Experimental Medical Microbiology: From Gene to Function in Pathogenic Bacteria

Course content

Antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens represent one of the biggest threats to human health. Development of novel strategies to combat bacterial pathogens requires detailed knowledge on the molecular mechanisms used by these bacteria to cause disease and to resist antibiotic treatments. In this advanced experimental course, students will get hands-on experience with pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The theoretical and experimental parts of the course are tightly linked, and in the exercises we will use state-of the-art techniques to study pathways of key importance to the virulence and evolution of these important pathogens. Topics covered in the exercises include: evolution via horizontal gene transfer (phages, natural transformation, and pathogenicity islands), phenotypic diversity of commensal bacteria, antibiotic resistance, cell-assays to study host-pathogen interactions, construction of genetically modified mutants using CRISPR/Cas9, quorum sensing, and virulence gene regulation.

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Education

MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Biotechnology
MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the genetic traits  and the gene regulatory mechanisms that are central for the ability of pathogenic bacteria to persist and cause disease in a host. Emphasis will be on how advanced molecular techniques can be used to answer research hypotheses relevant to these topics.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

Knowledge
- describe molecular mechanisms of importance for the virulence, persistence, and evolution of pathogenic bacteria 
- give a survey of how bacteria aquire new virulence traits including resistance to antibiotics
-define molecular methods introduced in the practical course

Skills
-employ molecular methods introduced in the practical course
- design experiments to answer research hypothesis in the field of pathogenic bacteria and interpret obtained results 
-explain generally principles in virulence gene regulation and give detailed examples here-off
-communicate scientific literature within the field of pathogenic bacteria to specialists and non-specialists (both orally and in writing)

Competences
-discuss and evaluate scientific experiments employing the molecular techniques introduced during the course 
-discuss what can be done to combat pathogenic bacteria (in general terms)

Teaching will take the form of general introductory lectures, colloquia, and practical exercises. Primary literature forms the basis for the colloquia and will partly be presented by students. In the practical exercises the students will be guided through relevant molecular techniques used in scientific literature. Data collected from laboratory experiments are compiled into a reports that form the basis for the oral exam (see below for more details)

The following will be handed out at the course:

•Manual: from gene to function in pathogenic bacteria

 

•Protocols: from gene to function in pathogenic bacteria

 

•Scientific articles (research papers and reviews)

 

•Text-book chapters

 

•Slides from lectures

 

 

Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
Type of assessment details
The oral examination will take its starting point in one of the 5 reports prepared during the course, but follow-up questions will cover the entire curriculum.
Aid
Only certain aids allowed

The reports form the basis for the oral examination, and should be brought to the exam.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners/co-examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

To achieve the maximum grade of 12, the student shall be able to:

Knowledge
- describe molecular mechanisms of importance for the virulence, persistence, and evolution of pathogenic bacteria
- give a survey of how bacteria aquire new virulence traits including resistance to antibiotics
-define molecular methods introduced in the practical course

Skills
- design experiments to answer research hypothesis in the field of pathogenic bacteria and interpret obtained results
-explain generally principles in virulence gene regulation and give detailed examples here-off
-communicate scientific literature within the field of pathogenic bacteria to specialists

Competences
-discuss and evaluate scientific experiments employing the molecular techniques introduced during the course
-discuss what can be done to combat pathogenic bacteria (in general terms)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Class Instruction
  • 15
  • Preparation
  • 80
  • Practical exercises
  • 65
  • Guidance
  • 26
  • English
  • 206

Kursusinformation

Language
English
Course number
SBIK22001U
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Duration

1 block

Placement
Block 4
Schedulegroup
A
Capacity
25 participants
Studyboard
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Dorte Frees   (2-67694376787167316e7831676e)
If you need to contact the study secretary, please see the Student Affairs Department contact information (list in Danish only): https:/​/​sund.ku.dk/​kontakt/​aus-medarbejderoversigt/​#Studieservice
Saved on the 16-03-2022

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