Course Content and Outcome Guide for MLT 113 Effective Fall 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. Develops basic skills necessary to work in the microbiology laboratory. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Medical Laboratory Technology Program. 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

  • Use an understanding of the normal and common pathogenic organisms associated with human infectious diseases to make appropriate and effective on-the-job professional decisions.
  • Apply appropriate microbiology laboratory techniques, methodologies, instruments and equipment in accordance with current laboratory safety protocol.
  • Calculate, record, and report clinical microbiology results according to clinical laboratory protocol.

Course Activities and Design

The class is presented by means of lecture/discussion, audio-visual presentations, handouts, demonstrations, web based instructional media and other educationally sound practices. Comprehensive lab work requires demonstration of competency to receive a satisfactory grade. A laboratory manual is 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

Assessment methods may include written and practical examinations, homework assignments and discussion activities. Student knowledge application, laboratory performance, problem solving skills, punctuality and attendance, participation, and communication skills is assessed in each laboratory exercise utilizing an evaluation rubric that includes cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains.  

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Course Themes:

  • Microbiology Laboratory Safety
    • PPE, safety devices and techniques in the microbiology laboratory department
  • Microbial Cell Biology
    • Regulation of cellular activities
    • Cellular structure and function
    • Growth and division
    • Cell energy metabolism
    • Microbial Genetics
  • Interactions and Impact of Microorganisms and Humans
    • Host defense mechanisms
    • Mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity
    • Disease transmission
    • Antibiotics and chemotherapy
    • Normal flora
  • 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
  • Laboratory Testing

oSmears and stains

oCulture media and test systems

o    Standard microbiology laboratory equipment

  • Communication
    • Clinical microbiology terminology


Knowledge and Application (Cognitive Skills):

  • Cognitive processes
    • Explain microbiology theory supporting test principles
    • Integrate knowledge and make informed judgments about clinical chemistry  test results  in the clinical setting
    • Formulate a clear, answerable question
    • Predict expected results
    • Follow written protocols and verbal instructions
  • Analysis skills
    • Collect and organize data in a systematic fashion
    • Present data in an appropriate form
    • Assess the validity of the data (including integrity and significance)
    • Recognize errors
    • Draw appropriate conclusions based on the results
  • Troubleshooting and problem solving
    • Recognize errors or discrepancies in results during lab procedures
    • Select corrective actions for problem solving
    • Safety skills
      • Recognize safety equipment and laboratory safety measures
    • Communication skills
      • Discuss and present lab results or findings in the laboratory
    • Interpersonal and citizenry skills
      • Work effectively in teams or groups so that the task, results, and analysis may be shared
      • Effectively manage time and tasks allowing concurrent and/or overlapping tasks to be done simultaneously, by individuals and/or within a group

Performance (Psychomotor Skills):

  • Utilize safety measures and equipment
    • Utilize adequate personal protective equipment, sharp container, fume hood and other safety devices
  • Use a bright field microscope to view and interpret slides
    • Correctly set up and focus the microscope
    • Properly handle, clean, and store the microscope
    • Correctly use all lenses
    • Record microscopic observations
  • Properly prepare slides for microbiological examination
    • Properly disposal of slides
    • Prepare smears from solid and liquid cultures
    • Perform Gram stains
  • Properly use aseptic techniques for the transfer and handling of microorganisms and instruments
    • Sterilize and maintain sterility of transfer instruments
    • Perform aseptic transfer
  • Use appropriate microbiological media and test systems
    • Isolate individual colonies
    • Maintain pure cultures
    • Use biochemical test media
    • Accurately record macroscopic observations
  • Use standard microbiology laboratory equipment correctly
    • Use standard metric system for weights, lengths, diameters, and volumes
    • Use a bacti-incinerator
    • Use an incubator

Professional (Affective) Skills:

  • Demonstrate interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn as seen through active participation.
  • Show initiative and motivation as demonstrated by independence in performing routine procedures, preparation before class, decreased need for supervision, willingness to go beyond the required assignments, and recognition of opportunities to improve quality and productivity of work.
  • Adapt to stressful and/or new situations by maintaining composure and flexibility without compromising individual integrity.
  • Exhibit teamwork through cooperation, courtesy, respect, and sensitivity towards others.
  • Convey a professional attitude as shown by an appropriate level of confidence and a positive outlook toward work and other people.
  • Demonstrate integrity as shown by the admission and documentation of errors, recognition of the potential danger of short cuts, and the maintenance of patient and co-worker confidentiality.
  • Act responsibly and reliably as measured by punctuality, attendance, dependability, and quality of work.
  • Respond favorably to supervision and feedback.
  • Persevere until task is completed satisfactorily.