This class concentrates on bacteria that are known to cause disease in humans and animals. We will begin by exploring the concept of virulence factors and how they allow organisms to be more effective pathogens. Pathogenesis mechanisms of immune evasion, attachment and invasion of bacteria to host cells, and the production of toxins will be explored through a variety of molecular, protein, and whole cells assays. After covering virulence factor mechanisms, we explore many of the major disease-causing groups of bacteria. How these organisms initiate disease will be covered, as well as clinical lab identification strategies, and how clinical specimens are processed. The course ends with students using identification tests learned in lab to identify unknown bacteria.