagnosis and treatment of microbial diseases. Specific Topics will be published in the course handbook.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of medical microbiology 4.00
2. Conventional and molecular microbial diagnostics 8.00
3. Overview of human immunology 16.00
4. Introduction to bacterial pathogenesis 24.00
5. Introduction to viral pathogenesis 24.00
6. Introduction to the fungal pathogenesis 16.00
7. Overview of parasitic diseases 8.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Kotiw, M 2011, B104205 Introductory Medical Microbiology Course Handbook, USQ Publication, Toowoomba.
  • Madigan, MT, Martinko, JM, Dunlap, PV & Clark, DP 2009, Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 12th edn, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Benjamini, E et al 2003, Immunology: A short course, 5th edn, Wylie-Liss, Davis, Calif.
  • Ingraham, JL & Ingraham, CA 2004, An Introduction to Microbiology: A case history approach, Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA.
  • Janeway, CA et al 2005, Immunobiology, 6th edn, Garland Science, New York.
  • Mandell, GL et al 2005, Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 6th edn, Churchill Livingstone, New York.
    (Vol 1 & 2.)
  • All Books on 3 Hour Loan Basis.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Online Laboratory Principles Tutorials 13.00
Online Lectures 26.00
Private Study 137.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS 40 40 01 Mar 2011 (see note 1)
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 100 60 End S1 (see note 2)

  1. Lecturers to advise the due dates for Investigative Reports.
  2. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as on line-lectures and laboratory tutorials scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assignments satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the test. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the examination. To complete the practical component satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available in the practical test.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. In order to attend laboratory classes, students must provide and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. This shall include a laboratory coat, closed in shoes, and safety glasses. Such equipment must be approved by supervising staff. Failure to provide and wear the appropriate safety equipment will result in students being excluded from classes.

  2. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete-Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  3. The examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile. Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements.

  4. IT requirements: All students, particularly those studying in external mode, are strongly encouraged to have access to the Internet and to have a IT requirements: All students, particularly those studying in external mode, are strongly encouraged to have access to the Internet and to have a computer capable of running the latest versions of Internet web browsers such as Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer. To achieve this level of capacity, the following standards are recommended as a minimum: Pentium 3, 500MHz or higher; or equivalent, 256Mb Ram, 10Gb free Hard disk space, video card - 64MB VRAM, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP (preferred), Mac System 8.1 or higher, Windows XP Home Edition, mouse, sound card, 24 x CDROM drive, 56 K v.90 modems that are flash upgrade-able.

  5. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //