MBI 111 - Microorganisms and Human Disease


Course Outline - Fall 2014

Principles of Disease and Epidemiology

August 25
Introduction and Overview
Comparison of Eukaryotes, Prokaryotes and Viruses (2, 4, 20-22, 82)
Infectious Disease Principles (7-9, 335-375)
Quiz 1 posted
August 27
Infectious Disease Principles (7-9, 335-375)
August 29
Epidemiology Principles (15-16, 382-392)
September 1
Labor Day - No Class
Quiz 2 posted
Quiz 1 due at 11:55 pm on September 2

Impact of Infectious Diseases on Development of Human Societies

September 3
Antiquity to Middle Ages: Overview; Malaria (614-617); Article: "The Story of Malaria and other Deadly Tropical Germs"); African Sleeping Sickness (581-583); Tuberculosis (650-655); Smallpox (526-528); Leprosy (178; Articles: "Leprosy Was Spread by Colonialism, Slave Trade" plus "Leprosy Is Not Dead")
September 5
Middle Ages to Dawn of Microbiology as a Science: Overview (Article: "Guns, Germs and Steel"); Plague (596-598; Article: "Bubonic Plague Traced to Ancient Egypt"); Syphilis (737-740); Smallpox (526-528; Article: "Smallpox and Other Deadly Eurasian Germs"); Cholera (687-689; Article: "How Epidemics Helped Shape the Modern Metropolis")
CTA 1: Instructions Available on Niihka
September 8
CTA 1: Plague Video in class
Quiz 3 posted
Quiz 2 due at 11:55 pm
September 10
Era of Public Health and Discovery of Antibiotics: Typhoid Fever (375, 682-683); Dysentery (683, 696-698); Diphtheria (642-643); Tuberculosis (650-655); Yellow Fever (606, 608); Influenza (645-650; Video: "1918 Flu")
September 12
Last 50 Years: Lyme Disease (88, 386, 600-603); Ebola Fever (145, 590, 607, 608, 626; Article: "Where Does Ebola Hide between Epidemics?"); Legionaire's Disease (385, 656, 658); AIDS (617-625); Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (662-663); West Nile Fever (565-567); SARS (657, Wikipedia); H1N1 and H5N1 Influenzas (142, 161, 166, 645-650; Video: "Pandemic Flu"); Dengue Fever (606)
Credit/No Credit Deadline
Last Day to Drop without Grade
CTA 2: Instructions Available on Niihka
September 15
CTA 2: Ebola Video in Class
CTA 1: Plague Reflection Paper due by 11:55 pm
Quiz 3 due by 11:55 pm
September 17
Examination 1 (Principles of Disease and Epidemiology; Impact of Infectious Diseases on Development of Human Societies)

Microorganisms as Parasitic Agents

September 19
Microorganisms: Bacteria (80-107, 180-197)
Quiz 4 posted
September 22
Microorganisms: Fungi (109-127)
Microorganisms: Protozoa (109-122, 128-134)
CTA 2: Ebola Reflection Paper due at 11:55 pm
September 24
Microorganisms: Viruses (142-170)
Microorganisms as Pathogens: Virulence Factors (366-377)
September 26
Microorganisms as Pathogens: Virulence Factors (366-377)
CTA 3: Instructions Available on Niihka
September 29
CTA 3: Microbe Ads Group Project and Presentation in class
Quiz 5 posted
Quiz 4 due at 11:55 pm

Human Defenses against Parasitism

October 1
Innate Host Defenses: Nonspecific Immunity (393-421)
October 3
Innate Host Defenses: Nonspecific Immunity (393-421)
Adaptive Host Defenses: Specific Immunity (422-442)
October 6
Adaptive Host Defenses: Specific Immunity (422-442)
Vaccines (442-455; Articles: "An Ounce of Prevention" plus "Long Term Evidence for Vaccines")
CTA 4: Instructions Available on Niihka
Quiz 6 posted
Quiz 5 due by 11:55 pm
October 8
CTA 4: Rise of the Superbugs Video online (no class)
October 10
Midterm Break - No Class
October 13
Disinfection and Microbial Growth Control (292-322)
Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment (776-793)
Antimicrobial Chemotherapeutic Agents (323-354; Article: "Antibiotic Resistance and Animal Agriculture" plus "Are We Running Out of Antibiotics?")
Quiz 6 due at 11:55 pm
CTA 4: Rise of the Superbugs Reflection Paper due at 11:55 pm
October 15
Examination 2 (Microorganisms and Human Host Defenses)

