Year
2020
Units
4.5
Contact
3 x 50-minute lectures weekly
5 x 3-hour practicals per semester
1 x 2-hour computer lab per semester
Prerequisites
1 BIOL1101 - Evolution of Biological Diversity
2 1 of BIOL1102, BIOL1112
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Enrolment not permitted
BIOL8742 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Skills and knowledge such as can be found in BIOL1101 Evolution of Biological Diversity and BIOL1102 Molecular Basis of Life.
Topic description
The topic will provide a basic understanding of the 'animal, environment and pathogen' concept. Students will be familiarized with the major causes of disease, including both non-infectious and infectious disease. The topic will also introduce the major types of pathogens responsible for infectious disease and the process of pathogenesis. The topic also aims to introduce the natural defenses mechanism in animals (including humans) and the evolution of the immune system. The importance of animal welfare, hygiene and quarantine control for preventing the spread of animal disease will be explained, along with artificial mechanisms for controlling disease in human medicine, aquaculture and agriculture. Hands-on practicals will facilitate the development of basic skills in disease diagnosis through examination of enteric parasites in scat samples, histological sections and blood pathology. Practicals will also expose students to the analysis of cell mediated immunity via the identification of vertebrate whiteblood cells, hemocyte density calculations and phagocytosis assays.
Educational aims
The aims of the topic are to provide:

  1. A basic understanding of the 'animal, environment and pathogen' concept
  2. An introduction to the major types of pathogens responsible for infectious disease and the process of pathogenesis
  3. Understanding of the stress response in animals
  4. An introduction to the natural defenses mechanism in animals (including humans) and the evolution of the immune system
  5. Skills in disease diagnosis
  6. Experience in writing up experiments in scientific paper format
  7. Skills in critical analysis and communication of the current literature in the field of human and/or animal health
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of this topic students are expected to be able to:

  1. Be competent in identifying the major causes of infectious and non-infectious diseases in animals
  2. Understand how the environment, host and pathogens all interact to enable the manifestation of infectious disease
  3. Be familiar with the different types of pathogenic organisms and some of the disease symptoms associated with these infections
  4. Understand the major components of the immune system and how it is affected by stress
  5. Understand the importance of biosecurity and procedures for quarantine control of animals translocated into new environments
  6. Be aware of animal health resources available on the World Wide Web and have the ability to critically analyse research and other literature associated with animal health and immunology
  7. Be familiar with animal and human welfare, including ethics applications for research on animals and/or human clinical research