Studying online

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Unit Overview


The objectives of MICR5842 Infection and Immunity are to familiarize students with the molecular and cellular basis of the immune system, to understand how the immune response protects humans from infection with viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms, and the effects of age on immune responses. The interaction between infectious agents and the human host is explored, particularly with regard to the integrity of the host immune system and strategies used by infectious agents to evade immune responses.

Students will acquire the capacity to understand how pathogen-specific immune responses contribute to disease in the host, and how immune-based treatment and prevention strategies combat infectious disease. In addition they will learn to analyse published studies which describe investigations of the interaction between pathogen and host immune responses. Practical skills in technologies widely used in immunology laboratories will be acquired in Laboratory classes and eTutorials.

All parts of the unit require compulsory attendance (laboratories, seminars and tutorials), except for the 14 lectures which are delivered in the first 2 weeks of semester 1. However, attendance at the lectures is highly recommended.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) analyse published studies which describe investigations of the interaction between pathogen and host cell immune responses; (2) demonstrate an understanding of how these responses contribute to disease in the host; (3) explain immune-based prevention and treatment approaches and their efficacy in controlling pathogen infection; (4) acquire practical skills in immunology and know modern technologies used widely in immunology laboratories; and (5) demonstrate effective oral communication skills on topics in infection and immunity.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratory and tutorial quizzes; (2) seminars; and (3) two-hour end-of-semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Calila Santos
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Graduate Diploma in Infectious Diseases.
or Master of Infectious Diseases
Contact hours
lectures/eLearning tutorials: average of 2 hours per week
labs/demonstrations: 3 hours per week for 5 weeks
3 seminars of 15 min each, per group of 3 students.

Microbiology, a Clinical Approach (2nd Edition) by Strelkauskas, Edwards, Fahnert, Pryor and Strelkauskas (Garland Science)

Prescott’s Microbiology (10th Edition) by Willey, Sherwood and Woolverton (McGraw Hill)

The Immune System (4th Edition) by Parham (Garland Science)

Janeway’s Immunobiology (9th Edition) by Murphy and Weaver (Garland Science)

Basic Immunology (4th Edition) by Abbas, Lichtman and Pillai (Elsevier Saunders)

Mims’ Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (6th Edition) by Nash et al. (Academic Press)

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.