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Introduction to clinical microbiology (ICM7092)

Module convener:         

Michele Branscombe, m.branscombe@qmul.ac.uk   

Other Key Staff:              

Dr Mathias Dittmar, m.t.dittmar@qmul.ac.uk  

Mr James Winch

This module introduces the clinically important bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi.
The lectures focus on recent developments in classification, pathogenicity and identification of these organisms.
The lectures are studied in conjunction with the practical sessions of the core diagnostic microbiology and laboratory methods module to develop a complete understanding of the organism, mechanisms of pathogenicity and laboratory diagnosis of clinically important micro-organisms.

This module offers the student a thorough knowledge and understanding of the major bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi which can cause disease in humans. This knowledge is to include an understanding of mechanisms of pathogenesis and identification.
As well as pathogens common in the UK the students is encouraged to develop a knowledge of microbial agents of tropical disease and also new and emerging pathogens.

The student learns to identify clinically important bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. The practicals focus on both traditional and modern molecular techniques for the identification of these organisms. 

At the end of this module students will have a knowledge and understanding of:

  • The major bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi which can cause disease in humans. This knowledge is to include an understanding of mechanisms of pathogenesis and identification.
  • The global distribution of organisms and the significance of this distribution in disease in the population in the UK, in travellers and in the global population.
  • New and emerging pathogens.
  • How to identifying the major human pathogens and commensal bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi using microscopy, biochemical and molecular tests.
  • How to evaluate new techniques and tests for use in research and in the diagnostic laboratory
  • the role of the clinical microbiology laboratory in the provision of information for management and treatment of bacterial infections.

At the end of this module students will have intellectual skills which will enable them to:

  • Evaluate new techniques and tests for use in research and in the diagnostic laboratory.
  • Describe the design, operation and performance of a range of techniques, including test selection, used in the identification of bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses.
  • Understand the partnership between the clinical microbiology laboratory and other clinical specialisms in the investigation of microbial infection.

At the end of this module students will have the following transferable skills and will be able to:

  • Work safely in a containment level 2 laboratory with human samples and pathogens
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the current health and safety issues relating to containment level 3 and 4 laboratories.
  • Identify the major human pathogens and commensal bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi using microscopy, biochemical, serology and molecular tests.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to evaluate new techniques and tests for use in research and in the diagnostic laboratory.
  • Demonstrate experience of the interpretation and reporting of laboratory results in the context of important microbial infections.
  • Present complex ideas in simple terms in both oral and written formats
  • work in partnership with colleagues, other professionals, patients and their carers to maximise patient care.
  • At the end of this module students will have the following practical skills and will be able to:
  • Identify the major human pathogens and commensal bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi using microscopy, biochemical, serology and molecular tests.
  • demonstrate the ability to apply the principles of internal quality control and external quality assessment and draw conclusions about assay performance
  • Perform within the sphere of personal competence and whilst conducting diagnostic, investigative or monitoring procedures demonstrate due care for the safety of self and others.

Students are expected to develop a strong basic background from text books but this must be supplemented by research in current scientific literature.

Suggested background texts include:

Murray et al: Manual of clinical microbiology
or
de la Maza et al: Colour Atlas of clinical microbiology.
or
Bailey and Scotts Diagnostic microbiology

Campbell et al: Identification of pathogenic fungi

or
Larone: Medically important fungi: a guide to identification

Garcia: Practical guide to diagnostic parasitology

or
Zeibig: Clinical parasitology: A practical approach

Kudesia and Wreghitt: Clinical diagnostic virology.

or
Specter et al: Clinical virology manual

Suggested journals include:

Journal of clinical virology
Virology
Trends in parasitology

Suggested websites include:
http://www.mycology.adelaide.edu.au/

Mycology Essay

Type of assessment: Coursework
Duration: 3000 words
Percentage weighting in module: 15%

Parasitology SAQ

Type of assessment: Coursework
Duration: 1 hour
Percentage weighting in module: 10%

Virology Essay

Type of assessment: Coursework
Duration: 4000 words
Percentage weighting in module: 20%

Bacteriology Paper

Type of assessment: Examination
Duration: 2 hours
Percentage weighting in module: 20%

Wet practical and SAQ

Type of assessment: Examination
Duration: 3 hours
Percentage weighting in module: 35%

 

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