Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    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 cells and processes of the immune system.

    About this paper

    Paper title Infection and Immunity (for BMLSc)
    Subject Medical Laboratory Science
    EFTS 0.1425
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,288.49
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    MICR 223
    Limited to

    Teaching staff

    Convenor: Dr Warren McBurney
    Associate Professor Keith Ireton
    Associate Professor James Ussher
    Associate Professor Jo Kirman
    Dr Warren McBurney
    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
    • Inflammation; 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 six 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, Sandman and Wood, 11th edition, 2020, 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


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    C1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 35, 37-42
    D1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42
    E1 Friday 11:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 30-32, 37-39
    Back to top