1.0     INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Many afflictions of humans are attributable to microorganisms.  Diseases hitherto thought to be idiopathic are increasingly being recognized as being caused by microorganisms or an adverse immunological response of the host to antigens of some microorganisms.  Diagnosis, treatment, control and prevention of these diseases require adequate appreciation of causative microbes and their interaction the host.

The Master of Medicine Degree in Medical Microbiology is designed to provide medical graduates with the scientific foundations of the subject and translating these principles into diagnosis and control of infectious disease.  Trainees will be expected to have practiced clinical medicine for at least 1 – 2 years post-internship as this will help in appreciation of clinical problems in diagnosis for which the microbiologist is frequently consulted for advice on antibiotic therapy.

As with most postgraduate medical degrees elsewhere the completion of the course should be taken as an index of suitability for further training rather than conferring the right or implying adequacy for immediate promotion to consultant status.

2.0       JUSTIFICATION

Since its inception in the early 1980’s, 8 medical microbiologists have completed the course.  The workload on these in as far as diagnostics, teaching at the Medical School (undergraduates and postgraduates) and research is much.  Regional referral hospitals require services of this specialty for rational management of patients.  There is need to train more specialists in the field, to address the needs of the country.  The specialists produced will be able to provide a high quality diagnostic service not only at the national referral hospital but also in regional and district hospitals.  They will teach, and conduct research and give guidance in the rapidly advancing field of microbiology and molecular biology as applied to patient.

  • OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of this program is to train future medical microbiologists in laboratory diagnosis, management and control of problems especially related to infections in particular but also other clinical pathological aspects including research work, and service to the community.  The successful candidates will provide the necessary expertise to both Ministry of Health and Makerere University locally and equivalent institutions internationally.

  • SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course the student should have achieved the following:
a)         Understood the biology of infectious agents and factors responsible for disease.

b)         Understood the macro and microscopic pathological features of diseases caused by microorganisms and possible complications arising out of them.

c)         Understood laboratory diagnostic procedures and how to best apply them in the management of patients.

            d)         Understood controls strategies of infectious diseases.

e)         Understood molecular microbiology as it is currently being applied to infectious diseases, immunology pathology, and design of vaccines.

f)         Understood emergency clinical laboratory medicine, including blood transfusion and chemical pathology.

g)         Understood research methodology that would prepare him/her for future task of contributing to growth of knowledge in the specialty of Microbiology.

  • GENERAL REGULATION

Studies and examinations will be governed by the General Regulations and Statutes of Makerere University as they appear in the Makerere University Prospectus, 1997/98 – 1998/99, and in addition by Regulations of the Faculty of Medicine.

  • ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for admission, the candidate must fulfill the following conditions:

a)         Holder of M.B.ChB, BDS or equivalent, registrable in Uganda.

b)         1 or 2 year post-internship practice of clinical medicine, or in a related practical medical field.

c)         Academic suitability as judged by official transcripts.

7.0       CURRICULUM

The course is designed to cover at least 3 academic years, partitioned into 6 semesters of 17 weeks each and 2 Recess terms of 10 weeks each.  The maximum time allowed for the course is 5 years.  After 5 years the student will be discontinued.

In addition to course work a dissertation is required 2 months before the final examination.

Throughout the course the curriculum is composed of 2 programmes;  (a) Academic courses outlined below and (b) Clinical Microbiology courses consisting of attachment of the student to a diagnostic laboratory.  In the clinical courses the student will learn how to process specimens, interpret findings, and write reports easily understood and interpreted by requesting clinicians.

Beginning Year 2 Semester 1, the student will attend major ward rounds on selected wards, Journal Clubs, Physicians post-mortems, and any relevant academic activity.

7.1       Prescribed exercise

Throughout the course, the student will be involved in routine diagnostic work of Mulago Hospital Laboratories, Emergency Laboratory, Teaching of undergraduates and Paramedical students.

8.0       COURSE OUTLINE

Year 1

Semester 1

Code               Course title                                         LH      TH       PH        CH       CU
CEB    7101    Epidemiology, Biostatistics &        30        20        40        60        4
Research Methods     
MCM 7102     Advanced Immunology                     15        60        60        75        5
MCM 7103     Applied Haematology                       10        20        20        30        2
MCM 7104     Advanced Bacteriology I                   15        45        70        75        5         
                                    TOTAL                                                                                       16

Semester 2
LH       TH       PH       CH      CU
HSM  7201     Advanced Bacteriology II                  20        40        70        75        5
MCM 7202     Laboratory Management                  10        30        40        45        3
PAT 7203        Histopathology                                  10        20        80        60        4
                                    TOTAL                                                                                       12

