Spring 2021 - MBB 428 D100

Microbial Pathogenesis (3)

Class Number: 2648

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 11 – Apr 16, 2021: Tue, Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2021
    Tue, 3:30–6:30 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 each week. Lecture topics include bacterial and viral structure and biology, virulence mechanisms and host response, as well as antibiotics and 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 microbe virulence. Students are expected to attend or view all lectures and complete weekly assignments.

Lecture topics may include:

Host immune response
Overview of virus structure
Viral pathogens:

-Polio virus
-Influenza virus
-Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
-Ebola virus
-Variola (smallpox)
-Human papilloma virus (HPV)
-Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
-Antiviral agents and resistance mechanisms
Bacterial pathogens:
-Listeria monocytogenes
-Mycobacterium tuberculosis
-Bacillus anthracis
-Streptococci, Enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus
-Pseudomonas aeruginosa
-pathogenic E. coli
-Vibrio cholerae
-pathogenic Neisseria
Antibiotics and resistance mechanisms
Human microbiota


  • Three midterm exams and a non-cumulative final exam 80%
  • Assignments 20%


Lecture:  blended (synchronous lectures, attendance is not mandatory; recorded and available
online for asynchronous viewing)
Assessments:  blended; synchronous exams and asynchronous assignments
Final Exam:  synchronous (held during exam period)
Remote invigilation:  Possibly


  • access to high-speed internet
  • computer (webcam not needed)

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • 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 Accessible Learning (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  caladmin@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).