HMI-50306 Microbial Disease Mechanisms


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work1
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. J Wells
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MHAJ Joosten
dr. ir. HH Kranenbarg-Stolte
prof. dr. J Wells
Examiner(s)prof. dr. J Wells

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

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


Infectious diseases and remerging diseases are not only a problem of humans but can have major impact on animals, plants, our society and environment. In 2050 there will be 9 billion people to feed in the world and animal pathogens are an ever present threat to food security. In this course the molecular biology of the interactions of humans and animals with causal agents of diseases will be addressed, with a focus on bacterial pathogens. This includes eukaryotic cell signaling in infection, virulence and pathogenesis mechanisms, toxins as pathogenicity factors, evasion of host defence, and the molecular analysis of host-pathogen interactions. This course builds further on the knowledge obtained in the course Basics of Infectious Diseases, their Transmission and Control.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify the key innate and adaptive defence mechanisms of animals, humans and plants;
- demonstrate understanding of the mechanisms of virulence and pathogenesis for representative bacterial pathogens;
- identify strategies that can be used to control, prevent and treat infectious diseases;
- search scientific literature on a selected pathogen and prepare an oral presentation about mechanisms of pathogenesis;
- demonstrate understanding of the experimental approaches used to investigate pathogen biology.


- lectures;
- practicals on the molecular biology of infectious diseases;
- oral presentation on disease mechanisms of an important bacterial pathogen.


Written exam, open questions: 65%;
Group presentation and individual written assignment on publications that are part of the course material (15%);
Practical report and presentation (individual or in small groups): 20%;
The minimum score of the written exam is 5.0.


Lecture material and additional reading will be available on MyPortal and Brightspace.
A comprehensive reader will be provided on the lectures and a handbook to the practical.

Compulsory for: WUBIDBSc Minor Biology of Infectious Diseases of Humans & Animals2AF