Module code: VMS2009

Module Overview

This module introduces the student to general mechanisms of pathology including gross and microscopic changes associated with infectious and non-infectious causes in various species. This will be presented in context with clinical correlates and One Health.
Moreover, this module introduces the students to the general principles of infectious disease and its pathology as well as the immune system and the host response to pathogen infection. The cellular and tissue changes induced by infection with viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and prions will be introduced. These topics will be presented in the context of One Health and underpinned with clinical case examples introducing clinical pathology results from the various veterinary species.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

BORKOWSKI Emma (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: D323

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Successful completion of all BVMSci first year units

Module content

Part A Pathology
Introduction to pathology and its position at the core of understanding clinical medicine and the commonality of processes across species. History of the discipline.
Classification of disease processes – infectious and non-infectious
Cell adaptions to stress and injury, cell degeneration, death and repair. Pathological cell and tissue accumulations
Inflammation: acute and chronic, chemical mediators, inflammatory cells, tissue responses to inflammation and wound healing
Immunopathology – immunodeficiency, hypersensitivity, immune mediated and autoimmune disorders.
Developmental and genetic pathology
Neoplasia. Mechanisms of malignant transformation. Categorisation of neoplasms. Invasion and metastasis. Grading and staging. Paraneoplastic syndromes
Haemodynamic and circulatory disorders – hyperaemia, congestion, haemorrhages, oedema, thrombosis, embolism, ischaemia, infarction and shock
Infectious disease – overview of categories of infectious causes and their mechanisms of disease
Environmental and nutritional pathology – toxicosis, radiation, thermal, electrical, vitamin and minerals, obesity etc.
Basic post mortem technique and gross pathology description and terminology
Part B Infectious Disease
Infectious Pathogens: General introduction. The epidemiological triad of infection. Invasion and infection.
Pathogenesis of infectious agents. General aspects
Bacteria. Major bacterial groups and phenotypical differences
Bacteria and the alimentary system – commensals versus pathogens
Bacterial genetics and virulence factors
Bacterial pathogenesis: colonisation and tissue invasion
Anti-microbial resistance
Viruses- Taxonomy and genetics.
Unique structures of infectious pathogens – Bacterial LPS, Peptidoglycans, bacterial DNA, Viral Nucleic Acid etc
Parasites. Taxonomy, life cycles and management of the environment of Nematodes, Cestodes, Trematodes, Protozoa, Ectoparasites
Invasion to where and by what route? Extracellular and Intracellular pathogens
Cells and tissues of the immune and haematopoetic system
1st line of defence: Innate Immunity- recognising Invaders (PAMPs/ DAMPs and pattern-recognition receptors)
1st line of defence: Innate Immunity – key cells, phagocytosis and the complement system
Immunological cell signals: Cytokines and their receptors
Antigens and MHC complex
Adaptive immune response: T-cells and antigen recognition (TCR)
Antigen presenting cells – bridging the innate and adaptive immune response
T-cell subsets and function and the difference in animal species
Antibody structure and function
B-cells – antigen recognition and antibody production
The orchestra of T-cell and B-cell activation
Regulation of adaptive Immune responses
Immune responses to bacteria, fungi, helminths and viruses
Vaccination principals

Part A Pathology
Histopathology practicals – cell damage and response to injury – normal to abnormal
Descriptive pathology (gross) – terminology, methods of image capture, recording findings
Perform a post mortem examination
Basic cytological examination
Computer-based lab assessment based on above skills
Part B Infectious Disease
Collecting appropriate samples to detect infectious pathogens
Bacterial culture and identification – gram stains, various light microscopy techniques, dark field
Virus culture and identification
Identifying ectoparasites – gross specimen demonstration and life cycle charts
Identifying endoparasites – gross specimen demonstration and life cycle charts
Identification and quantification of parasites through faecal examination
Anti-microbial resistance and LAMP
Immunoassays and ELISAs

PBL cases – 6 hours

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Written Examination (General Pathology) 50
Examination Written Examination (Concepts of Infectious Disease) 50

Alternative Assessment

Resit Examination Paper.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate content knowledge of general pathology and disease mechanisms. Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of 2 written examinations worth 50% each. This is a core module (students are required to achieve a 50% pass mark in each examination, i.e. 25% of the module marks).

Module aims

  • • Introduce the fundamental principles of pathology and how these disease mechanisms manifest clinically through examples of gross and microscopic lesions.
  • • Enable the students to recognise, describe and record pathological changes and write meaningful descriptions using appropriate terminology
  • • Introduces the terminology of infectious disease, the broad categories of infectious agents, systemic pathology based on aetiopathogenesis, and gross and microscopic appearance of lesions induced by pathogens and the host response.
  • • Increase the students’ ability to describe pathological findings and write meaningful reports using the appropriate methods and terminology

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
001 LO 5.8 Describe the basic mechanisms of disease and apply acquired foundation knowledge RCVS KU 1, KU 5, RCVS 22 (K,P) KP GP
002 LO 5.9 Understand what are the causes, development and consequences of disease by using the principles of disease: injury, adaptation, inflammation, repair, neoplasia, and their physiologic correlates (pathogenic mechanisms) RCVS KU 1, KU 5 (K,T,P) KPT GP
003 LO 5.10 Perform a necropsy, to identify common incidental findings during the necropsy and in photographs, recognize abnormal findings (lesions) and be able to describe gross findings using proper medical terminology and appropriate tools for collecting data (photographic images) RCVS 35 (C, K,T,P) CKPT GP
004 LO 5.11 Describe basic gross, microscopic and cytological lesions using appropriate terminology RCVS 35 (K,T,P) KPT GP
005 LO 5.12 Determine the molecular basis for pathological damages from cells to organs and whole body systems and describe and interpret pathological changes occurring at the cellular and organ level and understand the commonality of the disease process across species including concepts of One Health, One Medicine RCVS KU 1, KU 5 (C, K, T, P) (K,T,P) CKPT GP
006 LO 5.13 Describe the basic mechanisms of infectious disease and apply acquired foundation knowledge RCVS KU 1, KU 3, KU 5 (K,P)
007 LO 5.14 Understand what are the causes, development and consequences of infectious disease by using the principles of disease: injury, adaptation, inflammation, repair and their physiologic correlates (pathogenic mechanisms) - RCVS KU 1, KU 5 (K,T,P)
008 LO 5.15 Perform sampling methods appropriate to detecting infectious agents - RCVS 22 (K,T,P)
009 LO 5.16 Understand the commonality of the infectious disease process across species including concepts of One Health, One Medicine - RCVS KU 1, KU 5 (C,T,K,P)

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 82

Lecture Hours: 37

Seminar Hours: 6

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
• Provide pathology in the context of One health, One medicine
• Provide infectious disease pathology in the context of One health, One medicine
• Allow students to develop skills in performing a systematic post mortem examination and identify lesions induced by infectious agents
• Provide students with the skills to write a meaningful post mortem report and record their findings with appropriate terminology and supporting images
• Provide students with the skills to describe and record their findings with appropriate images
• Allow students to understand the cellular and tissue changes related to gross pathology findings

The learning and teaching methods include:
• Lectures, flipped classroom, small group sessions, PBL cases, practical classes using microscopy and anatomic pathologic specimens, online discussion forum

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci (Hons)(CORE) 1 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.