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MEDT 471 Parasitology/Mycology/Virology


This course is divided into three sections: Virology, Parmasitology and Mycology. Each section centers on the approach used in clinical microbiology laboratories to isolate and identify pathogens of significance from human specimens. In addition, each section gives an extensive overview of clinical infections with emphasis on the major pathogens recovered from clinical specimens. 

In the didactic portion of the course, students are introduced to each taxonomic group of parasites, viruses, and fungi where morphology, life cycles, clinical symptoms, disease, diagnosis, treatment, and epidemiology are discussed in detail. Priority is placed on visual identification of pathogenic organisms. Students are given extensive outlines and tables of information that are used in conjunction with case studies, textbook, PowerPoint and/or CD-ROM slides.  In the parasitology laboratory, students become acquainted with the proper collection, processing and handling of clinical specimens, calibration of ocular micrometers for measuring parasites, concentration procedures and different staining protocols to examine slides containing the range of parasites studied. Each student independently views a variety of parasites in microscope preps and learns to differentiate parasites from among artifacts. In the mycology laboratory, students examine mycology cultures, both as known and unknown cultures. Students become acquainted with proper collection and handling of fungal specimens, preparation, and interpretation of fungal LPCB preps, and inoculation of various fungal media. The virology module will be used to explore the range of serological and molecular diagnostic tools available for the identification and isolation of known viruses. Although traditional visual recognition of virus is minimal now in current laboratory practices, a brief review will be given to familiarize the students with staining characteristics and cell cultures.