Course Content and Outcome Guide for MLT 262

Course Number:
MLT 262
Course Title:
Bacteriology II
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Discusses practices and principles of clinical bacteriology, focusing on pathogenic bacteria encountered in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, soft and solid tissues, and infections of special patient populations. Applies common algorithms used for identification of clinically significant pathogens. Introduces current molecular techniques used for identification and expands on concepts of antimicrobial testing and therapy. Acceptance into the second year of the MLT Program required. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Focuses on the practices and procedures employed for identifying the clinically important bacteria encountered in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, soft and solid tissues, and infections of special patient populations; and the correlation of normal and abnormal findings as related to specific infections.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:
1. Use an understanding of the normal flora and common pathologic organisms associated with the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, and soft and solid tissues to make appropriate and effective on-the-job professional decisions.
2. Apply appropriate microbiology techniques, methodologies, instruments and equipment to affect quality patient care.
3. Adapt laboratory techniques and procedures in a corrective manner when errors and discrepancies in results are obtained to affect resolution in a professional and timely manner. 

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: Pathogens Encountered in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, soft and solid tissues, and infections of special patient populations
      • Etiology of disease
      • Predilections for infection
      • Transmission of pathogens
      • Symptoms
    • Theme 2: Specimen Processing
      • Media
      • Direct examination
      • Environmental requirements for cultures
    • Theme 3: Methods of Identification
      • Traditional tests
      • Rapid methods of identification
      • Appropriate test selection
    • Theme 5: Integrating Themes
      • Dissemination of infectious diseases


  • 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
      • Cleaning and disposing of slides
      • Preparing smears from solid and liquid cultures
      • Performing wet mount and/or hanging drop preparations
      • 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
      • Obtaining microbial samples
    • Use appropriate microbiological media and test systems, including
      • Isolating colonies and/or plaques
      • Maintaining pure cultures
      • Using biochemical test media
      • Accurately recording macroscopic observations
    • Estimate the number of microbes in a sample using serial dilution techniques, including
      • Correctly choosing and using pipettes and pipetting devices
      • Correctly spreading diluted samples for counting
      • Estimating appropriate dilutions
      • Extrapolating plate counts to obtain the correct CFU in the starting sample
    • Use standard microbiology laboratory equipment correctly, including
      • Using the standard metric system for weights, lengths, diameters, and volumes
      • Using a bacticinerator
      • Using an incubator
    • Troubleshooting and problem solving
      • Recognizing errors or discrepancies in results during lab procedures
      • Selecting corrective actions for problem solving


  • 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 and developing a corrective course of action
      • 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 fluids 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