Contact Information

Microbiology and Immunology


Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
Phone: (301) 295-3400
FAX: (301) 295-1545

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Course

Course Objectives

The objective of this course in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is to provide an understanding of the scientific basis for prevention, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious and immunologically-mediated human diseases.  The course surveys the immunobiology of human hosts and the biology of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.  It presents a broad introduction to immunology, general and pathogenic microbiology, and host responses to infectious agents.  The student should develop an understanding of the biological characteristics of pathogenic microorganisms, the course of their infections, the functions of the immune system, and the actions of antibiotics against these pathogens.  Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to answer the following questions about each infectious agent:

  • How is the pathogen identified? What are its specific growth characteristics or distinguishing biochemical tests?  What are its morphological and/or staining characteristics?  What immunological or nucleic acid-based tests are used to identify the pathogen?
  • What diseases does the pathogen cause? What are the most common symptoms?
  • Which epidemiological risk factors (age/sex/ethnicity/race/immune status /geographic or occupational exposure) make an individual susceptible to infection/disease?
  • How is the pathogen transmitted to a human host?  How is it maintained in nature?
  • What are the virulence factors of the pathogen?
  • How does the host defend itself against the pathogen?  Does the host response contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease?
  • How is infection by the pathogen treated?
  • How is infection/disease prevented?  Does a vaccine exist to protect susceptible hosts?  If so, what is its composition?