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Semester 1

Immunology 3 (BILG09007)







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Equivalent of the courses listed above

Course Summary

A course in cellular and molecular immunology presented in the context of human disease: cells and tissues of the immune system; antibodies, T cell receptors and immune recognition; the regulation of immune responses; defects of the immune system; AIDS; immunity to pathogens and vaccines. Laboratory work illustrates the lectures and gives some practice in experimental applications.

Course Description

This course cannot be combined with Clinical Immunology and Haematology 3A but can be combined with Clinical Immunology and Haematology 3B]This is a course on the biology of the immune system, building on the background acquired in Micro-organisms, Infection and Immunity 2. Lectures, supported by tutorials and practical classes, which reinforce the key concepts from the lectures, give a sound introduction to modern cellular and molecular immunology, with an emphasis on the experimental systems used to study the immune system. The first half of the lecture course describes basic concepts in immunology, including description of the innate and adaptive immune systems, the anatomy of the immune system and an overview of the recognition mechanisms by which foreign antigens are detected. There is an emphasis here on the genetic mechanisms that contribute to the generation of antigen receptor diversity, and the ways in which antigens are handled by antigen-presenting cells. The lectures then move on to look at lymphocyte development and activation, as well as the specific effector functions of the cellular and humoral arms of the adaptive immune system. The regulation of responses by 'helper' T cells and cytokines, and the principles of immunological memory are discussed in some depth. Understanding how the immune system tolerates self-antigens and harmless foreign antigen is discussed, providing a basis for understanding autoimmune diseases. Expanding on the introduction to effector mechanisms, the specific pathways that control infection with bacteria, protozoa, helminths and viruses will be covered. Finally, the immune system will be discussed in the context of evolutionary biology. Some of these topics are considered also in Medical Microbiology 3 in the second Semester.Both theoretical and practical aspects of the course will be assessed. At least a good C pass in Immunology 3 is recommended for entry into Immunology Honours. The course provides useful background recommended for students with interests in Honours in a number of other subject areas (e.g. Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Infectious Diseases, Biomedical Sciences).

Assessment Information

Written Exam 55%, Coursework 30%, Practical Exam 15%

Additional Assessment Information

Three items of in-course assessment: 45%Mid-semester learn quiz [5%]Course Essay [25%]Practical Test [15%]Degree examination: in December [55%].

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