Microbes: Infections and Responses

Subject 526-205 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

32 lectures, 4 hours of tutorials and 24 hours of practical classes

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 lectures per week of 1 hour each and 1 practical class per week of 2 hours
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

Passes in 1st year Biology and Chemisty for Biomedicine
Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Principles of Microbiology and Immunology
Experimental Microbiology

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs.
This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Mrs Helen Mary Cain, Mrs Sandra Jocelyn Uren, Prof Lorena Elizabeth Brown


Ms Sandra Uren

Subject Overview:

This subject describes how microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) cause infections in humans, and how our immune system responds. The characteristics of some of the pathogens which cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, sexually transmissible diseases 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 antibodies. The community and public health response is also described so that the interaction between pathogen, host and environment can be seen.

This is a fully integrated course, that is, the lecture and the practical course build on, and support, each other. The practical course comprises a series of case studies which illustrate and revise material covered in the lectures.


Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of some important pathogens
  • Describe the mechanisms by which microorganisms initiate infection and 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

Written practical reports throughout semester (20%), a 40-minute multiple choice question test mid semester (20%), a 3-hour written exam in the end of the semester examination period (60%)

Prescribed Texts: Schaechter's Mechanisms of Microbial Disease (N C Engleberg, V DiRita and T S Dermody), 4th Edn, 2006
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

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.

This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

This subject cannot be taken if students have gained credit for the following Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science (pre-2009) subject: Microbes, Infections and Responses.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Biotechnology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Defence and Disease
Microbiology, Infection & Immunology

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