Information regarding our 2023/24 admissions cycle

Our 2023/24 postgraduate taught admissions cycle will open on Monday, 10 October. For most programmes, the application form will not open until this date.

PG Credit Genomic Medicine CPD

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Application of Genomics in Infectious Diseases

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL67982
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


Genomic approaches are changing the way we investigate incidents of infectious disease at levels from the single case of infection through to outbreaks and global surveillance. While some of the philosophies and technical approaches used in the study of infectious disease may overlap with those used in human genomics, there are many differences in the genetics of microorganisms and the methodology used which needs to be illustrated within this unit. The unit is intended to give the student an indepth knowledge of the relevance of genomics to infectious disease, to provide hands on experience in carrying out and interpreting appropriate analyses and to develop specialist knowledge in infectious disease genomics.



The aim of this module is that the student will have a greater understanding of how genomics can be used to improve diagnostic accuracy, predict which drugs are likely to be more effective in individual patients and contribute to the monitoring and control of infectious disease in individuals and populations.


Teaching and learning methods

Learning will focus on a case-based approach to ensure relevance to clinical practice. A range of formats will be used in both face-to-face and e-learning.

Lectures, problem-based learning, case studies, group work and interactive seminars.


Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain the principles of epidemiology of infectious diseases.
  • Critically evaluate how the genome sequence of pathogens can be used to investigate and manage suspected outbreaks of infection in hospital and community settings.
  • Explain the underlying principles of laboratory diagnosis, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and epidemiological typing of pathogens.
  • Critically evaluate the emerging action of drugs in controlling infection eg virus, bacteria and fungi
  • Evaluate how sequencing of the genome of infective organisms can be used in infectious disease for diagnosis, sub-classification and strain identity.
  • Evaluate how sequencing of the genome of infective organisms can be used in infectious disease for assessing pathogenicity, antimicrobial resistance, drug selection and epidemic control.
  • Critically evaluate the molecular basis of organism drug resistance and how this directs to drug search.

Intellectual skills

  • To assess the most appropriate genomic approaches to address an infection-related question
  • Critical evaluation of genomic analysis of pathogens as a means to inform antimicrobial treatments
  • Critical evaluation of utility of purely genomic approaches to investigate incidents of infectious disease


Practical skills

  • Choose and apply bioinformatics methodology commonly used for compiling microbial genomes or compare strains.
  • Choose and apply bioinformatics methodology commonly used for identify microbial communities in clinical samples.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Bioinformatics methodology
  • Confidence to interpret infectious disease bioinformatics analysis
  • Report writing
  • Scientific discussion



Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 80%
Oral assessment/presentation 20%

Recommended reading

Includes but is not limited to:


The genetics of bacteria and their viruses. Studies in basic genetics and molecular biology. HAYES, W. 1964 pp. xii +740 pp.

Reviews and Original Articles:

  • Deurenberg RH, Bathoorn E, Chlebowicz MA, Couto N, Ferdous M, García-Cobos S, Kooistra-Smid AM, Raangs EC, Rosema S, Veloo AC, Zhou K, Friedrich AW, Rossen JW. Application of next generation sequencing in clinical microbiology and infection prevention. J Biotechnol. 2017 Feb 10;243:16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2016.12.022.
  • Edwards DJ, Holt KE(2015). "Beginner’s guide to comparative bacterial genome analysis using next generation sequence data. Microbial Informatics and Experimentation, a 3:2.
  • Golubchik T, Batty EM, Miller RR, Farr H, Young BC et al (2013). Within-host evolution of Staphylococcus aureus during asymptomatic carriage. PLoS ONE 8(5) e61319.
  • Gomez CA, Budvytiene I, Zemek AJ, Banaei N. Performance of Targeted Fungal Sequencing for Culture-Independent Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 29;65(12):2035-2041. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix728.
  • Harris SR, Cartwright EJ, Török ME, Holden MT, Brown NM, Ogilvy-Stuart AL, Ellington MJ, Quail MA, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ (2013). Whole-genome sequencing for analysis of an outbreak of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a descriptive study. Lancet Infect Dis. 13(2): 130-6.
  • Roetzer A, Diel R, Kohl TA, Ruckert C, Nubel U et al (2013) Whole Genome Sequencing Versus Traditional Genotyping for Investigation of a Mycobacterium tuberculosis Outbreak: A Longtitudinal Molecular Epidemiological Study. PLoS Med(2); e1001387.
  • Rossen JWA, Friedrich AW, Moran-Gilad J; ESCMID Study Group for Genomic and Molecular Diagnostics (ESGMD). Practical issues in implementing whole-genome-sequencing in routine diagnostic microbiology. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2018 Apr;24(4):355-360. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2017.11.001.




Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sara Gago Unit coordinator

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