Course Content and Outcome Guide for MLT 261 Effective Fall 2015

Course Number:
MLT 261
Course Title:
Clinical Bacteriology I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces basic practices and principles of clinical bacteriology, focusing on pathogenic bacteria encountered in the blood, central nervous system, and genitourinary tract. Includes application of common algorithms for identification of clinically significant pathogens. Introduces principles and procedures of molecular diagnostic techniques and their applicability to the clinical laboratory. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Medical Laboratory Technology Program. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course reviews and further develops the knowledge and skills of the basic practices and principles of bacteriology learned in MLT 113: Introduction to Medical Microbiology. The focus is on the general practices employed for identifying the clinically important bacteria encountered in the blood, central nervous system, and genitourinary tract, and the correlation of normal and abnormal findings as related to specific infections.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  • Use an understanding of the normal flora and common pathogenic organisms associated with the circulatory and central nervous systems, and genitourinary tract to make appropriate and effective on-the-job professional decisions.
  • Apply appropriate microbiology techniques, methodologies, instruments and equipment to affect quality patient care.
  • Adapt bacteriology laboratory techniques and procedures when errors and discrepancies in results are obtained to effect resolution in a professional and timely manner.

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)


  • Pathogens Encountered in the Circulatory and Central Nervous Systems, and Genitourinary Tract
    • Etiology of disease
    • Predilections for infection
    • Transmission of pathogens
    • Symptoms
  • Specimen Processing
    • Media
    • Direct examination
    • Environmental requirements for cultures
  • Methods of Identification
    • Traditional tests
    • Rapid methods of identification
    • Molecular diagnostic techniques
    • Appropriate test selection
  • Dissemination of infectious diseases


Knowledge and Application (Cognitive Skills):

  • Cognitive processes
    • Explain bacteriology 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
      • Integrate knowledge and make informed judgments about bacteriology in everyday life

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 dispose 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
  • Estimate the number of microbes in a sample using serial dilution techniques
    • Correctly choose and use pipettes and pipetting devices
    • Correctly spread diluted samples for counting
    • Estimate appropriate dilutions
    • Extrapolate plate counts to obtain the correct CFU in the starting sample
  • Use standard microbiology laboratory equipment correctly
    • Use the 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.