CBI-20803 Introduction to Human Immunology


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Knowledge clip0
Course coordinator(s)dr. R Tennekes
Lecturer(s)dr. S Brugman
Examiner(s)dr. R Tennekes

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

The course CBI10306 Cell Biology and basic knowledge on Human Anatomy and Human Physiology

Continuation courses:

CBI-30306 Human and Veterinary Immunology


The immune system refers to a collection of cells and proteins that function to protect the skin, respiratory tract, intestinal tract and other areas from foreign antigens, such as microbes (organisms such as bacteria fungi, and parasites), viruses, cancer cells, and toxins. Recent advances in translational, clinical and fundamental research provide evidence for the modulation of immune responses (e.g. by foods, dietary ingredients and natural products). The purpose of the Immunology course is to provide a basic knowledge of the immune response and on the mechanisms by which organisms defend themselves against foreign antigens. The focus will be on human health and biomedical applications, with examples from human diseases and infections.
The course will focus on:
- basic aspects of immunology;
- basic aspects of mucosal immune system in the gut;
- immune-related disorders in humans;
- the impact of various dietary components on the immune system;
- test systems enabling detection of immunomodulatory activity.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the organization of the immune system;
- understand the concepts of innate and adaptive immunity and their communication and development;
- understand processes underlying infection and inflammation;
- understand the complex pathology of several chronic diseases such as Celiac disease, IBD, and Diabetes;
- critically read and summarize provided literature and clarify their opinion with respect to the given topic (chronic diseases) in written form;
- perform basic immunological assays in a laboratory (ELISA, Fluorescent Imaging, NBT assay, cell culture) and report on the results.


This course will consist of lectures which will provide the basic knowledge, followed by three tutorials. For these tutorials, students are expected to critically read scientific articles on three different topics (Celiac Disease, Diabetes type I and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)) and answer questions. The answer sheet will have to be uploaded in Brightspace. The answers to these questions will be discussed during flipped-class room lectures. During the practicals on four consecutive mornings, students will learn to perform basic laboratory techniques (pipetting) as well as perform several cell biological assays (ELISA, NBT, Cell culture and in silico zebrafish experiments). The students will write a small report including the aim, methods, results and conclusion for all techniques, which should be uploaded in Brightspace. The results are discussed on the last morning. The exam will be a computer multiple choice question-based examination with questions on the lectures, tutorials and practicals.


Both the tutorials and the practicals need to be fulfilled by attending and completion of assignments within Brightspace, when these requirements are not fulfilled, the course cannot be passed. The exam will be a computer-based exam with approximately 40 multiple choice questions. A final minimal mark of 5.5 is required.


For this course, the following book is used: Sompayrae, L. (2019), How the Immune System works?, Wiley Blackwell 6th edition, ISBN 978-1-119-54212-4. 
Other documents that will be used, can be downloaded from the Brightspace site during the course.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBScC: Spec. C - Health and Disease5MO
BESEnvironmental SciencesBScB: Spec. B - Environmental Quality and Systems Analysis5MO
BVGNutrition and HealthBSc5MO
Restricted Optional for: BBTBiotechnologyBSc5MO