nl en

Mechanisms of disease 1


Admission requirements


The module Mechanisms of Disease 1 (G2MOD1) 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 module Mechanisms of Disease 1, focusing on 3 different mechanisms of disease: acute and chronic inflammation, disordered immunity and cell/tissue injury and repair. In MOD2, 4 other basic disease mechanisms are covered, including neoplasia, metabolic and degenerative disorders, congenital abnormalities and hemodynamic disorders.

I. The immune system and its opponents
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 and Auto-immunity (hyper-responsiveness of the immune system to, respectively, non-self and self)
VI. Transplantation

Course objectives

  1. The student describes individual components and interactions between components of the defense mechanisms which underlie normal response and repair mechanisms for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis
  2. The student recognizes and classifies histological features of acute or chronic inflammation, necrosis and repair responses, and deduces the consequences of these processes for tissue/organ function
  3. The student categorizes different classes of micro-organisms, describes the structural characteristics and relates structural components to physiology of micro-organisms
  4. The student explains the pathogenesis of diseases that result from an interaction between the immune system and pathological stimuli, with focus on microorganisms, and deduces the clinical symptoms that result from this interaction
  5. The student categorizes the causes of failing defense mechanisms and over-responsiveness of the immune system (type I-IV allergies and auto-immune diseases) and explains the pathogenesis and clinical symptoms of diseases resulting from these disorders
  6. The student distinguishes the immunological principles of solid organ transplantation, names factors which affect transplantation outcome and describes the pathogenesis of clinical problems associated with transplantation
  7. Given a description of diagnostic test results in a study population, the student interprets these results, calculates sensitivity, specificity and positive/negative predictive value and predicts the effect of a change in pre-test probability on these parameters. (LIJN AWV JAAR 2)
  8. The student analyzes a scientific paper on an immunological or infectious diseases subject. (LIJN AWV JAAR 2)
  9. The student recognizes characteristic clinical presentations for a number of infections and immune disorders
  10. The student explains the pathogenesis for a number of infections and immune disorders
  11. The student selects appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic options, indicates the mechanism of action of selected immunosuppressive, immune enhancing and antimicrobial drugs
  12. Given a microscopic or clinical image, the student names the most likely microorganism, infectious syndrome, or immune disorder
  13. The student analyzes the infection chain (reservoir, source, transmission route and host factors) and applies the principles of prevention and control of infectious diseases to concise but realistic problems and situations
  14. The student recognizes normal cells, tissues and organs


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

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. Microscopy is refreshed during a voluntary histology (computer) practical. Two (digital) microscopy practicals (bacteriological and parasitological diagnostics) provide a case-based practice of interpretation of microbiological microscopy.
The rest of the course is made up of a combination of (online) lectures, short knowledge clips, work lectures, seminars, patient demonstrations (these are depending on the possibilities at the time of the module), and various e-learning modules.

Assessment method

  • weekly formative tests (in Remindo or via Brightspace)

  • summative tests consist of 1 component exam in week 4 of the module (multiple choice, extended matching and comprehensive integrated puzzle for 20 points) and 1 final examination (extended matching, multiple choice and integrated puzzle for 95 points) in week 6. The grade is determined by the sum of the points obtained in both tests.

The exam dates can be found on the schedule website.

Reading list

  • Immunology: The Immune System, 5th edition, Peter Parham, Garland Science 2014.

  • Infectious Diseases: Sherris Medical Microbiology, 7th edition. Ryan and Ray, McGraw Hill 2018 (alternatively 6th edition can be used).

  • Pathology: Kumar, Abbas and Fausto. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. Elsevier Saunders, 9th or 10th edition


Students are required to register for exams through uSis.
The registration for a working group is done by handing in your ‘studieplan’.


Mechanisms of Disease 1.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect that most or all teaching activities will take place online. It is possible that several lectures, the seminars and the response lectures will be offered in a live presentation, with an option for later reviewing. Work groups will be given via Kaltura live rooms. The format of the practicals and of the patient demonstrations is not yet known at the time of writing. There will be opportunities to ask your questions during the module (e.g. via Discussion Forum). Further information and instructions will be provided timely in Brightspace.