Infectious Disease

Review the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis, genetics, and drug resistance, as well as medically important bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.


Human beings have coexisted on the planet with billions of microbes since the beginning of time, and fortunately only a relatively small fraction of those successfully managed to invade, persist and cause disease. This course reviews the concepts of microbiology needed for the Step 1 Exam.

Learning Objectives:

  • Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis, Genetics and Drug Resistance
    • Identify the basic anatomy and physiology of the major microbial groups.
    • List the important flora and understand how they affect diagnosis.
    • Describe the major mechanisms of pathogenesis of each of the major microbial groups.
    • Understand the mechanisms of action of the major bacterial toxins.
    • Define the mechanisms of horizontal genetic transfer in bacteria: transformation, conjugation, and transduction.
    • Explain the role of transposons in the formation of multi-drug-resistant plasmids.
      • Identify the major mechanisms of bacterial drug resistance.
      • Describe common laboratory techniques for sterilization and disinfection, and drug sensitivity testing
      • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the major categories of prokaryotes.

  • Medically Important Bacteria
    • Distinguish the major types of bacterial disease.
    • Identify the causal agent from symptomatic, diagnostic, and epidemiologic clues.
    • Answer basic science questions about the agent concerning anatomy, physiology, and pathogenesis.

  • Medically Important Viruses
    • Explain the anatomy and life cycles of major human virus pathogens.
    • Interpret serological findings in the diagnosis of viral hepatitis.
    • Describe the diagnosis and treatment of herpes virus infections.
    • Distinguish between genetic drift and shift and be able to explain their roles in epidemiology.

  • Medically Important Fungi
    • Identify and describe the basic structures of fungi from microscopic.
    • Differentiate the structure, chemistry, and physiology of the fungi from other microbial groups.
    • Diagnose and recommend therapies for the common fungal pathogens in the US.
    • Explain the mechanisms of action of the major anti-fungal drugs.

  • Medically Important Parasites
    • Diagnose and treat the major parasitic diseases.
    • Describe the means of infection for the major parasites.
    • Identify the scientific and common names for parasites and their diseases.
    • Explain the relationship between the Plasmodium life cycle and the pathogenesis of malaria.

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Course Includes

  • 6 Lessons
  • 9 Topics
  • 7 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate