Medical microbiology is the study of micro-organisms as agents of human disease. Sub-disciplines of medical microbiology include medical bacteriology, medical mycology, medical parasitology, medical virology and medical immunology. Medical microbiology provides the scientific basis for understanding health and disease as it relates to infectious diseases. It is a translational discipline in the sense that it link the basic sciences or bench work with the clinical approach to the patient.

The Department of Medical Microbiology in University of Benin was founded in 1974. The pioneer Head of the department was Prof. Simon Nkeadinma Chukwunwike Wemambu, MD, FMCPath, FWACP Consultant and Professor of Clinical Microbiology, (1931-2010) who is well known in the field of clinical microbiology in Nigeria and beyond. He demonstrated, together with colleagues, for the first time ever to the medical world that leprosy has an immunological basis. He transferred his services to UNIBEN in 1974 as Lecturer I and rose to the position of Professor in 1990.  He delivered his inaugural lecture titled “Leprosy Scourge of ages, whither do we go?” in August 2001. Other Heads of Department since inception include Dr (Mrs). C. I. Emokpare, Prof (Mrs). E. Offor, Dr. P. V. O. Lofor, Dr. E. O. Yusuf, Dr. O. Iyoha and Dr (Mrs) I.I Osaigbovo (Current Head of Department).  

Currently, the department boasts of five academic staff members, with diverse backgrounds contributing to a well-rounded coverage of the subject matter. They are Prof. L. U. Airauhi, Dr E.O. Yusuf, Dr. O.Iyoha, Dr. P.V.O Lofor and Dr. (Mrs) I.I. Osaigbovo.

Philosophy of the Department

 We believe in nurturing creativity, innovativeness and collaboration in both students and faculty as a means to continuously improving and attaining the goals of education, research and service.

Mission and Vision statements.

Vision: To be the leading provider of undergraduate and postgraduate education and research into microbial pathogenesis, infectious diseases and immunology in Nigeria.

Mission:  To train medical practitioners who are competent in the management of infectious diseases in any setting and to contribute to the health and professional educational needs of Nigeria.

Objectives of the Department

The specific objectives of the department with respect to undergraduate students are to train medical doctors who are able to:

  1. Understand basic taxonomy of agents of infectious disease.
  2. Understand epidemiology and clinical classification of agents of infectious diseases.
  3. Understand the basic disease process with emphasis on etiology and pathogenesis
  4. Understand characteristic morphological patterns for the interpretation of laboratory findings relevant in disease processes, the evolution of these processes and their effect upon the patient in the clinical setting.
  5. Diagnose and treat infectious diseases from an evidence based standpoint brought about by understanding the nature of microorganisms.

Objectives of the department with respect to lecturers are to foster an environment that

  1.  Encourages research that will lead to breakthroughs in the management of infectious diseases.
  2. Encourages innovation in medical education
  3. Encourages collaboration with other medical specialties and disciplines outside medicine including sciences, social sciences and the humanities to better understand infectious diseases and provide holistic management of these diseases.

Courses offered

The department offers an introductory course to 300Level medical students as well as first and second semester courses for 400Level students.

  1. MMB 321: Introductory posting

This introductory course introduces the student to Medical Microbiology including classification of microorganisms, transmission of infectious disease agents, principles of microbiology and immunology and the properties of microorganisms.                                                       

  • MMB411 48 HRS (3 Credits): Principles and fundamentals of Medical Microbiology.

 In this 400 Level first semester course, the student is taught the principles of medical microbiology at an advanced level including fundamentals of mycology, parasites of medical importance and their life cycle patterns, bacterial diseases and epidemiology of infectious diseases.        

  • MMB421: Systematic Medical Microbiology 74hrs     (3Credits)

This 400 Level first semester course teaches a microorganism-specific approach to medical microbiology, covering diverse medically relevant fungi, bacteria, parasites and viruses. Properties, virulence factors and pathogenesis of disease are highlighted and the student learns various identifying features relevant for laboratory diagnosis.

  • MMB 420: General Laboratory Procedures 51hrs      (2Credits)

This is a practical course in which the student is introduced to the microscope, safety precautions in the laboratory, preparation of films and use of stains like Gram stain and Ziehl-Neelsen stains. Basic procedures in parasitology, bacteriology, mycology and virology are demonstrated. The student gains hands-on experience and is also taught via the aid of charts and photomicrographs. Common media used in medical microbiology practice, their compositions and relevance are introduced.

  • MMB 511: Syndromic microbiology 15 HRS (1 Credit)

In this 400 Level second semester course, the student learns the syndromic approach to medical microbiology which is essential for clinical practice. The course covers urinary tract infections, diseases of the respiratory tract, central nervous system infections, sexually transmitted infections and other diseases of the genitourinary tract and gastrointestinal infections. The course also introduces students to healthcare associated infections, sepsis and vaccine-preventable diseases like Diphtheria, tetanus and botulinism.

  • MMB 520: Medical Microbiology Practicals 18 HRS (1 Credit)

This second semester practical course covers various aspects of medical microbiology in detail. The student learns about specimen collection techniques in mycology, parasitology, bacteriology and virology and the pre-analytical considerations as foundation of quality results from the diagnostic laboratory. Preparation of smears, inoculation of bacteriological media and identification of bacterial and fungal colonies and interpretation of antimicrobial susceptibility tests are demonstrated and practicalised in details.

  • MMB 521: Immunology/Immunological bases of disease 22 HRS (2 Credits)

This 400 Level second semester course deals with antigens, antibodies and immune response. Students learn about both the normal functioning of the immune system as well as immunopathological conditions like immunodeficiency, hypersensitivity and autoimmune disorders. Transplant immunology is also covered.

S/NNamesStatusQualificationsurl link to Google Scholar account
1Lucy Unu AirauhiProfessorA/Dip., PGD, M.Sc, Ph.D
2Edirin Omorigho YusufAssociate ProfessorMBBS, FMCPath, M.Sc.
3Osaretin IyohaAssociate ProfessorMBBS, FMCPath, M.Sc., MPA, MPH
4Patrick Vincent LoforSenior LecturerMBBS, FMCPath
5Iriagbonse Iyabo OsaigbovoSenior LecturerMBBS, FMCPath