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Infectious Diseases


Admission requirements

Required course:

  • Biology, the LUC course or at high school level.


HIV, malaria and tuberculosis are still one of the main public health challenges that low-income countries face. However, in the meantime, the appearance of new infectious diseases and reappearance of old ones, often in new and drug-resistant forms, highlights the urgent need for in depth understanding of these infectious diseases and potential prevention strategies.

This course will focus on the biological, immunological, epidemiological and ecological aspects of viral, bacterial and protozoan diseases, especially in developing countries.

During the course, the basic notions that describe the mechanisms behind the spread of a disease will be introduced. Also, the relation between the specific characteristics of some infectious diseases and their spread will be exemplified, e.g. for tuberculosis, and HIV.

Variables related to the spread of infectious diseases (incidence, prevalence, incubation time, latent time, period of infectiousness) as well as mode of transmission and vaccination strategies will be discussed during this course.

Course Objectives

After this course students will be able to:

  • Describe the epidemiology and trends of common infectious diseases (i.e. malaria,tuberculosis, HIV) as well as ‘neglected’ infectious diseases (i.e. dengue, soil-transmitted helminth infections)

  • Explain the infectious disease chain on these infectious diseases (pathogen, reservoir, portal of entrance and exit, transmission routes, and host determinants).

  • Recognize strategies on how to control infectious diseases by surveillance, outbreak investigation and vaccines.

  • Provide the major pros and cons of prevention, diagnostic and treatment techniques (incl. vaccination) for infectious diseases, including the global challenge of antibiotics resistance.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction


Assessment Method

Your active in-class participation and discussion during the lectures 10%
Summary and reflection on newly acquired information after the lectures - 10%
Group assignment and written group report (500 words) - 30%
Group assignment and presentation - 20%
Group assignment and presentation (pro and con) and individual written essay (500 words) - 30%

Reading list



Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,