PATH5172 Advanced Clinical Microbiology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit emphasises practical clinical laboratory skills needed for employment as an entry level clinical scientist. Practical classes are compulsory and form the main body of the unit. These are complemented by online learning packages centred on specific clinical laboratory skills and problem-solving tutorials. These include reading material on clinical laboratory procedures, videos and commentaries. Laboratory data interpretation exercises and revision quizzes are delivered online.

The unit is structured into three blocks followed by an intensive revision week: (1) intensive core skills course—daily laboratory sessions in biosafety, applied microscopy, microbial identification, antimicrobial sensitivity tests, molecular diagnostic methods; (2) identification of infectious agents—bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites; (3) clinical specimen categories—sterile sites, genitourinary, respiratory, soft tissue, gastrointestinal; and (4) intensive practical revision (1 week).
Students are able to (1) work safely in a PC2 containment clinical laboratory; (2) isolate and identify biological agents of infection from clinical specimens and to select appropriate isolates for subsequent antimicrobial susceptibility testing; (3) conduct antimicrobial susceptibility testing to EUCAST and NCIS standards; (4) extract microbial nucleic acids from clinical specimens, set up and operate real time PCR assays and correctly interpret their results; (5) apply a core range of microbial identification methods to medically significant bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites; (6) appropriately process common types of clinical specimens from sterile sites; urinary, genital, gastrointestinal, respiratory tracts; wounds and other sites of soft tissue infection; and (7) accurately record clinical laboratory results during the specimen journey and to generate interim and final laboratory reports.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) practical procedure competency log; (2) technical skills test; and (3) practical examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the technical skills test component.

Supplementary assessment will be available for students who have completed the practical procedure competency log, passed the technical skills test but fail to achieve competency in the practical exam.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Tim Inglis
Unit rules
MICR5829 Foundations of Infectious Diseases
MICR5832 Diagnostic Medical Microbiology
Contact hours
lectures: 1–2 hours per week; practical classes (laboratory classes, tutorials and workshops): 4–6 hours per week
  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.