Selection & Interpretation of Lab Tests

Subject VETS50003 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Approximately 40 hours per week over an intensive 2-week period
Total Time Commitment: Approximately 80 hours per semester

Entry into the Master of Veterinary Public Health (Emergency Animal Diseases)

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on their academic performance are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Colin Wilks


Stephanie Morrison-Duff
Research and Graduate Studies Manager
Faculty of Veterinary Science
University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010
+61 (0)3 8344 0357
Subject Overview:

Making a definitive aetiological diagnosis using methods and interpretations consistent with established world standards is a critical part in the early diagnosis of an emergency animal disease and in initiating control/eradication programs. It always relies on testing in a laboratory of samples collected from animals suspected to be infected with the infectious agent of concern. Laboratory testing and correct interpretation of test results is also important in many surveillance programs, which are conducted either to detect presence of the disease in a population or to provide evidence of absence of the disease.

This module will combine hands-on performance of currently used laboratory tests with lectures, tutorials and workshops with real-life examples to explore the use and limitations of tests and their correct interpretation in different situations. It will provide a basic understanding of the tests to support learning in other modules concerning diagnosis of specific diseases and general principles of epidemiology and surveillance.

(Note: This is the only module that will require physical attendance by the student and will constitute the first module of the course. It will be co-ordinated by the University of Melbourne and taught by staff at the university, at CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and at the DPI Attwood. Sections of the module will be taught at each of the three sites. It will be offered as a 2-week intensive and will involve lectures, tutorials and hands-on laboratory exercises.)


On completion of the course students will have gained:
• a general overview of the content and requirements of the MVPH program;
• experience in collecting samples for testing and an understanding of the importance of appropriate sampling and shipping for competent testing;
• experience and understanding of the various laboratory tests including their strengths and weaknesses; and
• an ability to select appropriate test types for specific investigations and to interpret their results.

  • Participation in laboratory exercises (10%)
  • Participation in tutorials and workshops (15%)
  • Assignment (20%)
  • Final exam (55%)

Assessment will be conducted throughout the residential subject. A written assignment will be submitted in week 2. The final exam will be a 3-hour written exam at the conclusion of the residential course.

Prescribed Texts: Students will use a reading list of scientific articles from the current literature, which will be provided on-line.
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 module, students will have developed:
• an ability to collect appropriate samples and send them safely to a laboratory;
• an appreciation of the different information provided by different tests and how this is used in diagnosis and surveillance; and
• an ability to communicate effectively with laboratory diagnosticians in selection and interpretation of tests.
Related Course(s): Master of Veterinary Public Health (Emergency Animal Diseases)

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