USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

BIO3315 Medical Microbiology 2

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Michael Kotiw
Moderator: Bernadette McCabe


Pre-requisite: BIO1104


The course aims to provide a thorough understanding of the principles of human immunology with particular emphasis on host response to microbial infection. The course particularly aims to provide an understanding of immunological processes associated with the ability to distinguish self from non-self antigens, immunochemistry, immunobiology, abnormal immune responses including autoimmunity and allergies/hypersensitivities. The course also aims to provide an understanding of the pathogenic processes associated with a range of infectious agents with an emphasis on viruses infecting humans.


This course provides the principles underpinning humoral or cellular defence mechanisms associated with the host response to infection. The course includes a study of innate defence mechanisms, antigenic specificity, induction of humoral and cellular immune responses, immunoglobulin structure, function and genetic basis of antibody diversity, the role of the immune system in health and disease including cell-mediated immunity, hypersensitivity reactions, autoimmunity, immune tolerance, and vaccine development strategies.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of medically important infectious diseases;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the nature of an integrated human immune system
    including aspects of the innate, humoral and cell mediated immune responses to infectious agents;
  3. describe the different classes/subclasses of immunoglobulins/antibodies, their structure and function;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the concept of antibody specificity;
  5. describe the role played by the innate defence mechanisms including inflammatory responses, the complement system and its function, antiphagocytic mechanisms and the role played by cytokines in protection against infectious disease;
  6. describe the nature of autoimmune diseases and hypersensitivity;
  7. describe concepts in vaccine development;
  8. use a wide range of conventional and molecular laboratory techniques to formulate and solve complex infectious and molecular disease problems;
  9. undertake and independently solve complex immunological and microbiological problems;
  10. demonstrate skills and knowledge required to perform laboratory experiments safely with appropriate equipment, including molecular and conventional microbiological and immunological apparatus, computer software and hardware for data acquisition and analysis;
  11. demonstrate skills required for the preparation and submission of a detailed laboratory report.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of medical microbiology 4.00
2. Overview of the human immune system. 8.00
3. Immunogens and antigens 8.00
4. Antibody structure and function 8.00
5. B lymphocytes biology, activation and function 8.00
6. T lymphocytes biology, activation and function 8.00
7. Major histocompatibility complexes 8.00
8. Cytokines 8.00
9. Complement 4.00
10. Autoimmune diseases and hypersensitivity 4.00
11. Vaccinology 8.00
12. Inflammation 12.00
13. Sepsis 12.00

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, BIO8102 Immunopathology, Laboratory Handbook, USQ Publication, Toowoomba.
  • Murphy et al 2008, Janeway's Immunobiology: The immune system in health and disease, 7th edn, Garland Science/Churchill Livingstone, New York.

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.
  • Alberts, B et al_ 2003, Molecular biology of the cell, 4th edn, Garland Science, New York.
  • Coico R, Sunshine G & Benjamini, E 2003, Immunology: A Short Course, 5th edn, Wiley, New York.
  • Goldsby, RA, Kindt, TJ & Osborne, BA 2003, Kuby immunology, 5th edn, WH Freeman & Co.
  • 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.)
  • Murray, PR et al 2005, Medical Microbiology, 5th edn, Mosby, London.
  • Roitt, I, Brostoff, J & Male, D 2006, Immunology, 7th edn, Mosby, London.
  • Salyers, AA & Whitt, DD 2002, Bacterial pathogenesis: a molecular approach, 2nd edn, ASM Press, Washington.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Laboratory or Practical Classes 30.00
Lectures 24.00
Private Study 116.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROJECT REPORTS 40 40 28 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
2HR CLOSED EXAMINATION 100 60 End S1 (see note 2)

  1. Examiner to advise the due date for Project 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 lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) 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. To maximize their chances of satisfying the objectives of the practical component of the course, students should attend and actively participate in the laboratory sessions in the course. The use of safe procedures in the laboratory will be strictly enforced and continuously monitored to ensure competent performance by students. Students who fail to attend sufficient number of practical sessions (less than 80% of total sessions) may be excluded from completion of the practical course on grounds of safety.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course).

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit reports after the due date without prior approval 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. 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.