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This subject describes how microbes are an essential part of our environmental ecology and participate in unique interactions within their environmental niche. This subject also describes how microbes (bacteria, viruses, parasites) cause infections in humans, and how our immune system responds. The characteristics of some of the pathogens which cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, sexually transmissible and hospital acquired infections are discussed together with the body’s immune response to these pathogens, and the design of appropriate interventions, including vaccines and antimicrobials. The effects of both these infections and the interventions to control infectious diseases on communities and public health are also described so that the interaction between pathogen, host and environment can be illustrated.
This is a fully integrated subject in which the lectures and the practical classes build on, and support, each other. The practical classes comprise a series of case studies which illustrate and revise material covered in the lecture, and aim to teach the safe and effective implementation of basic microbiological techniques.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Describe the contributions and interactions of microbes within the environment
- Describe the characteristics of some medically important pathogens
- Describe the mechanisms by which microorganisms initiate infection and the mechanisms by which the immune response controls infection
- Describe some of the ways in which infectious disease can be controlled in individuals and in communities, including the use of antimicrobial agents and vaccines, and
- Perform basic microbiological techniques safely and effectively and recognise the clinical applications of these techniques
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- An ability to interpret scientific literature.
- The capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
- An ability to critically analyse scientific data.
- An ability to communicate scientific findings in written format.
Last updated: 2 December 2019