Introduction to bacteria, viruses, and parasitic forms of protozoa, helminths, and fungi.  Examination of morphological, physiological, and epidemiological characteristics of these organisms and of the immune response produced by their hosts.  Prerequisite for VVC Nursing Program.  Transferable to UC AND CSU as general laboratory science.

Sect. 5229:  Monday & Wednesday, 8:00-10:10 a.m. (lecture) &10:15-12:45 p.m. (lab) in SL-3

Sect. 5235:  Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00-10:10 a.m. (lecture) & 10:15-12:45 p.m. (lab) in SL-3


Instructor:  Pam MacKay

Office hours:  Mondays through Thursdays, 12:50-1:50 p.m. in office SL-20

Phone & Email:  (760) 245-4271, ext. 2467; or

Victor Valley College Website:, then follow links to departments, faculty, and MacKay’s home page


Textbook:  Microbiology, 2004 edition, by Bauman

Laboratory Manual:  Microbiology Laboratory, 2005, by MacKay & Gibbs

Lecture Outlines:  Microbiology lecture outlines for MacKay’s sections available at VVC Rams Bookstore

Other materials needed:  Scientific calculator with ln or lnX and ex keys, 11 Scantron forms (full-page, 100 question forms with space for essays), and #2 pencil, sharpie marker, masking tape, close-toed shoes, and hair-tie for laboratory

Optional:  Lab coat, goggles, colored pencils, flash cards


February 13 – Instruction begins
February 17 – Lincoln’s Birthday holiday – No VVC classes
February 20 – President’s Day – NO VVC  classes
April 10-14 – Spring Break – No VVC classes
May 3 – Last day to drop this class and receive a ‘W’
May 29 – Memorial Day holiday – No VVC classes
June 10 – Spring Semester ends (Commencement 6/9)

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The student will be able to:

Classify and identify selected members of the major groups of pathogenic viruses, bacteria, protozoa, Platyhelminthes, and Nematoda

Discuss the use, safety, and efficacy of various sterilization and disinfection methods

Describe the application and theory of commonly used methods of diagnosis for various microbial diseases, including serological tests.

Describe the theories of the specific immunological response of a host to antigenic exposure.

Discuss the numerous non-specific methods of resistance afforded the host

Describe symbioses between infectious organisms and the human host

Describe the common metabolic pathways exhibited and virulence factors produced by the major groups of pathogenic bacteria, and relate these to their ecology and symptoms produced in the host.

Apply genetic concepts to parasite defense strategies and host response.

Describe the process of evolution of drug resistance in bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, and discuss its significance.

Describe, recognize, compare and contrast the epidemiology, pathology, and symptoms of selected diseases caused by microorganisms.

Use aseptic techniques in the laboratory.



Prerequisites will be enforced!  Must have college Chemistry 100 or 201 and  Biology 100, 107, or 201.  High school courses will not suffice.


You must read the entire syllabus by the next class meeting.  Continued enrollment constitutes legal acceptance of policies and guidelines herein.


Title 5 Section 5502 of the California Code of Regulations states that attendance is not to be used as a basis for performance or proficiency.  Class participation, however, is a valid criterion for grading.  It is in your best interest to attend both lab and lecture of this course, since if you are not present, you will miss lecture information that may not be in the text, and on which you will be tested.  Points that are available from participation in in-class group questions and activities cannot be made up.  Excessive absenteeism from microbiology lab (especially the bacteriology component) constitutes a safety hazard; if you are absent you will not be aware of safety issues nor will you be adequately instructed in or skilled at using aseptic technique.  Therefore, safety points will be deducted for missing more than two bacteriology lab sessions. 


Reference Title 5 Section 5502 of the California Code of Regulations (A) for Grading Policy.  This course provides for measurement of student performance in terms of stated course objectives and culminates in a formal, permanently recorded grade based upon uniform standards in accordance with section 55758 of this Division.  The grade is based on demonstrated proficiency in the subject matter and the ability to demonstrate that proficiency, at least in part, by means of written expression that includes essays, problem solving exercises, and skills demonstration by students.  In other words, according to the law, I will test you to determine your proficiency in the subject matter, I use the very same criteria to determine the grade for each student (see grading criteria below), and the grade you receive becomes part of your permanent record. See below for specific information on how grades are determined for this course. 

Make-up exams

Lecture exams and non-practical lab exams (#2, 3, and 4) can be made up during the last week of classes before finals week, by appointment only.  A maximum of two make-ups is allowed.  You may not make up the in-class group quiz questions, activities, or lab practical exam (#1).

Adding, dropping, enrollment

It is up to the student to fill out and turn in signed add or withdrawal forms, and to pay fees by the deadline.  It is the official policy of VVC that the instructor may administratively drop students who have missed more than one hour for each unit of credit (for this class, that’s two full class sessions – lecture and lab).  You must be enrolled in this course to participate in any of the course lectures, labs, or activities, or to be in the microbiology classroom.  Visitors and children are not welcome in the microbiology classroom—please tell your friends and family to wait for you in the science building foyer. 


Show respect for your colleagues by minimizing audience noise during lectures, turning cell phones and pagers off during class, and arriving on time.  Tape recorders are permitted during lectures only.  Please feel free to ask questions pertaining to the subject matter during lecture and lab.  Laboratory safety rules will be strictly enforced.  Disciplinary action will be taken for disruptive or unsafe behavior, or for any behavior that poses a potential or actual threat to other students or the instructor.

Cheating policy

Cheating in this course will not be tolerated.  Instructor may assign seating during quizzes and exams.  You may not leave the classroom during an exam; you must turn in your exam before leaving.  If you are caught cheating, you will be dropped from the course.  If, due to your behavior during a quiz or exam, you are suspected of cheating, you will be asked to retake the same or a similar quiz or exam; if you choose not to retake the exam, you will receive a score of ‘0’ for that exam. If you are suspected a second time, you will get a score of ‘0’ for that quiz or exam with no re-take allowed.  The third time suspected, you will be dropped from the course.


Points can be earned by:

Point values:

8 lecture exams @ 125 points each.  You will need a Scantron form (any 882 green type with 100 blanks) and a #2 pencil.  Covers reading & lecture material.  Essays, multiple choice, matching, T/F

1,000 points

4 lab exams (the first one is a lab practical) @ 75 points each


Identification of unknown bacterium 


Group quiz questions (@ 5 points each) and in-class activities (@ 5-15 points each activity) for a total of 125 points.  Open book, open note.  No make-ups.  All members of group get same score.


25 points are automatically awarded to each student.  Deductions for lab spills, carelessness, not following lab rules, or excessive absences (see note on absence below) may be subtracted during the semester.  The student will be informed of point deductions.




Grades will be assigned by point values/percentages:


90 to 100% (1530-1500 points)


80 to 89.9% (1360-1529 points)     


70 to 79.9% (1190-1359 points)


60 to 69.9% (1020-1189 points)


Below 60% (1019 points and below)