Recess Term

HSM 7301      Health Systems Management           20        32        48        60        4
MCM 7302     Cellular & Molecular Biology 20         30        80        75        5
PAT  7303       Chemical Pathology                            10        20        50        45        3
Laboratory attachment
                                    TOTAL                                                                                           13

Year 2

Semester 1
Code               Course Title                                       LH      TH      PH       CH      CU

MCM 8101     Clinical Microbiology I                       15        30        90       
MCM 8102     Parasitology                                        15        40        80        75        5
                                    TOTAL                                                                                        10

Semester 2
                                                                                    LH      TH      PH       CH      CU
MCM 8201     Clinical Microbiology II                   15        30        60        60        4
MCM 8202     Virology I                                           10        40        60        60        4
MCM 8203     Mycology                                           10        20        50        45        3
Dissertation Proposal                                                                    150      
                                    TOTAL                                                                                     11

Recess Term
                                                                                                LH      TH      PH       CH      CU
MCM 8301     Serology/Advanced Immunologic
Techniques                                     10        30        100      75        5
MCM 8302     Applied Molecular Biology                         x          x             x          x          x
MCM 8303     Dissertation proposal                                 -           -          150     75        5
Laboratory attachment
                                    TOTAL                                                                                              10

Year 3
Semester 1
Code               Course Title                                       LH      TH      PH       CH      CU
MCM 8401     Immunology of Infectious
Diseases                                 10        30        40        45        3
MCM 8402     Nosocomial Infections                       5          30        80        60       4         
MCM 8403     Antimicrobial Chemotherapy            10        20        20        30       2
MCM 8404     Virology II                                              10        40        60        60        4
                                    TOTAL                                                                                       13

Semester 2
                                                                                        LH      TH      PH       CH      CU
MCM 8501     Public Health Microbiology               10        40        60        60      4
MCM 8502     Dissertation defence                                                 150      75        5
                                    TOTAL                                                                                        9

 

  • ASSESSMENT AND EXAMINATION

10.1     Academic courses

Assessment will be by MCO and essay.  Knowledge requirements will be cumulative, i.e. the examinations will cover all academic courses taken by the time of examination.

Each course will be assessed in 2 parts, progress assessment which will contribute 40%, and a University examination, which will contribute 60% of the final mark.

Each course shall be graded out of a maximum of 100 marks and assigned appropriate letter grades and grade points as follows:

            Mark(%)                                            Letter Grade                          Grade Point
80 – 100                                                          A                                             5
75 – 79.9                                                         B                                             4.5
70 – 74.9                                                         B-                                            4.0                        
65 – 69.9                                                         C+                                           3.5
            60 – 64.9                                                         C                                             3.0
55 – 59.9                                                         C-                                            2.5
50 – 54.9                                                         D+                                           2.0
45 – 49.9                                                         D                                             1.5      
40 – 44.9                                                         D-                                            1.0
35 – 39.9                                                         E                                              0.5
Below 35                                                                                                          0

*Definition of Public Health Microbiology and concepts of public health laboratory are introduced to the student, seminars in Public Health Microbiology and communicable disease control are held.  After attending the seminars, the students will be able to:

  • Recognise the routes of human exposure by various forms of microorganisms.
  • State at least one pathogenic disease associated with each of the following organisms: bacteria, virus, protozoa and helminthes.
  • List 5 diseases that are waterborne and their  etiology and describe the barriers used to prevent disease transmission.
  • Describe limitations and difficulties encountered in direct testing of pathogens.
  • List 5 diseases that are food borne and their etiology and describe barriers used to prevent disease transmission.
  • Identify an indicator organism in drinking water and 5 characteristics that make it a food indicator.

Communicable disease control

After attending this seminar, the student will be able to:

  • Define the infectious process and list the factors in development.
  • List the general categories of infectious organisms.
  • Itemize the portals of entry of infectious agents into new hosts.
  • Recognise the regulations pertaining to the reporting and investigating of communicable diseases.
  • List the steps involved  in an outbreak investigation.
    • Clinical microbiology courses

Clinical microbiology practice will be assessed by the ability of the student to correctly process, evaluate, and report of the results on specimens submitted to the clinical microbiology laboratory.  Progress assessment for each semester will be carried out and marks awarded as follows:

            Cognitive knowledge             -           100 marks maximum
Interpretive skills                    -            200     “           “
Technical skills                      -            100     “           “
Attitude                                     -            100     “           “

A candidate must get 50% to pass the Clinical Microbiology progressive assessment.  A candidate who receives less than 50% of the progressive assessment in Clinical Microbiology must repeat the attachment on the specific laboratory benches.  The academic transcript shall reflect grades obtained accordance with University guidelines.

