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  Home > Graduate Programs and Degrees Offered > Comparative and Molecular Biosciences > Courses and Seminars > CMB 5381

CMB 5381

Course Descriptor: CMB5381 

Course Title: Pathogenesis of Infectious Zoonotic Diseases 

Credits: 3 credits 

Grading Scale:  A-F 

Schedule: Spring Semesters

Prerequisites: A microbiology VBS2032 or MicB3301, or consent of instructor

Course Coordinator:  Dr. Yinduo Ji, Dept. Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, 

Course Description:  Zoonotic pathogens cause infections in animals and are also transmissible to humans.  Approximately 70 % of newly emerged infectious diseases are of zoonotic origin.  Zoonotic diseases are typically endemic and occur in natural foci, but ecologic change and climatic events can promote epidemic expansion of host and geographic range.  This is an introductory course on the mechanisms of transmission and pathogenesis for zoonotic infectious diseases.  The course will utilize didactic lectures, review of current literature, student presentations, and written reports. 

Statement of Objectives:  The goal of this course is to introduce important and emerging zoonotic agents and to develop an understanding of the biology leading to disease in animals and humans.  The course will use selected zoonotic diseases as examples to provide students with an understanding of (1) mechanisms of how zoonoses are transmitted between species; (2) genes important for maintenance of zoonotic organisms; (3) mechanisms of emergence of zoonotic diseases; and (4) molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathogenesis in both animals and humans for selected agents.  A point of focus will be description of virulence genes and host factors and how they contribute to pathogen survival and clinical disease.  An important aspect of this course is student participation through oral presentation. 

Course Assignments: As determined by instructor 

Evaluation Procedures:

  • Exams (60%)
  • Oral reports (2) on zoonotic pathogens (20%)
  • Written review (5 pages maximum) on selected zoonosis (20%)
  • Grading: > 90% = A; 80-89% = B; 70-79% = C; 60-69% = D; < 60 = F

Text and Reference Materials: No required texts.  Power point handout, review articles and research manuscripts provided by instructors. 

Supplementary Information:  None. 

Scholastic Dishonesty and Plagiarism:
Students are responsible for knowing the University of Minnesota, Board of Regents' policy on student conduct and scholastic dishonesty:
Scholastic dishonesty as defined in the policy and will be reported to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs: and will result in a grade of "F" or "N" for the entire course.  Plagiarism is an important element of this policy.  It is defined as the presentation of another's writing or ideas as your own.  Serious, intentional plagiarism will result in a grade of "F" or "N" for the entire course.  For more information on this policy and for a helpful discussion of preventing plagiarism, please consult University policies and procedures regarding academic integrity: Students are urged to be careful that they properly attribute and cite others' work in their own writing.  For guidelines for correctly citing sources, go to and click on “Citing Sources”.  In addition, original work is expected in this course.  It is unacceptable to hand in assignments for this course for which you receive credit in another course unless by prior agreement with the instructor.  Building on a line of work begun in another course or leading to a thesis, dissertation, or final project is acceptable.  If you have any questions, consult the instructor.

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