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MICR223 Infection and Immunity

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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.

Paper title Infection and Immunity
Paper code MICR223
Subject Microbiology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,110.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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HUBS 191 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

Convenor: Associate Professor Jo Kirman

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 Wiley, Sherwood and Woolverton, 10th edition, 2017, McGraw-Hills Publishers
Prescott's Microbiology by Wiley, Sandman and Wood, 11th edition, 2020, 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

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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
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 29-31, 36-38
A2 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 29-31, 36-38
A3 Thursday 14:00-17:50 29-31, 36-38
A4 Friday 14:00-17:50 29-31, 36-38