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Applications of Genomics in Infectious Disease

Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Module

Module overview

The aim of this module is that the student will understand 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, treatment and control of infectious disease in individuals and populations.

Modern high-throughput sequencing methodologies can provide unprecedented specificity for diagnosing infectious diseases and tracking the spread of an outbreak. Following introductory lectures about the global burden and transmission routes of infectious diseases, you will learn about the basic biology and genomics of bacteria, fungi and viruses, features associated with pathogenicity, the basis for antibiotic susceptibility and the problem of antibiotic resistance. Clinical examples discussed will include tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, Salmonella and Ebola.

Module Content

  • Infection as a cause of national and global morbidity and mortality.
  • Transmission of human infections: person to person, food and waterborne, sexually transmitted, and vector borne.
  • Prokaryotes: their genome, replication and population genetics.
  • Genomic characterisation of viruses: DNA and RNA genomes, single-stranded, double-stranded and segmented.
  • Genomic comparisons of microbial strains in the context of outbreaks, and transmissions in hospitals and the community.
  • Laboratory diagnosis, including current genomic techniques and technologies, and appropriate sample type; analysis and interpretation of genomic data, and the role of bioinformatics; and awareness of standardised nomenclature.
  • Anti-infective drug action.
  • Mutation rate and drug resistance.
  • Genomic evidence of individual susceptibility to specific infection.
  • Role of genomics in: infectious disease diagnosis, prognosis, drug selection, resistance, monitoring, epidemic control and drug research.


15 Masters level credits

Module attendance required

Teaching delivered over 5 days.

Module dates

To be confirmed.

Module Leads 

Dr Michael Cox (Lecturer in Microbial Ecology and the Respiratory Microbiome)
Dr Andrew Bell (Lecturer in Cancer and Genomic Sciences)

Module Prerequisites

This module can be taken as a stand-alone assessed or non-assessed course.  

You should have a good honours degree in a life sciences subject, although we will consider applicants with alternative qualifications and professional experience within the health service or other relevant background. You should either take Fundamentals in Human Genetics and Genomics  and Omics Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine first, or be able to show you have equivalent knowledge and understanding to enable you to benefit from this module. 

Please contact the Programme Administrator for further information at 

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