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Unit information: Infection and Immunity in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Infection and Immunity
Unit code PANM22041
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Davidson
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Pathogenesis of infectious diseases; the nature of host immune responses; the mechanisms of viral and bacterial immune evasion; the strategies of chemotherapy and vaccination used to treat and prevent human infection.

The unit provides coverage of the immune system and immune responses to bacteria, viruses, protozoa and worms, as well as host-parasite interactions. It covers aspects of pathogenesis and how vaccination is used to prevent human infection. It provides practical experience of immunological and microbiological experimental techniques. The unit is delivered using a series of integrated lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions.

Unit aims:

To provide students with information about:

  1. the immune system
  2. host-parasite interactions
  3. immune responses to bacteria, viruses and the classical parasites, protozoa and worms
  4. mechanisms of bacterial, viral and parasite immune-evasion
  5. infection-induced pathogenesis
  6. vaccination strategies
  7. emerging infectious agents

To teach students skills including:

  1. safe execution of immunological and microbiological experimental techniques
  2. data interpretation and problem solving
  3. essay writing based on literature database searches
  4. oral presentation of complex scientific issues

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. discuss the components of the immune system,
  2. explain host-parasite interactions,
  3. describe immune responses to bacteria, viruses and the classical parasites, protozoa and worms,
  4. summarise mechanisms of bacterial, viral and parasite immune-evasion,
  5. describe examples of infection-induced pathogenesis,
  6. discuss vaccination strategies,
  7. describe how new infectious agents emerge
  8. carry out immunological and microbiological experimental techniques,
  9. describe these experimental techniques,
  10. interpret data and solve problems,
  11. write essays based on literature database searches,
  12. present scientific information and complex arguments in written and oral form,
  13. undertake the further study of infection and immunity at Level 6.

Teaching Information

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practicals
  • Visit to the Jenner Museum

Assessment Information

Summative assessment:

Essay (5%)

Oral presentation (5%)

eBiolabs pre-lab quizzes and post-lab assignments (5%)

1-hour mid-unit assessment consisting of multiple choice questions (10%)

2.5-hour written exam (January) including multiple choice questions and two essays (75%)

The exams will cover learning outcomes 1-7, 9,10,12

The laboratory write-ups will assess learning outcomes 8-10, 12.

The essay and oral presentation will cover learning outcome 12 and any from 1-7.

Formative assessment:

For formative purposes students will receive feedback as follows:

  • The essay will be marked and returned with written feedback.
  • Electronic feedback will be provided for the pre-lab and post-lab work via eBiolabs.
  • Oral presentations will be marked and subject to verbal feedback during the tutorial and a written feedback sheet provided.
  • Feedback during practical classes will be provided by staff and demonstrators.
  • Mid-unit assessment marks will be provided and additional feedback will be available from the Unit Director on request.
  • A breakdown of marks for the exam will be provided and additional feedback will be provided by the Unit Director on request.

Reading and References


  • Janeway’s Immunobiology. Murphy, K et al. 8th edition. Garland Science, 2011. ISBN:9780815342434.

(Students who expect to study immunology topics at Level 6/H may wish to purchase this book).

  • The Immune System. Parham, P. 3rd edition. Garland Science 2009. ISBN- 9780815341468 (Recommended for those students who have not taken any Immunology in Level 4/C)
  • Bacterial Pathogenesis: a molecular approach. Salyers A et al. 3rd edition. ASM Press 2011. ISBN:1555814182
  • Viruses – Biology, Applications and Control. DR Harper, Garland Science. 2012. ISBN:978-0-8153-4150-5

Further reading:

  • The following text is recommended for those who have not taken microbiology units in the first year.
  • Microbiology: a clinical approach. Strelkauskas, A. Garland Science 2010. ISBN:978-0815365143.

All textbooks are available in the Medical Sciences library.