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.

BIO1104 Medical Microbiology and Immunology 1

Semester 1, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Bernadette McCabe
Moderator: John Dearnaley


A knowledge of microbiology and immunology is essential in a biomedical or clinical setting. This knowledge is critical in terms of understanding the nature of the hostís reaction to infectious agents and the risk associated with different infectious agents. Knowledge in this discipline is essential for infection control purposes for students who may undertake clinical placements which involves exposure to infectious risk and also for students who wish to undertake further studies in the discipline.


This introductory study in medical microbiology and immunology is aimed at providing knowledge to professionals on the relevance of this subject to different fields of biomedical science and specifically with respect to infectious risk. Explored in this course are the history and diversity of microorganisms, cell structure and function, metabolism and growth, genetics of microbes and its relevance to different areas of biomedical science including investigation of the nature of interactions of bacteria, viruses, fungi with humans and their impact on public health. The course also introduces fundamental concepts of immunology with respect to how a host defends itself against an infectious insults and includes concepts of innate and acquired immune responses. A residential school is a compulsory component of this course.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. show sufficient familiarity with the history and study of microbiology to explain past misconceptions and current conventional wisdom;
  2. make meaningful comments about each of the microbiological terms encountered during the course;
  3. demonstrate a useful knowledge of the taxonomy and morphological features of the various organisms normally regarded as microorganisms - viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa;
  4. show an understanding of the various metabolic processes found in bacteria and the role of these in ecological, biotechnological and pathogenic functions;
  5. describe the general characteristics, classification, in vivo and in vitro replication of viruses;
  6. demonstrate an awareness of the nature of a hostís innate and acquired immune response to an infection;
  7. demonstrate an awareness of the role of the host and pathogen in the development of infections;
  8. demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of microbial pathogenesis;
  9. demonstrate an understanding of the basics of virus structure, replication and pathogenesis;
  10. show a general awareness of the significance of fungal infections;
  11. show a general awareness of the significance of parasitic infections;
  12. demonstrate an awareness of infectious risk and fundamentals of infection control procedures and practices.


Description Weighting(%)
1. History and diversity of micro-organisms 4.00
2. Microscopy 4.00
3. Overview of cell structure and function 8.00
4. Nutrition, growth and control of micro-organisms 12.00
5. Microbial metabolism 12.00
6. Microbial genetics and an introduction to molecular methods 8.00
7. Microbial pathogenesis: introduction to bacterial pathogens 12.00
8. Introduction to viruses and viral pathogens 8.00
9. Introduction to the fungi and mycoses 8.00
10. Introduction to parasitic infections 4.00
11. The host innate and acquired immune response to infection 12.00
12. Fundamentals of infection control 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. (

  • Lee, G & Bishop, P 2010, Microbiology and Infection Control for Health Professionals, 4th edn, Pearson, Sydney, Australia.

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.
  • Bergey, D 1993, Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, 9th edn, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore.
  • Black, JG 2008, Microbiology: Principles and Explorations, 7th edn, John Wiley & Sons Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
  • Goering, RV, Dockrell, HM, Zuckerman, M, Wakelin, D, Roitt, I, & Mims, C 2008, Mimsí Medical Microbiology, 4th edn, Elsevier, Mosby.
  • Ingraham, JL & Ingraham, CA 2004, An Introduction to Microbiology: A case history approach, 3rd edn, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, Ca.
  • Janeway, CA 2008, Immunobiology: the immune system in health and disease, 7th edn, Garland Science/Churchill Livingstone, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 3.00
Lectures 25.00
Online Tutorials 13.00
Private Study 103.00
Residential Schools 16.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE PRACTICAL QUIZ 30 30 26 Feb 2013 (see note 1)
1 HR Mid-Semester TEST 50 20 05 Apr 2013 (see note 2)
2 HR CLOSED EXAM 100 50 End S1 (see note 3)

  1. Lecturers to advise the due dates for practical reports.
  2. Mid Semester exam will take place on the final day of the residential school in the mid semester recess.
  3. 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 and residential schools) 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 assignments.

  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 in the following semester 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 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.