NEM-20806 Basics of Infectious Diseases


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work4
Course coordinator(s)RHP Wilbers
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. GHJ Kema
dr. ir. HW Saatkamp
dr. ir. GP Pijlman
RHP Wilbers
dr. ir. CJM Koenraadt
Examiner(s)dr. ir. GP Pijlman
dr. ir. HW Saatkamp
RHP Wilbers
dr. ir. GHJ Kema

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

2nd year BSc curricula Biology, Animal Sciences and Plant Sciences prepares for this course.

Continuation courses:

CBI-20306 Cell Biology and Health; ENT-30306 Ecological Aspects of Bio-interactions; ENT-30806 Fundamental and Applied Aspects of the Biology of Insects; HMI-50306 Microbial Disease Mechanisms; NEM-30306 Host-Parasite Interactions; PHP-30306 Plant-Microbe Interactions; PHP-30806 Molecular Aspects of Bio-interactions and VIR-30306 Molecular Virology.


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with VIR-20803 Human Infectious Diseases.

Emerging infectious diseases of humans and animals make it into the headlines of the news on a daily basis (e.g. malaria, TBC, norovirus). This multidisciplinary course approaches these infectious diseases from several perspectives, including the underlying biology, ecology, epidemiology, and socio-economics. Information will be provided on new insights on the causative agents of several infectious diseases (e.g. viral, prion, bacterial, protozoal, and parasitic diseases) as well as arthropod vector biology and vector-borne diseases. Mathematical modelling has strongly influenced policy-making in relation to the epidemiology and control of infectious diseases. In this course we will focus on the key principles of epidemiological models of infectious diseases to understand how they are used in the health economy.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the fundamental concepts and mechanisms in the biology of infectious diseases and their causative agents;
- discuss the social, economic, and political factors associated with infectious diseases;
- formulate a research question and execute the research needed to answer this question (under supervision);
- work in a team including the ability to make a plan and to divide the tasks between team members;
- interpret and discuss experimental data, and report on scientific research through oral and written presentations.


- lectures;
- practicals on the ecology, physiology and molecular biology of infectious diseases and their vectors;
- writing of report that incorporates knowledge from recent literature in the field of infectious diseases.


- written test with nine open questions (50%);
- written research plan (5%);
- Observations on practical performance, including reporting activities in lab-journal (25%);
- written report of research formatted as a scientific article (17.5%);
- Oral presentation of key findings (2.5%). (literature in the field of infectious diseases).


Lecture notes and selected literature review will be provided during the course.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBScC: Human and Animal Health Biology1AF
Compulsory for: WUBIDBSc Minor Biology of Infectious Diseases of Humans & Animals1AF
WUFHDBSc Minor Food, Intestinal Homeostasis and Disease1AF