BMS338 Clinical Bacteriology (8)

This subject provides an overview of infectious bacteria, their collection, detection and diagnosis of infection. In-depth studies of the infectious bacteria of selected organ systems are conducted. Practical sessions and case studies simulate 'real life' medical situations, with the emphasis on laboratory diagnostic methodology in which the student microbiologist is consulted in order to diagnose the aetiological agents of infection.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BMS338. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences


BMS115 or MCR101

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic taxonomy of medically significant bacterial agents and how it is used for diagnosis;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the underlying principles of bacterial genetics with emphasis on antibiotic resistance and spread;
  • be able to describe the principles behind antibacterial chemotherapies;
  • be able to identify the kinds of bacteria that cause disease;
  • be able to describe the principles of diagnosis, specimen collection and specimen quality;
  • be able to competently perform microbiological techniques for diagnosis of infection; and
  • be able to describe the causative bacterial pathogens, pathogenesis, epidemiology and clinical signs of diseases affecting the urinary tract, the integument and haematopoietic system, the digestive tract, the respiratory tract, the eye, sexually transmitted diseases, obstetric and perinatal infections, vector borne infections, multisystem zoonoses and the immunocompromised host.


This subject will cover the following topics:

The Bacteria

  • The bionomical system of classification.
  • Cellular organisation and properties of bacteria.
  • Bacterial genetics
  • Antibacterial chemotherapies.

Principles of diagnostic bacteriology

  • Specimen collection, transport and processing
  • Principles behind the diagnosis of infections

Body systems approach to infection

  • Infections of the skin, muscle, joints, bone and haemopoietic system.
  • Infections of the eye
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Upper respiratory tract and ear infections
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Infections of the central nervous system
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Obstetric and perinatal infections
  • Vector borne infections and multisystem zoonoses
  • Infections of the immunocompromised host

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.Practical work undertaken in the Residential School provides hands-on experience of diagnosic laboratory based testing via a number of case studies and some bacterial pathology laboratory techniques.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.