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Infections in Health and Disease


Admission requirements

The Infections in Health and Disease minor is designed for medical and biomedical students who wish to increase their knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases, infection control and the functioning of the immune system. The course prepares students to effectively participate in future health care or research programs in infection or immunity anywhere in the world.
As described in the Mechanism of Disease courses (I&II-Medicine) or Immunology & Infectious Agents & Immunity (BMS) you followed in year 2, you will be expected to know the following:

  • Knowledge of the structure of the normal human cell and the most important physiological and biochemical processes of the cell;

  • Knowledge of the normal histology of tissues and organs;

  • Knowledge of the concepts molecular recognition, receptor, specificity, receptor-ligand interaction;

  • Understanding of normal regulation of blood pressure and temperature;

  • Insight into causes and mechanisms of pain sensation;

  • Knowledge of epidemiological terminology;

  • Ability to apply basic arithmetic (use of calculator allowed);

  • Usage of English at level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

International Students should have an adequate background in Medicine or Biomedical Sciences with basic knowledge of the human immune system. Admission will be considered based on CV and motivation letter. For more information, please contact


The course aims to examine fundamental health care questions related to infectious diseases (viral, bacterial and parasitic) as they pertain to medical microbiology, pathology and clinical research. In addition to gaining a better understanding of the human immune system and how it underlies a variety of diseases and therapies, the student will learn about mechanisms of pathogenesis and induction of different type of immune responses to pathogens.

While infections have literally ‘plagued’ us over hundreds of years one of the greatest successes of modern medicine has been the development of highly effective anti-microbial interventions, like anti-microbial agents and vaccination, which have transformed our ability to cope with once life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Interestingly, the concept that some microorganisms can manipulate the human immune system in a manner that may be beneficial for the host is gaining much attention. Indeed, humans coexist with a complex set of commensal microorganisms in a symbiotic relationship and how this plays a key role in health and disease, is only now becoming clear.

Immune mechanisms successfully conquering infectious diseases are explained, as well as immune evasion strategies employed by pathogens, to understand the consequences of an optimally working or defective immune system. The concepts of vaccination are discussed, describing vaccination in the clinic and in the field. How the immune system is modulated by microorganisms (for good and bad) will be studied. Finally, novel and cutting-edge ideas that look to exploit the human immune system to cure both communicable and non-communicable diseases will be also described.

Based on specific patient’s cases, the students will file a patient history and investigate the diagnostic profile to diagnose the patient by studying e-learning modules. With recent literature and hands-on activities, the students will understand the link between commensals and health and describe factors which influence commensals. Student will get involved in public engagement and design attractive and explanatory weblogs on hot infectious disease topics for peers and general public. By knowledge of state-of-art laboratory techniques and immunomodulatory agents or biologicals, the students will design a research plan for to treat infectious or immune-mediated disorders. At the last day of the half minor, the students present a their conducted research or research plan by a poster and an oral presentation.

Course objectives

  1. Describe in detail and explain the working of the immune system in health and disease;
  2. Analyze the clinical and immunopathological aspects of infectious diseases;
  3. List diagnostic methods available for infectious diseases, interpret the results and develop a written therapeutic plan;
  4. Communicate on the role of commensals (microbiome) in health and disease;
  5. Be able to design immune interventions for treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases;
  6. Set out the right questions, review relevant topics, critically evaluate current information and design new studies to get the answers.


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, practical’s, research, excursions, work groups, patient demonstrations or simulations.

Course Load

Total course load is 15 EC’s.

Hours spent on attending lectures is ~ 100 hours
Self-study on compulsory literature/instruction movies ~50 hours
Preparing and attending workgroups, practical’s ~50 hours
Completing (group-)assignments (including the research proposal/report) ~200 hours

Assessment method

  • Knowledge exams with open questions (2) (20%)

  • Consult report (20%)

  • Written report (Blog) + Oral presentation (20%)

  • Research Proposal/Report & Poster/Pitch presentation (40%)

  • 3 additional tests (pass/fail) * Oral presentations * Work groups – Journal Club * Pro-Con/Round table Discussion

The exam dates can be found on the schedule website.


Blackboard will be used during this course.

Reading list

The module uses 4 study books:

  • Immunology: The Immune System, 4th revised 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, 8th edition, 2009.

  • Global health: Skolnik; Global Health 101, 3rd revised edition 2015



Dr Meta Roestenberg, MD
LUMC, Department of Infectious diseases / Parasitology

Dr Hermelijn Smits
LUMC, Department of Parasitology

Dr Jutte de Vries, MD
LUMC, Department of Medical Microbiology