Spring 2017 - MBB 829 G100

Special Topics in Biochemistry (3)

Microbial Pathogenesis

Class Number: 9155

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

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



Consideration of recent literature concerning selected contemporary research topics. Can be taken more than once with permission of the instructor.


Microbial Pathogenesis 

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 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, to give two presentations on high impact papers from current literature, and write a term paper.  Students who have taken MBB 420, MBB 428, BISC 889, or BISC 820 under the same title cannot take this course for further credit.

Lecture topics may include:
Host immune response
Overview of virus structure
Viral pathogens
   - Poliovirus
   - Influenza virus
   - Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
   - Ebola virus
   - Variola (smallpox)
   - Human papilloma virus (HPV)
   - Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
Antiviral agents
Bacterial pathogens
   - Listeria monocytogenes
   - Mycobacterium tuberculosis
   - Bacillus anthracis
   - Streptococci, Enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus
   - Pseudomonas aeruginosa
   - pathogenic E. coli
   - Vibrio cholerae
   - pathogenic Neisseria
   - Helicobacter pylori
Antibiotics and resistance
Human microbiota


  • Presentations 75%
  • Term paper 25%




Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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