- The student is able to gain a state-of-the art understanding and a historical perspective of the mechanisms responsible for host defense against micro-organisms <li<>The student understands the major components of both innate as well as the adaptive immunity
- The student can distinguish the immune responses to the major classes of pathogenic micro-organisms: bacteria, fungi and viruses
- The student is able to identify areas in which our understanding of the host defense is incomplete
- The student will gain knowledge of immune deficiencies that result in severe microbial infections, e.g. fungal infections
Host defense against pathogenic micro-organisms is excerted by a complex system of cellular and humoral mechanisms that forms the immune system. The immune response has been divided in two major components: the innate immune response that is responsible for the initial inflammatory reactions during early infections, and the specific adaptive immunity that develops thereafter and is directed agianst a certain pathogen through antibodies and specific T-cells.
In the recent years it has become clear that the innate immune system not only specifically reconizes vaious classes of micro-organisms, but also initiates and modulates the subsequent adaptive immune responses. The invading micro-organisms are seen by the host by specific recognition receptors (PRR) that sense conserved chemical signatures of the micro-organisms called pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs).
Activation of these PRR results in phagocytosis and killing of the micro-organisms and humoral defence mechanisms. The coordination of these responses is mediated by a complex network of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
In this course the student will learn the principles of host-microbe interactions and how micro-organisms are able to escape from the host defense system. In addition, several infectious diseases will be discussed.
|Basic knowledge in microbial physiology and biochemistry as can be obtained in the course Physiology of Microorganisms in the BSc Biology at RU or by self-study with the books "Brock Microbiology of Microorganisms" and "Stryer: Biochemistry". The students are also encouraged to consult a basic book on immunology such as "Parham: The Immune system".|
|Written examination (100 %)|
|The course is a mandatory course within the MSc Biology specialisation Microbiology. The number of places is limited to allow for six additional students from other study programs. Please inquire with the course coordinator Prof. Leo Joosten (Leo.Joosten@radboudumc.nl).|