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MICR 320 - Microbial Pathogenesis

 Not offered in 2020-21
 Year 3
 4-5 hours/week
 3 units
On-Campus Course

NOTE: MICR 320 online is available as an equivalent course.


This course will focus on the roles of microbes in health (human microbiome) and disease (pathogens). The molecular mechanisms of bacterial/viral virulence and the host response will be examined in order to develop an in depth understanding of the etiology of infectious diseases and the benefits derived from the human microbiome.

This course is divided into three phases that are focused on exploring basic concepts relating to the roles of microbes in health and disease. Phase 1 will cover fundamental concepts such as the role of the human microbiome in health, and how pathogen-specific virulence factors contribute to the etiology of infectious diseases. Phase 2 will focus on using the knowledge gained in Phase 1 to study specific infectious disease cases. Phase 3 will take a more global perspective, examining the epidemiology of infectious diseases, current issues with antimicrobial resistance, and the impact of newly emerging pathogens.

Minimum 3rd year (Level 3) standing and one of (MICR 221/3.0; MICR 271/3.0) and one of (MICR 360/3.0; BMED 386/3.0)

MICR 382/3.0

Lectures materials and assignment submissions via Daylight (onQ). Lecture material will be reviewed via in class lecture sessions and expanded upon via the tutorial sessions.

After completing MICR 320, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and apply knowledge of how microbes interact with the human host in relation to health (human microbiome) and disease (microbial pathogens). Organize & assess information from various sources to critically and appropriately problem solve. Reflect upon and track how accumulated knowledge is influencing perception of human health and infectious disease.
  2. Work collaboratively in a small group setting to apply accumulated knowledge in critical evaluation of the factors that contribute to the etiology of infectious diseases.
  3. Integrate the information taught in the course to provide a broad-based understanding of the global impact of microbes on health and disease. Successfully completing this course will enable students to progress to related upper level courses. Document and reflect upon personal learning styles to enhance depth and breadth of understanding of concepts in human health and infectious disease.

Module Quizzes (x5): 10%

Group Case-Study Assignment (x2): 20%

Learning Portfolio: 10%

Midterm Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 40%

The tutorial sessions will be conducted as active learning sessions that will review and extend key concepts from the lecture materials. Students will be expected to come to the tutorial sessions prepared to participate.

Lecture: 1 hour per week

Tutorial: 2 hours per week

There are no required texts for this course but you will find the following resources useful:

  1. “Bacterial pathogenesis: methods and protocols” by Frank Deleo & Michael Otto (online text available via QCAT)
  2. “Bacterial physiology: a molecular approach” by W.M. El-Sharoud (online text available via QCAT)
  3. “Molecular paradigms of infectious disease : a bacterial perspective” by Nickerson and Schurr (online text available via QCAT)
  4.  Any up to date intro Microbiology text
  5.  Any up to date intro Virology text
  6.  Any up to date intro Immunology text (and lecture notes from MICR360)

Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale

Grade  Numerical Course Average (Range)

A+            90-100

A              85-89

A-             80-84

B+            77-79

B              73-76

B-             70-72

C+            67-69

C              63-66

C-             60-62

D+            57-59

D              53-56

D-             50-52

F              49 and below