Welcome to BIOL 464/664: Bacterial Pathogenesis






Course description

This course for upper division and graduate students will address the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens cause disease. Bacterial infections will be considered as molecular interactions between hosts and their infecting microbes. We will consider some of the basic principles of bacterial pathogenesis before conducting a survey of the pathogens and their specific virulence factors. The course will also include some aspects of bacterial genetics and physiology, immune response to infection, and the cell biology of host-parasite interactions.


Course objectives: As a result of taking this course students should:

• Understand the importance natural flora plays in defending our body against bacterial pathogens

• Understand the basics of innate and adaptive immune responses

• Appreciate which bacterial structures are commonly seen associated with bacterial pathogens and how these function in disease

• Understand the bacterial mechanisms commonly used to avoid the immune system

• Understand the different environments of the human body and how pathogens exploit these environments to colonize and cause disease


Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday 1pm - 2.15pm. WRI-C148


Lecturer: Dr. Helen Wing

Assistant Professor

School of Life Sciences

Email: helen.wing@unlv.edu

Website: http://www.unlv.edu/faculty/hjwing

Phone: 895-5382

Office hours: Thursday 2.30pm-3.30pm

Course website: Webcampus & http://faculty.unlv.edu/hjwing/BIOL_464X.htm


Course materials:

Required text:

“Bacterial Pathogenesis: A Molecular Approach” 2nd edition, Abigail A. Salyers and Dixie D. Whitt. ASM Press.


Supplementary texts:

1) Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 12th edition, Madigan, Martinko, Dunlap and Clark. This text has a website (www.prenhall.com/brock) for supplementary materials. Note: This was course text for Biol 351.

2) Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/




A, 100-90%; A-, 89-87%; B+, 86-83%; B, 82-80; B-, 79-77; C+, 76-73%; C, 72-70; C- 69-67%; D, 66-57%; and F, <57%.


Undergraduate Grading:

Graduate Grading:

30%: Midterm 1

23.3%: Midterm 1

30%: Midterm 2

23.3%: Midterm 2

35%: Final

23.3%: Final

5 %: Classroom assignments and quizzes

30% Essay

Exams and Assignments: Exams will cover material in assigned readings and material presented in class. The format will be 40 multiple-choice, 10 true/false, and 3 short answer/essays (you pick 2). More information will be given as the exam dates approach.

Undergraduate Students will be able to obtain up to 50 points, equivalent to 5% of the final grade by filling out questionnaires and completing assignments that will be handed out unannounced during lecture. Only students present on days when assignments are handed out will be eligible for these points. Please note these are not extra credits, these points are part of your final grade!

Graduate Students will be given a list of essays titles which cover a variety of aspects of bacterial pathogenesis. Students will be given essay titles in the first week to research and write a 5000 word essay on their selected title. Essays should be a fully researched, up-to-date review of the chosen topic and must include citations of primary literature. Essays are due Wednesday 10th November. Essays will be critiqued and handed back (Nov 17th) for additional improvements before the final deadline of December 1st.This will be worth 30% of you final grade.

Attendance at all exams is required and an absence will result in a zero unless you (1) provide the instructor with reasonable justification of your absence before the exam (including religious holidays and official UNLV extracurricular activities) or (2) provide written documentation of the reason for your absence on official letterhead of a physician or legal authority within one week after the exam date. Eligible students will take a make-up exam. A make-up exam may not be similar to the original and it must be completed within 1 week of the original exam. A student who does not take a make-up exam within 1 week of the original exam will receive a zero for the test. It is your responsibility to schedule a make-up exam with me! You must bring number 2 pencils to all exams!


Grade posting: Exam grades will be sent to Rebelmail accounts and be posted on the Microbiology notice board on the third floor opposite the elevators as soon as possible after each exam. Grades will be posted under a random number of your choosing, which will appear on the upper left corner of Exam 1.


Religious holidays: If you have a religious holiday that conflicts with any of the exam dates, please inform me by the last day of late registration so we can make alternative arrangements.


Official extracurricular activity: Students who represent UNLV in any extracurricular activity shall have the opportunity to make up assignments and exams provided that the student presents official written notification to the instructor no less than one week prior to the missed class(es).


Academic dishonesty: Academic dishonesty defined by UNLV `includes any act that violates the academic processes of the university. These acts include, but are not limited to, cheating on an examination, stealing examination questions, substituting one person for another at examinations, falsifying data, destroying or tampering with or stealing a computer program or file, and plagiarizing (using as one`s own the ideas or writings of another)`. The punishment recommended by UNLV for academic dishonesty may be the following: A failing grade for the course and initiating of disciplinary review as described in the university`s rules and disciplinary procedures for members of the university community. The result of the review may be a warning, probation, suspension, or expulsion.


Academic dishonesty (Copyright issues): The University requires all members of the university community to familiarize themselves and to follow copyright and fair use requirements. YOU ARE INDIVIDUALLY AND SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR VIOLATIONS OF COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE LAWS. THE UNIVERSITY WILL NEITHER PROTECT NOR DEFEND YOU NOR ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR EMPLOYEE OR STUDENT VIOLATIONS OF FAIR USE LAWS. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal and state civil penalties and criminal liability as well as disciplinary action under university policies. To help familiarize yourself with copyright and fair use policies, the university encourages you to visit its copyright web page at: http://www.unlv.edu/committees/copyright.


Disability: The UNLV Disability Resource Center houses the resources for students with disabilities. If you have a documented disability that may require accommodations, you will need to contact the DRC for coordination of services. The DRC is located in the Student Services Complex (SSC), Room 317. Their numbers are: VOICE 895-0866/ TDD 895-0652/ FAX 895-0651. For additional information, please visit: http://www.unlv.edu/studentlife/drc


Lecture etiquette: During lecture you are expected to behave in a way that is not disruptive to the class. Eating is allowed but students should strive to eat quietly and not make a mess. Cell phones should ALWAYS be turned off.