10.3     Normal progress

  • To sit for the end of semester examination, a candidate must have a certificate of due performance.
  • To progress from semester and from first year to second year, a candidate must score a minimum of grade point 3.0 in each course.

10.4     Probationary progress

A candidate who scores less than grade point 3.0 in a semester examination will re-take the course when next offered.

    • Discontinuation

A student shall be discontinued if he/she fails with 49% or less the same compulsory clinical of microbiology on 2 occasions.

10.6     Submission of dissertation

            This will be a requirement for the award of the degree.

  • Research will not be carried out until the Departmental Research Committee and Faculty Research Committee have approved the research proposal.
  • The research proposal will be presented at the end of the first semester in second year.
  • The dissertation must be presented to the School of Postgraduate Studies at least 2 months before the date of the final examination.
  • The dissertation will be graded as:
    • Scientific content and presentation accepted – Passed.
    • Scientific content accepted but minor corrections needed in presentation.
    • Scientific content accepted but needs major corrections in presentation and interpretation of data.
    • Scientific content not accepted – Failed.
  • Re-submission of revised dissertation is to be done with 6 months.  Only 1 re-submission is allowed.
  • A student who fails a dissertation must start collecting fresh data.
  • AWARD OF DEGREE

A candidate who passed all courses as well as the dissertation shall be awarded the degree of Master of Medicine (Microbiology).

The Degree M.Med (Microbiology) will be awarded without classification.

The Degree will be designated Master of Medicine and may be noted as M.Med, Makerere University.

COURSE MANAGEMENT

Management of the programme

The programme shall be taught by the Department of Medical Microbiology with collaboration of other relevant Departments of the University e.g. Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Pathology and Specialists from other institutions from within and outside Uganda will be approached to contribute to the teaching.

           
Personnel:

            Assoc. Prof. J.O. Olobo – BVM, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Assoc. Prof. D.H. Kaddu-Mulindwa – BVM (NBI) M.Sc.(MAK) Ph.D.(FUB)
Dr. C.F. Najjuka – MBCh.B, M.Sc., M.Med (MAK) Lecturer.
Dr. H. Kajumbula – MBChB, M.Med (MAK) Senior Lecturer.
Dr. M.L. Joloba – MBChB., (MAK) M.Sc., Ph.D (CWRU) Senior Lecturer.
Dr. D. Kateete – BVM (MAK) M.Sc.
Dr. B.B. Asiimwe – BVM (MAK), PhD (Karolinska) M.Sc.
Dr. F. Bwanga – MBChB, (MAK) M.Med (MAK).
Dr. E.M.N. Sentongo – MBChB (MAK), Ph.D Lecturer
Dr. H. Sendagire – MBChB (MAK) M.Sc. Ph.D Lecturer
Assoc. Prof. G. Bimenya – B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

            Other Departments and units contributing to the course:

1.         Clinical Epidemiology Unit – Makerere University Medical School to take care of Research methods and biostatistics.
Dr. Charles Karamagi, Ph.D. – Director Makerere Clinical Epidemiology Unit.
Dr. Achilles Katamba, Ph.D.  - Biostatistics & Epidemiology

2.         Department of Health System Management – Makerere University School of Public Health to take care of Health Systems and Management.
Dr. George Pariyo – Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Health Policy.

How to Apply
Application forms are available at 5th floor Senate building or online from the website for the School of Graduates Studies

PhD Programmes

The Department of Medical Microbiology offers a vibrant environment for doctoral studies in any of its five core labs (Clinical Microbiology, Molecular Biology and diagnostics, Immunology, Mycobacteriology and Mycology laboratories). Student from other departments and faculties are welcome to use the departmental research facilities and labs at a very subsidized bench fee. Prospective students interested in any of these programs can contact senior faculty in the Department.

