Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 6
Hours: 4 lecture, 6 laboratory per week (120 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: CHEM 12A or 30A or equivalent.
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area III: Natural Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will compare and contrast the role of normal flora, opportunistic and obligate pathogens in both health and disease states
  • distinguish between bacterial, viral and eukaryotic pathogens in terms of structure and chemotherapeutic interventions.


Morphology and physiology of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Mechanisms of pathogenicity, host-parasite relationships, the immune response and principles of disease transmission. Techniques of microbial control including sterilization, aseptic procedures, use of disinfectants, antiseptics and chemotherapy.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. use appropriate terminology to communicate about microbes and describe their importance to humans and society;
B. compare and contrast eukaryotic, bacterial, and viral organisms;
C. describe basic microbial metabolic processes and discuss their significance;
D. discuss basic genetic principles and their potential applications;
E. examine common human and animal diseases caused by fungi, protozoans and helminths;
F. compare and contrast viruses with cellular pathogens;
G. consider the role of microorganisms in the disease process;
H. compare and contrast antimicrobial drugs used to treat bacterial, viral, fungal, protozoan and helminthic diseases;
I. identify the role of the host organism and the host microbiome in resisting infectious diseases;
J. exhibit understanding of the scientific method and scrutinize sources of scientific information;
K. use appropriate lab safety practices;
L. use light microscopy to examine and identify microorganisms;
M. perform common laboratory calculations;
N. culture microbes under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions;
O. explain the use of microbial genetic techniques to identify microbes and diagnose disease;
P. discuss the role of the human microbiome in healthy and disease states.

Course Content

A. Introduction to microbiology
1. History of microbiology
2. Basic taxonomy
3. Importance of microbes to humans and society
B. Basic cell anatomy and physiology
1. Eukaryotic cells
2. Bacterial cells
C. Microbial metabolism
1. Enzyme structure and function
2. Anaerobic and aerobic respiration, fermentation
D. Bacterial genetics
1. Genes vs. genome (chromosomes and plasmids)
2. DNA replication, transcription, and translation
3. Mutations
4. Plasmids and horizontal gene transfer
5. Basic applications of microbes in biotechnology
E. Eukaryotic pathogens
1. Fungi
2. Protozoa
3. Helminthes
F. Viruses
1. Structure and replication of viruses
a. Bacteriophage vs. mammalian viruses
b. Retroviruses
2. Representative viral diseases
G. Microbes and disease
1. Host-parasite relationships
2. Epidemiology of disease
3. Pathogenicity and virulence
H. Control of microorganisms
1. Aseptic technique
2. Antimicrobial drugs that target each pathogen group
a. Selective toxicity
b. Superinfection
c. Antibiotic resistance and its mechanisms
I. Immunology
1. Nonspecific and specific host resistance
2. Relationship of genetic diversity and susceptibility to disease
3. Humoral and cellular immune responses
4. Active and passive immunity
5. Dysfunctional immune responses

Lab Content

A. Scientific method
1. Experimental design
2. Importance of peer review
3. Evaluating sources of information
B. Laboratory safety and aseptic technique
1. Universal precautions
2. Aseptic transfer techniques
3. Labeling of cultures and specimens
C. Microscopy
1. Simple and differential staining techniques
a. Wet mounts
b. Gram staining
c. Capsule stains
d. Simple stains
e. Negative staining
f. Spore stains
2. Use and care of microscopes
D. Quantitative techniques
1. Serial dilutions
E. Microbial metabolism
1. Anaerobic culture techniques
2. Aerobic culture techniques
F. Microbial genetics
1. Restriction enzymes
2. Gel electrophoresis
3. DNA fingerprinting
G. Common eukaryotic pathogens
1. Yeasts
2. Molds
3. Protozoans
4. Helminths
H. Control of microorganisms
1. Physical methods of control
a. Hand washing
b. UV
2. Chemical control using disinfectants and antiseptics
3. Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance
a. Disc diffusion
I. Differentiation/identification of pathogenic bacteria
1. Common pathogenic cocci
2. Common enteric pathogens
3. Identification of an unknown bacterium
J. Immunology
1. Lysozyme
2. White blood cell identification
3. Use of antigens and antibodies for diagnostic purposes
K. Epidemiology
1. Portals of entry
2. Modes of transmission
3. Control mechanisms

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Laboratory coats, disposable gloves, texts, and lab notebook.
B. Laboratory equipped with microscopes (oil immersion capacity), gas outlets at each station, autoclave, hot-air sterilizer, two incubators, refrigerator, media preparation area with glass washing facilities.
C. Students need Internet access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Demonstration of mastery of lecture material and critical thinking ability by written quizzes, in-class activities, midterm exams, and a comprehensive final.
B. Demonstration of mastery of laboratory material and critical thinking ability by written quizzes, practical exams, and comprehensive laboratory final.
C. Demonstration of mastery of the scientific technique by participation in lab activities and classroom discussions, and written and practical lab exams.
D. Evaluation of comprehensive written laboratory notebook, including data presentation, critical analysis of results and discussion of appropriate conclusions.

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Electronic discussions/chat
E. Laboratory
F. Demonstration

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bauman, R.W. Microbiology with Diseases by Taxonomy. 6th ed. New York, NY: Benjamin Cummings Inc., 2019. Leboffe, M.J., and B.E. Pierce. Microbiology Laboratory Theory and Application. 4th ed. Englewood, CO: Morton Publishing Company, 2015. Representative online textbook: Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology: OpenStax College Biology Textbook:

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Pathogen Research Assignment: student chooses a pathogen and turns in a short research paper and presents their findings to the class. This includes proper citation of sources. B. Reading of the lab manual and teacher materials in preparation of each week's lab. C. Homework assignments that require textbook reading and analysis.


Biological Sciences