Spring 2017 - MBB 428 D100

Microbial Pathogenesis (3)

Class Number: 6012

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 7, 2017: Tue, Thu, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 322 with a minimum grade of C.



The molecular strategies that bacterial and viral pathogens use to colonize the human body and cause disease will be studied. Emphasis will be placed on the specific microbes and their virulence factors, secretion systems, toxins and surface adhesions. Strategies for combating microbial infections - antibiotics, antiviral agents and vaccines - will be discussed in detail.


Course Details
This is a lecture-based course with three 50-minute lectures and one 50-minute tutorial each week. Lecture topics include bacterial and viral biology and structure, virulence mechanisms and host response, as well as antibiotics, antiviral agents and vaccines and the role of the human microbiota in health and disease. Lectures will focus on individual pathogens and the diseases they cause. An emphasis will be placed on the structural biology of these virulence systems. Students are expected to attend all lectures and complete weekly assignments. Tutorials are optional and will feature a review of the assignments and lecture material.

Lecture topics may include:

  1. Host immune response
  2. Overview of virus structure
  3. Viral pathogens:
    • Polio virus
    • Influenza virus
    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • Ebola virus
    • Variola (smallpox)
    • Human papilloma virus (HPV)
    • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
  4. Antiviral agents
  5. Bacterial pathogens:
    • Listeria monocytogenes
    • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
    • Bacillus anthracis
    • Streptococci, Enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    • pathogenic E. coli
    • Vibrio cholerae
    • pathogenic Neisseria
    • Helicobacter pylori
  6. Antibiotics and resistance
  7. Human microbiota
  8. Vaccines


  • Two midterm exams and a non-cumulative final exam 60%
  • Assignments 40%


Students who have taken MBB 420 under the same title cannot take this course for further credit.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • Students are advised to review the plagiarism tutorial found at
  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  csdo@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html