PhD programs are offered based on the available research groups in the following areas:

  • Immunology: in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust and the Uganda Virus Research Institute
  • Molecular Epidemiology (Infectious Diseases)
  • Molecular Diagnostics (Infectious Diseases)
  • Microbial Drug Resistance
  • Molecular Microbiology
  • Malariology

An annual course ran in the Department of Medical Microbiology Laboratories

Curriculum organizer: Dr David P. Kateete (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Course coordinator (2010): Francis Mumbowa and Geraldine Nalwadda
Office Location: Department of Medical Microbiology, 2nd floor Pathology/Microbiology BLDG, Upper Mulago hill road, Kampala, Uganda
Office Phone +256 414 541830
Office Fax: + 256 414 533033
Website: www.mbl.mak.ac.ug; Email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office hours: 8.00 am – 5.00 pm                        
Preamble

Immunology and molecular techniques, originally developed in research settings, have been commercially packaged into a myriad of formats that are sufficiently quick and simple for effective use in clinical diagnosis and control of infectious diseases and non-infectious diseases. Currently, there is an emphasis on diagnosis and epidemiology of infectious diseases utilizing molecular and immunological/serological methods. In developing countries, clinicians and health workers in general need to be aware of the tremendous power of these novel tests in the control of common infectious diseases. The use of these procedures transcends health/science, and is now common practices in legal proceedings, where lawyers and politicians come face to face with molecular biology/immunology. Furthermore, the use of these tests is rapidly extending to clinical settings in Africa, especially major referral hospitals. Thus, there is a need for clinicians, health workers, lawyers and politicians to be trained in the theory and practice of performing of molecular or immunological tests. Clinicians, scientists, technologists, and technicians in low income settings must be adept with molecular biology and immunology so as to help in interpreting, developing and improving these tests in individual settings.

Thus, the goal of this course is to introduce applicants particularly those in the health sector to modern methods used in the diagnosis and control of infectious diseases. Where necessary, the techniques will be as well extended to non infectious diseases and conditions.
Up to 20 applicants will be selected.

When?
The course will be run annually in summer (July/August) of every year. However, applications are accepted throughout the year but the course will strictly run in July/August of every calendar year. Applications received after August will be carried forward to the proceeding year.
International applicants are particularly welcome.

Duration
Under relaxed circumstances, the course can be run for a maximum of eight (8) weeks; however, we will endeavor to condense the materials into one month (unless otherwise requested by applicants to extend it over eight weeks).

Who should apply?

  • Undergraduate students with a keen interest in molecular biology or those preparing for a future career in research or academics.
  • Graduate students who wish to acquire specialized skills in molecular diagnostics, molecular epidemiology and diagnostic immunology, which is relevant for their graduate research dissertations.
  • Health care workers (clinicians/doctors, nurses, pharmacists) who wish to acquire knowledge in the emerging themes in molecular diagnostics/molecular epidemiology
  • Veterinary surgeons/scientists
  • Research Scientists
  • Medical laboratory technologists/technicians 
  • Lawyers and policy makers

NOTE: A beginners course for high school students (O’ and A’ levels) with a keen interest in molecular biology or those preparing for a scientific career will be ran in January. Course fees, rules and regulations are the same.

Course fees:

  • $750 (Ugandans)
  • $1000 (international applicants)

The course fee caters for only administrative and laboratory costs. Accommodation and living expenses will be met by the individual applicants. Accommodation exists at Mulago hospital guest house at $25 per night (bed and breakfast). Please book early (Tel: 256-772-345054 or 256-414-541830) in case you intend to stay at the guest house as reservations fill up quickly.

Course aims

Applied & Diagnostic molecular biology/Immunology introduces participants to the advances in immunology and molecular genetics in the diagnosis, control and understanding of infectious diseases. The course describes the principles of immunology and Molecular Biology and how these are exploited for the treatment, diagnosis and/or control of common infections in the tropics. The technology, theory and practical approaches of common immunological/molecular genetics methods to the pathogenesis, diagnosis and understanding of infectious diseases is explained and demonstrated practically.

We primarily focus on how the methods are employed in the fields of Diagnostics, microbial drug resistance and epidemiology in the control of major diseases in the tropics: Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Sepsis pathogens etc.

The following courses are emphasized:

Molecular diagnostics: The theory and practice of molecular techniques currently used in the diagnosis/detection of microbial pathogens is taught. The session also extends to non-communicable diseases such as cancers and other diseases.

Microbial drug resistance: The principles and current molecular techniques used for the detection of microbial drug resistance are taught.

Molecular epidemiology: The principle and current molecular techniques used in disease surveillance and microbial typing are taught. Emphasis is on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and infections due to sepsis pathogens.

