Course code VET307

VET307 Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Ane Mohn Bjelland
Teachers: Øystein Wessel, Kristoffer Relling Tysnes, Anne Kristine Storset, Simen Foyn Nørstebø, Lucy Jane Robertson, Bjørn Kåre Gjerde, Espen Rimstad, Rune Henning Sørum, Erik Paulshus
ECTS credits: 24
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring semester. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring semester and in Fall semester.
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: Study year 2015-2016
Last time: 2023V
Preferential right:
Course contents:
  •  Bacteriology and Mycology
  •  Virology
  •  Parasitology

The course includes a general description of the major groups of infectious agents, and a more specific and detailed description of selected species / genera / families. In subareas like bacteriology / mycology and virology, comes the general section mainly at the start of the course. For Parasitology, however, which includes several fundamentally different subgroups, comes the general section more dispersed as the first part of the review of each subgroup. After the various groups of agents are reviewed, the teaching will emphasize a comprehensive understanding, by presenting the agents in relation to organ or animal species.

In the general section emphasis issues of importance for disease development due to agents in animals and humans such as hygiene, infection routes, significance of infection pressure, the animal's resistance, and more. The specific part emphasis agents that are involved in diseases in animals, including fish, and agents that can result in diseases in humans by food borne pathogens (after nutriment contamination). The course places special emphasis on the various infectious agents, their pathogenic properties and introduction to practical diagnostics including the basis for disease control in veterinary medicine. Teaching is provided in the form of lectures (72 hours), courses (80 hours) and organized study groups (40 hours).

Learning outcome:

Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology will provide students with knowledge of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and viruses), parasites and microbial toxins that can cause diseases in animals. Students will develop an understanding of how the host best can protect themselves against an overall infection pressure from all relevant pathogens within the host's environment. Teaching and course-related training will enable the student to schedule a diagnostic and epidemiological approach toward diseases caused by all agents who have a clinical and administrative importance in veterinary medicine.

The block forms the basis so that the student after completing the course will master the following «Day one skills» by EAEVE: 1.4, 1.6-1.12, 2.1 - 2.9, 3.6, 3.8, 3.11, 3.12, 3.14, 3.17, 3.19 and 3.20

After completion of the courses, the students should:

  • Have good knowledge of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses), parasites and microbial toxins that can cause diseases in animals and humans.
  • Describe taxonomy used for the characterization of microorganisms and parasites.
  • Describe the structure of various types of microorganisms.
  • Clarify reservoir, virulence factors and pathogenesis related to important microorganisms.
  • Describe the morphology, life cycle and classic symptoms of important parasites.
  • Clarify the key principles of infection hygiene.
  • Clarify diagnostic methods and extraction of relevant samples from infected individuals and herds / populations.
  • Explain and interpret analysis results regarding microorganisms and parasites.
  • Clarify policies for the prevention and treatment of infections in animals, including zoonoses.
  • Implement selected diagnostic methods in infectious courses.
  • Manage infection in a responsible and hygienic manner.
  • Have a behavior that helps to prevent infections.
  • Show responsibility by a restrictive use of antibiotics and antiparasitic agents.
  • Have learned to collaborate through colloquiums and group work, and be able to present the academic material both in writing and oral.
Learning activities:
Lectures, laboratory courses, colloquiums and self-study.
Recommended literature and teaching objectives are found at the block's home area on Canvas.
Completed minimum 30 ECTS the first year at the program
Recommended prerequisites:
The course is especially based on Principles of Immunity and Disease (VET306).
Mandatory activity:
All lab courses are mandatory. It is allowed with up to 10 % absence in each of the courses in the subareas bacteriology/mycology, virology and parasitology. In case of absence beyond this, the student must attend next year's courses to get the course-related teaching approved. In some cases, a customized programme can be created. Safety requirements make the introductory course in bacteriology (3 days course) mandatory in order to participate in the rest of the bacteriology course. In case of more than one day's absence, the student must contact the Block Leader (or teacher in charge) for an assessment of the situation. Students will normally be allowed to take the exam even though not all mandatory teaching has been approved. The grade will not be valid until the programme requirements are approved.

It is required that all students pass a multiple choice-test in the end of the 4th semester. The MC-test must normally be passed in order to take the oral exam in the end of the course.


