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MELS223 Infection and Immunity (for BMLSc)

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The epidemiology and pathogenesis of infectious diseases, the response of the immune system to microbial antigens, and how the response is measured.

Microbes and their human hosts exist in a delicate balance. The immune system has evolved multiple mechanisms to fight infection by microbial pathogens and maintain homeostasis. On the other hand, infectious organisms have developed ways to evade the immune system. Understanding this intricate host-pathogen interplay requires a clear understanding of the mechanisms microbes use to infect cells, individuals and communities and an in-depth knowledge of the innate and adative immune system.

Paper title Infection and Immunity (for BMLSc)
Paper code MELS223
Subject Medical Laboratory Science
EFTS 0.1425
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,199.57
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,922.73

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MICR 223
Limited to

Teaching staff

Convenor: Associate Professor Jo Kirman
Lecturers: Dr Xochitl Morgan
Associate Professor Keith Ireton
Dr Warren McBurney
Megan Hall
Associate Professor Roslyn Kemp

Paper Structure

Lectures address the following issues:

  • How infectious diseases spread and the principles and limitations of antimicrobial therapy
  • The sources of infection and how to prevent disease transmission
  • Microbial virulence mechanisms
  • Innate and adaptive immune responses
  • How to prevent disease through vaccination
  • How to detect disease

These concepts are further explored in the laboratory and through clinical case studies.


  • Laboratory and lecture test 1 - 15%
  • Laboratory and lecture test 2 - 15%
  • 3-hour final exam - 70%
Teaching Arrangements
There are two lectures per week for the first 6 weeks of the second semester. For the remainder of the semester, there are three lectures per week (32 lectures total).

There are six laboratory sessions throughout the semester, divided into three streams to create timetable flexibility for students. The labs are run in weeks 2-4 and 8-10 of the second semester.


  • Prescott's Microbiology by Wiley, Sherwood and Woolverton, 10th edition, 2017, McGraw-Hill Publishers
  • Kuby Immunology by Punt, Stranford, Jones & Owen, 8th edition, 2018, Macmillan Publishers
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of microbiology and immunology in preparation for advanced laboratory skills in 300-level and in graduate papers
  • Display a practical knowledge of infectious diseases microbiology and fundamental immunology, with the ability to assimilate complex information on a spectrum of interdisciplinary topics and to be able to use this knowledge for applications in the medical laboratory
  • Develop an enhanced ability to communicate ideas about science

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
C1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 34, 36-41
D1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
E1 Friday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 29-31, 36-38