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Molecular Biology, Microbial Pathogenesis and the Host Immune Response (ICM7033)

Module convener          

Dr Olivier Marches,

Other Key Staff:              

Professor Lucinda Hall, 

Professor  Dan Pennington (Host immune response),  

This module offers the student teaching and workshops covering the principles of molecular biology, the biology of bacteria and explores the use of current molecular techniques in the research and diagnosis of infectious disease. The human immune system is studied followed by a study of the interaction of micro-organisms with the host immune system.

The module aims to provide:

  • An understanding of bacterial metabolism and physiology.
  • An understanding of bacterial genetics and gene regulation.
  • An understanding of current molecular biology techniques; how and why they are used within research and diagnostic laboratories
  • An understanding of bacterial pathogenesis
  • A thorough grounding in human immunology
  • An understanding of the interaction between the host immune response and micro-organisms in health and disease.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of bacterial metabolism and physiology and the relevance to the diagnostic laboratory.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of bacterial genetics and gene regulation.
  • Explain current molecular biology techniques used in diagnostic and research laboratories and evaluate new developments in this field for use in clinical microbiology.
  • Discuss mechanisms by which bacteria damage their host.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human immunology
  • Explain the pathogenesis of organisms in patients with a normal immune system and those patients who are immunocompromised.

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:
W. Dale S. F. Park : Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
 Madigan et al: Brock Biology of Microorganisms,
Prescott, Harley and Klein's Microbiology

Pier et al: Immunology, infection and immunity
Janeway et al: Immunobiology. The immune system in health and disease
Salyers and Whitt: Bacterial pathogenesis a molecular approach.

Molecular multiple choice questions (MCQ)

Type of assessment: Coursework
Duration:1 hour

Percentage weighting in module: 25%

End of Module Paper

Type of assessment: Formal examination
Duration: 90 minutes
Percentage weighting in module: 75%

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