The test is performed electronically through Canvas at the end of the 4th semester 

Support material: All

All students need a computer available to take the test. Students that do not have an availble computer should contact the responsible person of the course well before the test is arranged. 

The MC-test will be available at Canvas in a period of one hour, and has to be finished before the end of this period. The test will consist of 70 questions (30 questions in bacteriology/mycology, 20 questions in virology and 20 questions in parasitology) that have to be answered in 35 minutes. There will be given three alternatives to each questions with only one correct answer. Each correct answer gives one point. Wrong answers give no points. 

Requirement to pass the MC-test: 60% correct answers (42 points) 

Grading: Passed / Failed

The MC-test will be arranged two more times for students who have failed or have valid reasons for abscence. The first test will be arranged approx. one week after the original MC-test in the end of the 4th semester. Another MC-test will be arranged in the beginning of the 5th semester. 

Oral exam

At the block's end, students must pass an oral examination in all three disciplines on the same day.

Examination support material: None.

Students with valid absence may, in exceptional cases, if there is availability, take a re-scheduled exam in the same exam period. Application is submitted to the Academic Administration.

Each of the fields of parasitology, virology and bacteriology / mycology is assessed; a grade in each subject area is set, as well as a common grade in the oral exam.  Students who fail the oral exam in one or more subjects will take a new oral examination in these subjects the next year (January).

Grades in the course:

Grading scale: A-E

The grade is calculated on the basis of the grades in the oral exam

It is not possible to appeal a grade in an oral exam. Appeals about the grading in the multiple choice exam can only be made when the final grade is set. See the regulations. 

Entrance requirements:
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed minimum 30 ECTS the first yeat at the program
Reduction of credits:

Requirements for personal equipment:

Lab coat is mandatory in course-related teaching (on loan at the laboratory).


Laboratory: Please see the instructions for the laboratory (Microbiology hall). It is mandatory with lab coats. Individual lab coats in the courses where the students are working with microbiology. There is a clean and unclean zone by the entrance to the laboratory. Hand wash and coat change is required at entry and exit. 

Training in fire protection is provided. It is mandatory with lab coats when working with gas. A first aid kit and an emergency shower are available. Gas plants are centrally controlled with a stopcock. The stopcock is demonstrated to the students at the first visit. The number of gas units is reduced to a minimum. Gas plants are checked prior to the instruction 2 times a year. There are separate fume hoods used where chemicals are used. Since working with infection subjects represent a real risk of infection, thorough training and a variety of security measures are initiated:

Intro Course (three day course) in infectious learning:

  • Provision of security policies to each student (on paper) the first day of class.
  • Verbal information is accompanied by a PPT presentation about safety procedures at the first day of the intro course.
  • Routines are taught and rehearsed. Demonstrations and practical training, many supervisors present to supervise and guide.
  • It is not permitted that students are absent in this part.

Main course in infection learning:

  • Safety procedures are repeated. The review of safety procedures in the intro course and in the main course are held by two different people, which is considered to be an advantage when the same points are rendered slightly differently and it sits better with the students afterwards.
  • Introduction of discrepancy log - in other words spills and other incidents are logged; what happened, which students were involved and which follow-up were given.

Changes and procedures to prevent zoonoses: The following measures were introduced 2007-2009, to reduce the risk of laboratory infection in the course in infection learning:

  • Listeria monocytogenes replaced with Listeria ivanovii (Listeria ivanovii is not human pathogenic).
  • Salmonella Typhimurium replaced with Salmonella diarizonae (S. diarizonae is not human pathogenic).
  • Practical execution of the typing of Salmonella bacteria is not done anymore (now only demonstrated by the instructor).
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (human pathogenic, especially for those with weak immune systems) is not used more.
  • Liquid culture has been replaced with Campylobacter sp. (human pathogenic) and we have minimized the use of other types of liquid media (cultures in liquid media involves greater risk for spillage than cultures on solid media).

Students with compromised immune systems or who are pregnant are particularly susceptible to infections, and special care must be taken when working with biological agents. This applies particularly to Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella pathogenic biovar, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. None of these agents are used further in the course in infection teachings.

The oral exam is with external sensor
Examination details: Multiple choice and oral exam: Letter grades