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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. 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 overresponsiveness 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 and transplantation of the hematopoetic system, 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 pretest 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 mechanism of action of selected immunosuppressive, immune enhancing and antimicrobial drugs
12 Given a microscopic 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; describes normal temperature and blood pressure regulation

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 obligatory microscopy practicals (bacteriological and parasitological diagnostics) provide a case-based practice of interpretation of microbiological microscopy.
39 Lectures, 2 work lectures, 3 seminars, 6 patient demonstrations, various e-learning modules (e.g. 3 diagnostics modules, TRC pharmacology database), 2 obligatory practicals, 1 voluntary (computer) 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.

Examination dates

Component exam: 25-09-2017 10:00-12:00
Final exam: 13-10-2017 13:00-16:00
Resit Final exam: 28-12-2017 13:00-16:00

For dates and times of debriefing; see Blackboard.


  • 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, 2014, Copyright 2015


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