Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Biomedical Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Prof Brian Cooke and Mr Mohamed Mohideen


The following aspects of the interactions of microbes with their hosts will be presented in lectures, tutorials, discussion groups and videos: The history of infectious diseases, medically important viruses and bacteria, pathogenic mechanisms in infectious diseases, immunity to infection, and their regulation, control of infection by vaccines and drugs, and emerging diseases.


The aim of this unit is to introduce students to microorganisms, their importance in the environment, their importance in human health and disease, and the methods used to study them in the laboratory and in their human hosts.

On successful completion of this unit, students will have gained an understanding of:

  1. the history of infectious disease identification and research;
  2. basic mechanisms of immunity to infection;
  3. the immune response to infection;
  4. the development and use of vaccines;
  5. host and pathogen factors and how they affect the outcome of infection;
  6. mechanisms of pathogenesis; emerging diseases;
  7. the spread and control of infection; antimicrobial agents; and
  8. a detailed knowledge of selected infectious diseases.

On successful completion of this unit, students will have skills in:

  1. use of basic microbiological equipment such as the microscope etc.;
  2. use of microscopic staining and visualisation techniques;
  3. culture and identification of common species of medically important bacteria;
  4. preparation and submission of laboratory reports; and
  5. use of computer networks to access information.


Written theory examination (50%)
Practical examination (25%)
Laboratory reports and quizzes (20%)
Laboratory practical skills (5%)

A pass in the final exam must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

3 lectures and one 3-hour laboratory class or tutorial/discussion session per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Must be enrolled in one of the following:
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (including double degree programs)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholar Program)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours