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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 co-exist in a delicate balance. The immune system has evolved multiple mechanisms to fight infection by disease-causing microbes 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
    Subject Microbiology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    (HUBS 191 or PTWY 131) and 90 further points
    MELS 223 and PSCI 202
    Recommended Preparation
    MICR 221
    Schedule C
    Appropriate for students majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and all Biological and Health Sciences.

    Teaching staff

    Convener: Professor Alex McLellan

    Other Lecturers:

    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 systems
    • How to prevent disease through vaccination
    • How to detect infectious disease

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


    • Laboratory and lecture test I 15%
    • Laboratory and lecture test II 15%
    • 3-hour final exam 70%
    Teaching Arrangements

    Thirty-two lectures and six 4-hour laboratory sessions.


    Essential: Prescott's Microbiology by Willey, Sandman and Wood, 12th edition, 2023, McGraw-Hill Publishers.

    Recommended: Kuby Immunology, published by Palgrave Macmillan. 8th edition, 2019.
    Janeway’s Immunobiology, 8th edition (Immunobiology: The Immune System).

    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 fundamental microbiology and immunology, with the ability to assimilate complex information on a spectrum of interdisciplinary topics and to use this knowledge for applications in the workplace
    • Develop an 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
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 30-32, 37-39
    A2 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 30-32, 37-39
    A3 Thursday 14:00-17:50 30-32, 37-39

    Terms Test (Streamed)

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 19:00-19:50 35, 40
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