Advanced Topics in Medical Microbiology

Module code: MB3020

Module co-ordinator: Dr Ed Galyov

Module Aims

This module has three aims: to present advanced topics in microbial pathogenesis, the molecular mechanisms of bacterial virulence and host-pathogen interactions; to describe major infections in clinical settings; and to explain modern approaches for vaccine development, diagnostics and treatment of microbial diseases.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Critically assess current views on the molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial virulence, drawing on evidence from the studies of host-pathogen interactions, immune responses, and lessons from history
  • Describe the key virulence factors and systems of major bacterial pathogens, and mechanisms of their acquisition and exchange
  • Evaluate important host-microbe interactions such as bacterial invasion and intracellular life styles of different bacterial pathogens
  • Define host responses to bacterial infections and approaches used to create effective vaccines
  • Have gained, in the context of the above areas of microbiology, experience of accessing information from the scientific literature in electronic and written form, and its organisation through oral and written presentation

Module Description

This module presents advanced topics in microbial pathogenesis. The course includes three related parts:

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Virulence and Host-Pathogen Interactions
    Lecturers: Drs Galyov, O’Hare, and Stover.
  2. Pathogens in Clinical Settings and the Applied Aspects of Medical Microbiology
    Lecturers: Prof Barer, Drs Jenkins and Bayliss.
  3. Biodefence and Dangerous Pathogens
    Lecturer: Dr Galyov.

Directed reading and seminars will reinforce the lectures by providing additional information on the topics and developing molecular and microbiological skills.


  • Examination (three hours): 70%
  • Continuous assessment: 30%, comprising an essay (15%) and case presentations (15%)

Recommended Books

Wilson, B.A. et al. (2010). Bacterial Pathogenesis: a Molecular Approach, (3rd Edition), published by the American Society for Microbiology. ISBN 978-1555814182.

Lydyard, P. et al. (2009) Case Studies in infectious disease, published by Garland Science. ISBN 978-0815341420.