Diseases Transmitted by Skin Infection

October 17
Background (512-515); Acne (515-516); Impetigo (516-520); Furuncles (517); Necrotizing Fasciitis (512, 521, 517, 639); Gangrene (523-524)
Quiz 7 posted
October 20
Tetanus (576-578); Candidiasis (127, Wikipedia); Tineas (535); Warts (532-533); Cutaneous Herpes (566, Wikipedia); Rabies (571-573)
October 22
Anthrax (297, 535, 659, 604-606); Lyme Disease (88, 386, 600-603; Articles: "Learning about Lyme Disease The Hard Way" plus "Another perspective on Lyme Disease"); Malaria (8, 339, 362, 614-617); Article: "The Story of Malaria and other Deadly Tropical Germs"); Encephalitis (563-569, 741); Dengue Fever (606)
CTA 5: Instructions Available on Niihka
October 24
CTA 5: Anthrax Video in class
Quiz 8 posted
Quiz 7 due at 11:55 pm

Diseases Transmitted by Respiratory Infection

October 27
Background (632-6635); Colds (635-636); Streptococcal Pharyngitis, Scarlet Fever, Rheumatic Fever and Glomerulonephritis (639-642); Mononucleosis (603)
Last Day to Withdraw from a Course with "W"
Last Day to Change to/from Audit
October 29
Otitis Media (637-639); Meningitis (554-559); Diphtheria (642-643); Mumps (677-678; Article: "Mumps Immunity Falls below Optimal Level")
CTA 5: Anthrax Reflection Paper due by 11:55 pm
October 31
Rubella (530-531); Rubeola (Measles) (528; Articles: "MMR Doctor Andrew Wakefield Fixed Data on Autism" plus "Disease May Be Only a Plane Ride Away"); Varicella (Chickenpox) (524-526)
CTA 6: Instructions Available on Niihka
Quiz 9 posted
Quiz 8 due by 11:55 pm
November 3
CTA 6: Vaccines vs. Childhood Disease Group Discussion in Class
November 5
Pertussis (643-645; Article: "Whooping Cough Is on The Rise"); Influenza (3, 7, 48, 142, 161, 164-166, 342, 376, 384, 386, 446, 645-650; Video: "Pandemic Flu"); Pneumonia (655-658, 660-662); Article: "Pneumococcal disease: Swinging Away at a Dangerous Killer"
November 7
Tuberculosis (7, 8, 333, 335, 336, 343, 474, 650-655, 632, 664); Article: "Drug Resistant TB May Be Treatable"); Histoplasmosis (658-660)
CTA 6: Vaccines vs. Childhood Disease Reflection Paper due by 11:55 pm
Quiz 9 due by 11:55 pm
November 10
Examination 3 (Skin and Respiratory Diseases)

Diseases Transmitted by Oral or Gastrointestinal Infection

November 12
Background (670-673); Dental Caries (673-674); Periodontal Disease (674-677); Oral Herpes (564, Wikipedia; Article: "New Hope Against the Cold Sore Virus"); Thrush (Wikipedia: Oral Candidiasis)
Quiz 10 posted
CTA 7: Instructions Available on Niihka
November 14
Peptic Ulcers (679-681; Article: "Family Size Affects Stomach Cancer Development"); Food Poisoning (692-693); Botulism (578-581)
November 17
Enteritis (681-692, 695-696; Article: "Beef Recall Heats Up Fight to Tighten Rules" plus "German E. coli outbreak is a killer hybrid"); Clostridium difficile Infection (686)
CTA 8: Instructions Available on Niihka
November 19
Cholera (171, 184, 365, 371, 687-688, 780; Article: "Hundreds Die of Cholera in Nigeria, Cameroon"); Polio (574-576); Hepatitis A & E (699-702); Toxoplasmosis (566-569)
CTA 8: Public Service Announcement Group Planning in class
CTA 7: Current Events Report due by 11:55 pm

