Module code: VMS2002

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader


Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 104

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment PBL ASSESSMENT 10
Practical based assessment PRACTICAL REPORTS 10
Practical based assessment STEEPLECHASE 30

Alternative Assessment

Resits for practical reports will involve the preparation of a reflective writing report on an area related to the failed module. Resits for PBL assessments will involve a viva voce in a predetermined area related to the failed module

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Successful completion of all First BVMSci year units

Module overview

This module introduces the student to the general principles of infectious disease and its pathology as well as the host response to infection and infectious disease agents. The cellular and tissue changes induced by infection and or invasion by viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and prions will be introduced. These topics will be presented in the context of One Health and underpinned with clinical case examples introducing clinical pathology results from the various veterinary species.

Module aims

Introduce the terminology of infectious disease, the broad categories of infectious agents, systemic pathology based on aetiopathogenesis, and gross and microscopic appearance of lesions induced by pathogens and the host response.

Increase the students' ability to describe pathological findings and write meaningful reports using the appropriate methods and terminology

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Describe the basic mechanisms of infectious disease and apply acquired foundation knowledge RCVS KU 1, KU 3, KU 5 KP
Understand what are the causes, development and consequences of infectious disease by using the principles of disease: injury, adaptation, inflammation, repair and their physiologic correlates (pathogenic mechanisms) - RCVS KU 1, KU 5 KPT
Perform sampling methods appropriate to detecting infectious agents - RCVS 22 KPT
Understand the commonality of the infectious disease process across species including concepts of One Health, One Medicine - RCVS KU 1, KU 5 KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Infectious Pathogens: General introduction. The epidemiological triad of infection. Invasion and infection.  

Pathogenesis of infectious agents. General aspects

Bacteria. Major bacterial groups and phenotypical differences

Bacteria and the alimentary system – commensals versus pathogens

Bacterial genetics and virulence factors

Bacterial pathogenesis: colonisation and tissue invasion

Anti-microbial resistance

 Viruses- Taxonomy and genetics.

Unique structures of infectious pathogens – Bacterial LPS, Peptidoglycans, bacterial DNA, Viral Nucleic Acid etc

Parasites. Taxonomy, life cycles and management of the environment of Nematodes, Cestodes, Trematodes, Protozoa, Ectoparasites

Invasion to where and by what route? Extracellular and Intracellular pathogens

Host barriers to infection: Skin and Mucosa

Cells and tissues of the immune and haematopoetic system

1st line of defence: Innate Immunity- recognising Invaders (PAMPs/ DAMPs/ Toll-like receptors)

1st line of defence: Innate Immunity – key cells and phagocytosis

1st line of defence: Innate immunity – the complement system

Immunological cell signals: Cytokines and their receptors

Antigens and MHC complex

Adaptive immune response: T-cells and antigen recognition (TCR)

Antigen presenting cells – bridging the innate and adaptive immune response

T-cell subsets and function and the difference in animal species

Antibody structure and function

B-cells – antigen recognition and antibody production

The orchestra of T-cell and B-cell activation

Regulation of adaptive Immune responses

Immune responses to bacteria, fungi, helminths and viruses

Vaccination principals


Collecting appropriate samples to detect infectious pathogens – 1 hour


Bacterial culture and identification – gram stains, various light microscopy techniques, dark field – 1 hour

Virus culture and identification - 2 hours

Identifying ectoparasites – gross specimen demonstration and life cycle charts – 1.5 hours

Identifying endoparasites – gross specimen demonstration and life cycle charts – 1.5 hours

Identification and quantification of parasites through faecal examination – 1.5 hours


Anti-microbial resistance and LAMP – 2 hour

Immunoassays and ELISAs – 2 hours

PBL cases (6 hours)


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

·         Provide infectious disease pathology in the context of One health, One medicine

·         Allow students to develop skills in performing a post mortem examination and identify lesions induced by infectious agents

·         Provide students with the skills to write a meaningful post mortem report and record their findings with appropriate terminology and supporting images

The learning and teaching methods include:

·         Lectures, flipped classroom, small group sessions, PBL cases, practical classes using microscopy and anatomic pathology specimens


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

·         Practical skills in performing a post mortem examination

·         Record writing ability and understanding and use of terminology

·         Encourage teamwork and participation in-group learning both in the practical sessions and in the PBL cases.

·         Content knowledge of general pathology and disease mechanisms

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Formative assessments: Instructor and peer assessments 0%

·         PBL assessment – 10%

·         Practical reports – 10%

·         Steeplechase - 30%

·         Written examination – 50%

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessments: Instructor and peer assessments 0%

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.