Course Content and Outcome Guide for MLT 113 Effective Summer 2015

Course Number:
MLT 113
Course Title:
Introduction to Medical Microbiology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces clinical bacteriology and the taxonomic approach to major human pathogens. Presents an overview of the organization and function of the clinical microbiology laboratory. Introduces basic practices of specimen processing, handling, and work-up. Stresses the development of basic skills necessary to work in the microbiology laboratory. Prerequisites: MLT 112. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course provides an introduction to clinical microbiology. Focuses on the development of knowledge and skills required to practice medical microbiology. Addresses the transmission and control of pathogens, epidemiology, determination of the significance of isolates, and safety issues in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Students will be expected to properly perform laboratory exercises related to the subject matter discussed.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Use an understanding of the normal and common pathologic organisms associated with human infectious diseases to make appropriate and effective on-the-job professional decisions.
2. Apply appropriate laboratory techniques,  methodologies, instruments and equipment; and accurately calculate, record, and tabulate data to improve patient care.

Course Activities and Design

The material in this course will be presented in a traditional classroom (Campus program), or distance-learning format (Distance learning program). Both traditional and distance learning sections include required laboratory activities. Traditional classroom instruction consists of lecture, discussion, web-based instructional media (tutorials, animations, videos, etc.) and other educationally sound practices. Distance learning sections include similar educational practices and are primarily presented in a web-based format. Both campus and distance learning sections require periodic campus based laboratory exercises. In addition, the distance learning section may have hospital-based laboratory exercises. A laboratory manual will be provided. The laboratory exercises provide an opportunity for students to employ the testing principles and methodologies discussed and allow for discussion, application and correlation of the concepts presented. The student is expected to perform all laboratory procedures according to the criteria established by the department.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The instructor will outline the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a grade at the beginning of the course. Assessment methods may include written and practical examinations and laboratory write-ups. Evaluation of problem solving skills, teamwork, attendance, laboratory performance and communication skills may also be included.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Course Themes
    • Theme 1: Microbial Cell Biology
      • Regulation of cellular activities
      • Cellular structure and function
      • Growth and division
      • Cell energy metabolism
    • Theme 2: Microbial Genetics
      • Inheritance of genetic information
      • Exchange and acquisition of genetic information
    • Theme 3: Interactions and Impact of Microorganisms and Humans
      • Host defense mechanisms
      • Mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity
      • Disease transmission
      • Antibiotics and chemotherapy
      • Normal flora
    • Theme 4: Clinically Significant Pathogens and Infectious Diseases
      • Staphylococcaceae and Streptococcaceae
      • Neisseriaceae
      • Clinically Important Gram-positive Rods
      • Coccobacilli
      • Clinically Important Anaerobes
      • Enterobacteriaceae and other significant Gram-negative rods
    • Theme 5: Integrating Themes
      • Microbial diversity
  • Laboratory Skills
    • Use a bright field light microscope to view and interpret slides, including
      • Correctly setting up and focusing the microscope
      • Proper handling, cleaning, and storage of the microscope
      • Correct use of all lenses
      • Recording microscopic observations
    • Properly prepare slides for microbiological examination, including
      • Proper disposal of slides
      • Preparing smears from solid and liquid cultures
      • Performing Gram stains
    • Properly use aseptic techniques for the transfer and handling of microorganisms and instruments, including
      • Sterilizing and maintaining sterility of transfer instruments
      • Performing aseptic transfer
    • Use appropriate microbiological media and test systems, including
      • Isolation of colonies
      • Maintaining pure cultures
      • Using biochemical test media
      • Accurately recording macroscopic observations
    • Use standard microbiology laboratory equipment correctly, including
      • Using the standard metric system for weights, lengths, diameters, and volumes
      • Using a bacticinerator
      • Using an incubator
  • Cognitive Skills
    • Cognitive processes, including
      • Formulating a clear, answerable question
      • Predicting expected results
      • Following written protocols and verbal instructions
    • Analysis skills, including
      • Collecting and organizing data in a systematic fashion
      • Presenting data in an appropriate form
      • Assessing the validity of the data (including integrity and significance)
      • Recognizing errors
      • Drawing appropriate conclusions based on the results
    • Communication skills, including
      • Discussing and presenting lab results or findings in the laboratory
    • Interpersonal and citizenry skills, including
      • Working effectively in teams or groups so that the task, results, and analysis may be shared
      • Effectively managing time and tasks allowing concurrent and/or overlapping tasks to be done simultaneously, by individuals and/or within a group
      • Integrating knowledge and making informed judgments about microbiology in the clinical setting and in everyday life
  • Laboratory Safety
    • Microbiological procedures, including
      • Reporting all spills and broken glassware to the instructor and receiving instructions for clean up
      • Methods for aseptic transfer
      • Minimizing or containing the production of aerosols and describing the hazards associated with aerosols
      • Washing hands prior to and following laboratories and at any time contamination is suspected
      • Using universal precautions with blood and other body ?uids and following the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
      • Disinfecting lab benches and equipment prior to and at the conclusion of each lab session, using an appropriate disinfectant and allowing a suitable contact time
      • Identification and proper disposal of different types of waste
      • Good lab practice, including returning materials to proper locations, proper care and handling of equipment, and keeping the bench top clear of extraneous materials
    • Protective procedures, including
      • Tying long hair back, wearing personal protective equipment (eye protection, coats, gloves, closed shoes), and using such equipment in appropriate situations
      • Always using appropriate pipetting devices and understanding that mouth pipetting is forbidden
      • Never eating or drinking in the laboratory
      • Never applying cosmetics, handling contact lenses, or placing objects (fingers, pencils, etc.) in the mouth or touching the face
    • Emergency procedures, including
      • Locating and properly using emergency equipment (eye wash stations, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, chemical safety showers)
      • Reporting all injuries immediately to the instructor
      • Following proper steps in the event of an emergency