Diseases Transmitted by Genitourinary Infection

November 21
Background (719-723); Urinary Cystitis (723-725; Article: "Treatments for Urinary Infections Leave Bacteria Bald, Happy and Vulnerable"); Septicemia and Septic Shock (371, 505, 592-593, 595-596); Vaginitis & vaginosis (727-730, Candidal vulvovaginitis); Toxic Shock Syndrome (Wikipedia)
Quiz 11 posted
November 24
Gonorrhea (731-734); Chlamydial Disease (734-736; Articles: "2 Million Have Chlamydia" plus "Why Am I Always the One to Get Chlamydia?"); Genital Herpes (740-743)
Quiz 10 due by 11:55 pm
November 26, 28
Thanksgiving Break - No Class
December 1
Syphilis (733, 737-740, 743; Article: "Sex Infections Found in Quarter of Teenage Girls")
Genital Warts (743-745; Articles: "Let's Not Talk About Sex" plus "HPV vaccine prevents genital warts in males")
Quiz 12 posted
CTA 8A: Public Service Announcement Reflection Paper due by 11:55 pm
Quiz 11 due by 11:55 pm
December 3
Hepatitis B, C & D (699-702; Articles: "Tattooing Significantly Increases the Risk of Contracting Hep C"); AIDS (341, 417, 433, 483, 492, 617-625; Article: "Living with HIV")
CTA 8B: Public Service Announcemen PowerPoint due by 11:55 pm
December 5
CTA 8: Public Service Announcement Presentations in class
Quiz 12 due by 11:55 pm
December 10
Final Examination - 3:00-5:00 in 128 PSN (Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary Infections)


Dr. John R. Stevenson


Course Policies

Course Objectives

This course has been designed to introduce you to principles and issues in infectious disease microbiology in a manner that will be both significant for understanding the disease process and relevant to your health. You will learn what microorganisms are, how they function, how they have been important in shaping human history, how they are important in your life now and how they will be important to you in the future. The role of microorganisms in infectious diseases and the responses of the host to those infections will be emphasized in this course. However, beneficial effects of some microorganisms will also be discussed.

The topics in Microorganisms and Human Disease are all related to infectious diseases and their influence on development of human societies, past, present and future. The subject matter pertains to causative agents and their transmission, predisposing (risk) factors, resulting damage and complications, treatments, and preventive strategies. To allow you to perceive the impact of each topic, yet free you from some of the distraction of note-taking so you can concentrate on understanding the concepts and participate in discussing them, you will be provided with a course outline, study guides and other informative material via the World Wide Web. To increase your interest and intellectual curiosity, the relevance of lecture topics and associated issues to everyday life--past, present and future--will be emphasized in lectures and discussions. In addition, the lecture material will be supplemented with appropriate slides, overheads, videos and/or movies to help you relate what you are learning to the "real" world.

The underlying theme of Microorganisms and Human Disease is the impact of infectious diseases on development of human societies. You will learn about major achievements of microbiologists and the resistance they had to overcome to make their breakthroughs. Examples include Koch's germ theory of infectious disease and development of postulates for determining causation of infectious disease, Jenner's development of a protective smallpox vaccine, Fleming, Chain and Florey's work on penicillin and Salk and Sabin's efforts in combating polio. In addition to this, discussion of the occurrence of new diseases such as AIDS, Legionnaires' disease and Lyme disease, coupled with the subsequent development of new strategies to combat them will help you learn that the subject matter is historically derived and continually changing. It will also help you appreciate the importance of imagination and intuition in development of scientific principles and approaches, and underscore the continuing need for these traits if we are to successfully address contemporary issues in infectious disease microbiology. Critical thinking will be fostered by examination of entrenched assumptions and methods during description of the derivation of current methods and concepts from earlier ones.

Integration into each lecture of examples of problem recognition, problem definition, and problem solving will nurture the development of your understanding and appreciation of the analytical approach inherent in the scientific method. As liberally educated citizens, you will be challenged to think about the current state of infectious disease microbiology and to formulate strategies to improve the longevity and quality of life. The application of critical ways of thinking will include exploring possible solutions to current issues in infectious disease microbiology, including ways to improve control of microorganisms to effect better prevention and treatment of microbial infections.

