Thursday October 11th – Friday November 9th 2018.
Students should be familiar with the contents of the course “Immunology” before starting in this course.
This course focuses on infectious agents and (un)successful interactions with host immune responses and anti-infectives at the cellular and molecular level. The program consists of sections on 1) the characteristics of the various classes of pathogens (viruses, bacteria and parasites), 2) immune evasion strategies and successful immune responses to infectious agents, 3) electives focusing on challenges in the field of infectious diseases, beneficial bacterial/parasite-host interactions, and treatment/prevention strategies, and 4) a practical research project on issues related to infection and immunity. Sections 1-3 start with an introductory lecture and comprise several self-study assignments. The assignments will be discussed and elaborated upon in workgroup meetings. Sample exam questions will be discussed during the workgroup meetings in order to prepare the students for the exam. Furthermore, State-of-the-Art lectures on specific topics in the field of infectious agents and immunity will be offered to the students to broaden and deepen their knowledge of infectious agents and their interactions with immune systems and anti-infectives. Moreover, students will be challenged to design and carry out experiments (in the field of infection and immunity) in the laboratories of the participating tutors. The results of these lab-projects will be presented at a symposium.
The student will be able to:
• exploit the expanding knowledge (of the structure, functional activities, life cycles, transmission/epidemiology and genetics) of pathogens in order to understand the pathogenesis of infections.
• explain the mechanistic/immunologic basis of strategies employed by pathogens to evade 1) the host defense systems and 2) anti-infective strategies with major societal impact (antibiotics, vaccines).
• critical read and present (understand and explain) selected scientific papers in the field of infectious agents and immunity
• to design, perform, discuss and present experiments in the field of infectious agents and immunity.
Mode of instruction
Lectures, self-study assignments, workgroup meetings, State-of-the-Art lectures, lab project (practical), scientific literature, symposium, self-assessment (E-learning and interim tests), sample exam.
The final exam consists of ten open questions and the score is 80% of the final mark (the remainder being participation in the lab project and the presentation at the symposium) for this module (10% is participation in the lab project and 10% is the final presentation).
The exam dates can be found on the schedule website.
Module book Infectious Agents and Immunity, Leiden, 2018
Primary literature (see dedicated black board site, module book) and
Peter Parham, ‘’The Immune System” ISBN: 978-0-8153-4466-7, 4th ed. (2015)
All course information can be consulted on the dedicated Black Board site.
Information for exchange students
This module is part of an English taught third semester of the bachelor’s programme in Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University Medical Center. Combining biomedical modules with modules from other programmes in Leiden is difficult or impossible due to different scheduling schemes. Exchange students with sufficient relevant background knowledge in biology/biomedicine are therefore encouraged and advised to choose the entire module package indicated (by an *) below.
Immunology (BW), 9 EC* Infectious Agents And Immunity, 6 EC* Introduction to the Neurosciences 6, EC* Design and analysis of Biomedical Studies, 6 EC*
Line education Communication in Science for Exchange students, 2 EC*
Additional options: Biomedical Academic Scientific Training for Exchange Students, 2 EC And/or Applied Electrophysiology for Exchange students, 2 EC
A minimum number of applicants is required for continuation of the optional components.