INTRODUCTION TO MICROBIOLOGY

SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2C526397
Module Leader Karen Keith
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The module introduces the basic concepts in Microbiology: the nutrition growth and control of microorganisms, the structure of prokaryotic cells, the environmental and medical importance of fungi, protozoa, viruses and helminths. The host parasite relationship in the establishment of infectious disease and the role of microbes in a public health laboratory will be considered. Laboratory classes cover the fundamental procedures of aseptic technique.

Syllabus

This module introduces the basic concepts in Microbiology: the nutrition growth and control of microorganisms, the structure of prokaryotic cells, the environmental and medical importance of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and helminths. The host parasite relationship in the establishment of infectious disease the role of microbes in a public health laboratory will be considered. Laboratory classes cover the fundamental procedures of aseptic technique. Lectures Growth and metabolism in microbial cells (4) Phases of growth in liquid culture, estimations of microbial growth by mass and numbers, viable and total cell counts. Physical and chemical requirements for growth. Energy and carbon sources to show a range of biosynthetic capabilities. Environmental effects on microbial growth, temperature, pH, water, salt and sugar. Classes of microbe defined by reaction to oxygen, the basis of oxygen toxicity, techniques for growing anaerobes. Composition of different types of culture media and their use in the laboratory Introduction to prokaryotic organisms with medical, environmental and biological significance (2 ) A systematic study of important prokaryotic cell structures and their functions. Cell surface structures including capsules, flagella and fimbriae and their functions. Gram-positive/negative and mycobacterial cell walls, plasma membrane, cytosol, 91ribosomes, inclusion bodies and intracellular granules. The bacterial endospore and sporulation. Bacterial Genetics (1) Organisation of bacterial DNA and plasmids. Resistance plasmids and the spread of antibiotic resisitance. Eukaryotic Microorganisms (3) General properties and characteristics of eukaryotic microorganisms (fungi and protozoa), their structure, nutrition classification, medical and environmental significance. An introduction to medically important fungi. Parasitic Protozoa (2) Protozoa and agents of infectious disease including Entamoeba, Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Plasmodium . Helminthology (1) Overview of medical helminthology. Introduction to SCL on a medically relevant helminth. Virology (2) Structure of viruses: different types of nucleic acid, morphology, organisation of virus particles. Overview of the viral life cycle and methods for cultivation and assay of viruses. Important properties of the major families of animal viruses and the diseases they cause. Control of Microorganisms (2) Development of antimicrobial chemotherapy. Antibiotics, selective toxicity and chemotherapeutic index. Classification and properties of antibacterial agents. Criteria for useful agents. Characteristics, function and use of common antibacterial agents. Antibiotic combinations. Susceptibility testing. Bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal concentrations. Medical Microbiology (8) Host parasite relationships. Commensal microbiota: origin, composition and characteristics. Importance to humans. Infectious disease, aetiology and history of infections such as Koch's postulates. The host response to infectious agents: innate and adaptive immunity; antigens and antibodies. Details of innate mechanisms in relation to infection including phagocytosis and the complement system. The adaptive immune response: cellular versus humoral immunity, effector cells and type of responses including active and passive response. Primary and secondary immune response. The cycle of infection: reservoirs, sources of infection and modes of transmission. Cycle of infection: entry sites; attachment, multiplication, evasion of the immune response and spread of pathogen within the host. Localised versus systemic infections. Exit of pathogen from host. Microbial pathogenicity: virulence; measurement of LD50. Virulence determinants: adhesins, degradative enzymes, secreted toxins and factors that aid evasion of the immune response. Endotoxin and exotoxins: importance as virulence factors: mode of action of toxins, relating to clinical symptoms. Principles of epidemiology; endemic, epidemic and pandemic. Immunisation programmes. Food and Water Microbiology (5) Bacteria and viruses associated with food-borne illness. The difference between food-borne infection and intoxications. Modern and traditional methods of detection of pathogens in foodstuffs. Foods associated with foodborne disease outbreaks. International and national surveillance programmes. Tutorials (6) Study tutorials will support the lecture material using a variety of different approaches including calculation practice, laboratory support and group learning by discussion of a paper on a topic aligned to the lecture material.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should:1. Define the requirements and constraints of microbial growth.2. Describe the ways in which microorganisms can be controlled.3. Define the medical and environmental importance of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and helminths.4. Identify microbial and host factors which determine pathogenicity.5. Assess the importance of microorganisms and agents of water- and food-borne disease.6. Be able to perform competently and aseptically appropriate microbiological lab techniques including microbial culture, quantification and identification**** Due to the importance of the proper and safe use of aseptic procedure in microbiological laboratory work, a pass will not be recorded for this module unless the student has satisfactorily demonstrated this outcome.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Lectures will be integrated with tutorials to develop students' appreciation of the topics. One topic, the control of microorganisms will be introduced as a guided study programme based on the recommended textbook. Parasitic nematodes will be presented using film and web links through the VLE Blackboard interface and selected topics will be presented through analysis of scientific paper in group discussions. Laboratory classes will demonstrate the practical basis of microbiology.

Indicative Reading

Living in a Microbial World, 2 nd Edition, Hofkin, B., (2017) Garland Science Prescott, Harley and Klein's Microbiology, Tenth Edition, (2017) McGraw-Hill Microbiology Bios Instant Lecture Notes - 4th Ed Baker et al (2011) - Taylor & Francis Medical Microbiology Bios Instant Lecture Notes - W Irving, T Boswell and D Ala'Aldeen (2005)

Transferrable Skills

The students should acquire and develop both laboratory and personal transferable (PT) skills. Personal transferable skills such as effective written communication, information retrieval, problem solving, independent study and teamwork are all integral components of the module. Laboratory skills such as safe laboratory practice, the planning and execution of laboratory procedures and the effective analysis, interpretation and presentation of data are also developed.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 30.00
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% Portfolio assessing microbiological Laboratory techniques by a range of methodologies.
Exam 01 2.00 50.00 35% Unseen exam