The intricacies of host-pathogen interactions will be interwoven throughout the course as each aspect of infectious disease microbiology is addressed. You will be encouraged to compare your own ways of thinking with those employed in other times, by other societies or professions and by your fellow students. In each case, you will be encouraged to evaluate how effective a society is (or was) in combating infectious disease. Opportunities for you to share and discuss personal perspectives will be encouraged in order to assist you in understanding the problems inherent in infectious disease control. This approach will provide freedom from the teaching of science as dogma, yet demonstrate the extent to which the rise and maintenance of western society is based on science, and microbiology in particular. You will also recognize that there may not be a universal priority or prescription for well-being of individuals at all times or in all places. In addition, you will develop an understanding of how and why this can happen. In summary, this course was designed to inspire you to think in new ways, better understand multicultural and historical differences, and appreciate the basis of diverse responses to infectious diseases by helping you understand how ways of knowing and ways of thinking affect the derivation and application of infectious disease microbiology principles both here and around the globe.

To foster personal involvement with the subject matter, you will find news reports and bring them to class for oral presentation and group discussion. The instructor will also foster discussion by posing questions based on real-life situations such as:

As you can see from this short list of questions, this course is designed to increase your intellectual curiosity and initiate continued interest in learning about infectious diseases and promoting human health long after you have completed it. This approach will also enhance your intellectual development by helping you develop your ability to think critically as you learn to analyze technological options frequently presented as panaceas for contemporary health issues concerning infectious diseases.

A diversity of concepts has been thoughtfully interwoven to form this course. Clearly, it will not only be challenging, but will also provide you with a coordinated learning experience. The breadth of the subject matter, as outlined in the syllabus, permits ample flexibility for thoughtful and creative pedagogy. For example, mathematics will be employed in the statistical analysis of epidemiologic data demonstrating the rise or fall in incidence of diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, cholera and puerperal sepsis in relation to changes in behavior. Additionally, thoughtful pedagogy will be fostered by analyzing mechanisms of disease and methodologies employed to investigate disease processes. In addition, this course will provide historical perspectives, foster critical thinking and encourage you to explore ways in which imagination, intuition and reasoning affect development of concepts. As a result of taking Microorganisms and Human Disease it is expected that you will be better able to contribute through knowledge, personal practice and leadership to a "healthier" society.

Course Evaluation

Your grade in this course will be determined by your performance on:

Your course grade will be determined using the following:




Academic Integrity

Cheating on any aspect of this course (including plagiarism) will make you subject to University academic dishonesty proceedings as described in the Student Handbook, Undergraduate Academic Regulations Chapter 5.

  • Plagiarism is defined as:
  • Use of Turnitin.com for Pagiarism Detection

    Copyright Notification

    Unless otherwise noted, all materials presented in this course are the intellectual property of the instructor, John R. Stevenson, and may not be distributed to any other individuals besides those in the course without instructor permission.

    Disability Services

    Any student who feels that he/she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Rinella Learning Center (located in the Campus Avenue Building) at 529-8741. If you have already registered with this office and would like to discuss your class accommodations for the semester, please set up an appointment to meet with me privately.

    Credit/No-Credit Status

    Warning: Nationwide studies have shown that credit/no-credit grades on your academic record may be a negative factor in evaluation of your application for admission or employment by most professional schools (law, medicine, etc.), by many graduate schools, and by some employers and undergraduate schools.

    The following are only the most problematic of the Credit/No-Credit rules... A full-text version can be accessed in Section 1.2.H of Chapter 2 of Part 1: Undergraduate Academic Regulations of the Student Handbook.

    Students should consult with the Chief Departmental Adviser of their department of major with questions pertaining to courses that may be taken on a credit/no-credit basis.

    Withdrawal Policy


    Study Guides

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    © 1995-2014 John R. Stevenson. All Rights Reserved

    Please email questions and comments to:
    John R. Stevenson, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    Department of Microbiology
    Miami University
    Oxford, Ohio 45056
    This document was last modified on Monday, 25-Aug-2014 01:28:40 EDT