VSC323 Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology (8)

This subject follows on from VSC310 Principles of Pathobiology which gave a brief introduction to the mechanisms of diseases caused by microbial and parasite pathogens. This subject further develops on the role of infectious organisms in animal health and pathogenesis of disease. Student cannot progress to Phase 2, without the completion of Phase 1.

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


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC323. 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 Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in the

Bachelor of Veterinary Biology / Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology / Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology



Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to recognise infectious pathogenic agents (viruses, prions, bacteria, fungi, protozoan and metazoan parasites) and name the major diseases they cause;
  • be able to describe the Gram reaction and morphology of the major phenotypic groups of bacteria;
  • be able to describe key culture requirements and characteristics of major bacterial and fungal pathogens of veterinary significance;
  • be able to summarise the key steps that occur in the pathogenesis of parasitic and microbial diseases;
  • be able to distinguish sites with normal microbial flora present and normally sterile sites in the host animal;
  • be able to demonstrate proficiency in obtaining a pure culture of a microorganism in the laboratory;
  • be able to explain the life cycles of important parasites of animals;
  • be able to identify the major groups of internal and external parasites of animals using identification keys;
  • be able to explain the concepts of virulence and virulence factors for a variety of pathogens;
  • be able to explain the epidemiological, host environmental and management factors contributing to infectious and parasitological diseases;
  • be able to describe the chemical and physical methods of disinfection;
  • be able to perform and interpret common laboratory tests used for identification of infections and diseases;
  • be able to apply evidence based medicine principles to all conclusions and recommendations concerning infectious disease;
  • be able to make recommendations regarding effective preventative, treatment and control measures for infectious diseases;
  • be able to describe the concept of One Health - linking human, animal and environmental health and use examples.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Advanced Bacteriology
  • Advanced Virology
  • Advanced Protozoology
  • Advanced Helminthology
  • Advanced Mycology
  • Serology
  • Zoonotic agents
  • Life cycles and reservoirs of infectious agents
  • Host - parasite - environment relationships
  • Revision of innate and adaptive immune defences to infectious agents
  • Laboratory investigation of microbial disease (including specimen & history collection and transport; isolation & identification of microorganisms using stained smears, culture, biochemical and other tests).
  • Culture media and other diagnostic tests used in microbiology to diagnose disease caused by infectious agents.
  • Phenotypic groups of microorganisms causing disease in animals.
  • Major pathogens belonging to each phenotypic group, their phenotypic characteristics and disease features.
  • Epidemiology and pathogenesis of microbial and parasitic disease using examples.
  • Treatment and/or control measures that are used for disease caused by microorganism, using examples.
  • Endoparasites


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au 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.