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Unit information: Medical Microbiology in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Medical Microbiology
Unit code PANM33008
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Avison
Open unit status Not open

PANM22041 Infection and Immunity

PANM22042 Cellular & Molecular Pathology

MOLG22100 Recombinant DNA Technology

MOLG22200 Gene Expression and Rearrangement.

FMVS20001 Biomedical Research, Employability and Enterprise Skills


3 level 6/H lecture units and Research Skills unit.

School/department School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty Faculty of Biomedical Sciences


This Unit will give an account of several high-profile problems in medical microbiology, focussing on healthcare associated infections. Details of emerging and re-emerging bacterial and fungal infections will be presented, together with an overview of research into the strategies that can be used to track infections, identify infectious agents and develop novel ways of treating infections. One of the main reasons for the rise of infectious diseases, particularly in the hospital setting, is the development of multiple antimicrobial drug resistance by bacteria. Focussing on research within the School, key drug resistance mechanisms will be defined at a molecular level, and our attempts to combat resistance will be discussed. Lectures in weeks 9-12.


The unit aims to discuss the mechanisms by which medically relevant bacteria and fungi become resistant to antimicrobial agents and the genetic mechanisms involved in the spread of resistance. It will cover the clinical problems caused by key drug resistant bacteria in the healthcare setting, and how changes in healthcare have exacerbated this problem. Finally, the unit will discuss methods for tracking and controlling healthcare associated infections, and approaches to combating drug resistance, including the development of new antimicrobials and vaccines.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of current topics in Medical Microbiology with a particular emphasis on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance. Knowledge of the scientific literature pertaining to healthcare associated infections, both bacterial and fungal, and an ability to evaluate this literature critically.

Teaching details

Lectures, Data Handling Session.

Independent study: Students are expected to study the recommended literature.

Assessment Details

Summative 3 hour written exam, to include 3 essays chose from 6.

Reading and References

Reviews and primary articles from the current scientific literature.