Course Title: Veterinary Microbiology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Veterinary Microbiology

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Margaret Deighton

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7123

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Applied Microbiology ONPS1054
Medical Microbiology ONPS 1048

Course Description

This course has a vocational focus. It prepares students, in particular, for a career in veterinary diagnostic microbiology or related research. It extends the student’s understanding of virulence mechanisms of veterinary pathogens and the epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis and control of infectious diseases.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

1. an understanding at an advanced level of selected microbial diseases of animals,
2. the technical skills and theoretical knowledge required make a laboratory diagnosis of selected infections of animals, to carefully observe, evaluate and report on laboratory findings,
3. advanced scientific communication skills, particularly critical review of literature, oral presentation and small group interaction,
4. an understanding of ethical issues in veterinary microbiology,
5. the skills to work cooperatively with a small group of peers and to communicate to other scientists, both orally and in written form.
6. the skills to search and critically evaluate scientific literature.
7. the skills to solve unfamiliar problems, plan a work program and learn independently.

This course enhances student’s technical and interpretive skills in microbiology; enhances scientific communications skills, particularly critical thinking and evaluation of scientific literature, scientific communication (oral, written and interpersonal), problem solving, co-operative learning in small groups, independent learning and time management. This course is important in the graduate capabilities of: safe and responsible working practices, employability, adaptability, competency in technical skills, self-directed and motivated learning skills, problem-solving ability.

Overview of Learning Activities

The students will be guided through the course by structured lectures and relevant practical classes and tutorials in the laboratory to achieve competence in technical skills. The normal modes of teaching will be about three hours of lecture/discussions per week and one full week of practical exercises and tutorial discussions. Other modes of learning include independent learning through literature review, on-line learning, oral presentations, written reports and group discussion in lectures and practical classes and co-operative small group work.

Bacterial pathogens of animals, viral pathogens of animals, diseases important to Australia’s export of animal products, diagnostic veterinary microbiology and export testing, infections in intensively reared pigs, infections in pastoral animals, infections in intensively reared poultry, Marek’s disease and other avian diseases, Foot and Mouth disease, Bird flu, Hendra virus, Lyssavirus, QIS and other regulatory bodies, diseases in intensively reared animals: fish farming, microbiological aspects of mastitis is dairy cattle and pneumonia in swine: microbiology, pathogenesis, molecular methods for diagnosis and epidemiological analysis, mastitis in dairy cattle, pneumonia in pigs, disease in companion animals and their diagnosis, bacterial vaccines for animals, veterinary mycology. The practical course will cover diagnosis of selected bacterial, viral and fungal diseases of animals.

Students have the roles of active learners and have the responsibility of attending and actively participating in all planned student learning activities, reading all relevant references and undertaking such other private study as will benefit their learning towards the objectives of the course. Regular attendance at lectures, practical classes and other planned activities is essential to achieve the necessary standard to pass the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

Hirsh, D. C. and Y. C. Zee. 1999. Veterinary Microbiology. Blackwell Science.

Hirsh and Zee covers the organisms and also includes short sections on pathogenesis and clinical presentation. This appears to be the most suitable book for students in this course.
Quinn, Markey, Carter, Donnelly. 2002. Veterinary Microbiology and Microbial Disease. Blackwell Science.
Quinn (2002) focuses on the disease aspects.
Quinn, P. G. and B. K. Markey. 2003. Concise review of veterinary microbiology. Blackwell Publishing.
This book provided a very good summary of veterinary pathogens. While most of the material is in one of the books listed above, students will find this book a useful concise reference.

In addition to material given out during lectures and practical classes, students are expected to use the material placed on the DLS and to read the reference material provided by lecturers

Overview of Assessment

Theory examination, pre-lecture tests based on understanding of recent journal articles, group presentations, practical examination, practical report, performance in practicals including accurate recording of data.

The expectation of the course and program teams is that students will work diligently and effectively towards achieving the required standard of knowledge, comprehension, technical skills and productivity to achieve a pass in the course.