nl en

Mechanisms of disease 1



The module Mechanisms of Disease 1 elaborates on the first year modules of Medicine in which the normal anatomy, physiology and homeostasis were taught. Disease results from a disturbance in the structural integrity and/or normal function of (part of) the body and/or the response to this disturbance. The second year starts with the modules Mechanisms of Disease 1 and 2, focussing on the 7 different mechanisms of disease: growth disorders, metabolic and degenerative disorders, congenital abnormalities, hemodynamic disorders, acute and chronic inflammation, disordered immunity and cell/tissue injury and repair.

In module G2MD1 the focus is mainly on inflammation, cell/tissue injury and repair and disordered immunity.

Themes of G2MD1

I.Normal host response to pathological stimuli.

I.A. Overview of the defense mechanisms
I.B.Pathology of injury and repair

II.Micro-organisms as cause of disease.

III.Infectious Diseases

III.A. Host-pathogen interactions
III.B. Clinical aspects of infectious diseases: clinical presentations and diagnostics
III.C. Clinical aspects of infectious diseases: therapy

IV. Prevention and control

IV.A. Epidemiology of infectious diseases
IV.B. Prevention and control of infectious diseases

V. Allergy (hyper-responsiveness of the immune system to non-self)

V.A. Hyper-responsiveness of the immune system to non-self: allergy
V.B. Clinical aspects of allergy: clinical presentations and diagnostics
V.C. Clinical aspects of allergy: therapy

VI. Auto-immunity (hyper-responsiveness of the immune system to self)

VI.A. Hyper-responsiveness of the immune system to self: auto-immunity
VI.B. Clinical aspects of auto-immunity: clinical presentations and diagnostics
VI.C. Clinical aspects of auto-immunity: therapy

VII. Transplantation-associated pathology

Course objectives

  • normal host defense mechanisms and response to injury

  • histology of inflammation and repair, consequences for tissue/organ function

  • classification, structure and physiology of micro-organisms

  • pathogenesis of diseases resulting from interaction between the immune system and pathological stimuli (micro-organisms, antigens)

  • failing defense mechanisms or hyper-responsiveness of the immune system (type I-IV allergies and auto-immune diseases)

  • immunological principles of transplantation, pathogenesis of clinical problems associated with transplantation

  • principles underlying interpretation of diagnostic test results

  • for selected infections and immune disorders: clinical presentations, pathogenesis, diagnostic and therapeutic options

  • pharmacotherapy: mechanism of action of immunosuppressive, immune enhancing and antimicrobial drugs

  • principles of prevention and control of infectious diseases

Mode of instruction

In each theme, lectures will provide an overview of the subjects. Self-study is an important teaching method in this module, based on the study books, e-learning lessons and self-study assignments. In 3 interactive seminars the students’ knowledge of a theme is actively trained. In 4 work groups the students will work together on specific assignments. Two microscopy practicals (bacteriological and parasitological diagnostics) provide a case- based practice of interpretation of microbiological microscopy.

42 Lectures, 3 seminars, 6 patient demonstrations, various e-learning modules (e.g. 3 diagnostics modules, TRC pharmacology database), 2 obligatory practicals, 1 voluntary practical, 4 work groups

Assessment method

  • weekly formative tests (either in lecture hall, at home or during practical or work group)

  • summative tests consist of 1 component exam in week 4 of the module (multiple choice, open questions) and 1 final examination (extended matching, multiple choice and integrated puzzle) in week 6.


  • Immunology: The Immune System, 4th edition, Peter Parham, Garland Science 2014.

  • Infectious Diseases: Sherris Medical Microbiology, 6th edition. Ryan and Ray, McGraw Hill 2014.

  • Pathology: Kumar, Abbas and Fausto. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. Elsevier Saunders, 9th edition, 2013

  • Global health: Skolnik; Global Health 101, 2nd edition 2012


“Secretariat of the Department of Pathology”