Diagnostic immunology: The current serological and immunological techniques used in th diagnosis of microbial pathogens and a few non-infectious diseases are taught. Emphasis is on the algorithms for developing countries, particularly for HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Syphilis.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • To have understood the concepts and applications of Good clinical laboratory practices (GCLP)
  • To explain the scope of molecular biology and immunology in the view of diagnostics and disease control
  • Describe specimen collection, transportation, processing and storage in the view of molecular diagnostics and diagnostic immunology
  • Describe the immunological and molecular diagnostic tests that can be used to diagnose/detect and the common microbial diseases
  • List the major clinical/medical uses of immunological and molecular diagnostic techniques
  • Able to classify the various commercial immunological and molecular diagnostic techniques
  • Able to discuss clinical applications of immunological and molecular diagnostic techniques
  • Able to discuss genetic methods currently used in predicting drug resistance, transmission patterns, and evolutionary trends in infectious diseases of public health importance
  • Describe the acceptable workflow and proper design of immunology and molecular diagnostic laboratories

Course instructors (2010)

Prof. Moses Joloba, MBChB, MS, PhD
Professor of medicine (infectious diseases/mycobacteriology/GCLP) and molecular medicine;
Head, department of Medical Microbiology, School of \biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences

Interests: pathogen biology aiming at discovery of drug targets/vaccine candidates; Policy; GCLP; infectious diseases (tuberculosis) microbial typing; mentoring graduate students into high caliber independent researchers 
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Dr. David P Kateete, B.Vet.Med, MSC, Doctoral student
Lecturer, Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences,

Interests: pathogen biology aiming at discovery of drug targets/vaccine candidates; molecular diagnostics; microbial typing; bioinformatics/Omics
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Dr. Eddie Wampande, B.Vet.Med, MSC, Doctoral student                                                
Lecturer, Department of Veterinary Medicine
Fuculty of Veterinary Medicine
Makerere University

Interests: Molecular parasitology; molecular epidemiology (mycobacteria); Proteins  
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Dr. Freddie Bwanga, MBChB, MMed, PhD
Lecturer, Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Infection Biology; molecular mechanisms of microbial drug resistance; health systems research; MDR Tuberculosis; Forensic medicine
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Dr. Benon Asiimwe, B.Vet.Med., MSC, PhD
Lecturer, Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Molecular epidemiology; infectious diseases research; microbial typing   (mycobacteria); zoonotic pathogens
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Dr. Henry Kajumbula, MBChB, MMED
Senior lecturer, Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: virology; infectious diseases research; laboratory medicine
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Dr. Steve Cose, PhD
Honorary lecturer, Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Immunobiology
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Dr Hakim Sendagire, MBChB, MSc, PhD
Lecturer, Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Molecular Parasitology; anti-retroviral research; Malaria 
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Dr. Misaki Wayengera, MBChB
Lecturer, Dept of Pathology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Bioinformatics/functional genomics
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Dr. Sam Nsobya, BBLT, MSC, PhD
Dept of Medicine,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Molecular Parasitology; anti-retroviral research; Drug resistance
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Mr. William Ssengooba, BBLT
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Tuberculosis; health systems research; GCLP
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Mr Fred Katabazi, BBLT
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Molecular epidemiology; infectious diseases research; microbial typing   (mycobacteria)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Mr. Okee Moses, BBLT
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Infectious diseases research; microbial typing
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Mr. Samuel Kirimunda
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: molecular microbiology; diagnostic immunology
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Mr. Alfred Okeng
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Molecular mechanisms of microbial drug resistance; health systems research; MDR Tuberculosis;
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Mr. Francis Mumbowa
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: TB Culture systems; mycobacteriology
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Mr. David Martin K Ssemambo
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Hematology; TB immunology
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Mr. Odongo Paul
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
           
Interests: Diagnostic immunology; molecular diagnostics

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Course Administrators

Geraldine Nalwadda
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences
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Joan Basemera  
Dept of Medical Microbiology,
School of biomedical Sciences,
Makerere University college of Health Sciences        
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Pioneer students and alumni for 2010 practicum

  • Dr. Florence Mutua, MBChB, MSc., University of Nairobi

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  • Kanwagi Micheal, BPharm, Makerere University College of Health Sciences

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  • Tusabe Harrison, Dip MLT, Mulago & Mabarara hospitals Joint Aids Programme (MJAP)

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  • Achan Beattrice, BDS, MMED., Makerere University College of Health Sciences

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  • Lodiongo Denis, BSc, Makerere University

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  • Guma Fred, BBLT, Makerere University

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  • Arinaitwe Eugene, BBLT, Msc Mol Biol., Makerere University

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  • Kiyimba Anthony, BBLT, Makerere University

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  • Oyom Christopher, BBLT, Makerere University

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  • Olia Alex, BBLT, Msc Mol Biol., Makerere University

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  • Metegeki Ezra, BBLT, Makerere University

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Apply online
Download application form  PDF Format        MS Word Format
Curriculum for Applied and Diagnostic Molecular Biology/Immunology practicum
Lecture notes/presentations for 2010 practicum
Pictorial events for 2010 practicum