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Course module: NWI-BM067
Host-microbe Interactions
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BM067
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
prof. dr. L.A.B. Joosten
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. L.A.B. Joosten
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. L.A.B. Joosten
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
KW2  (13/11/2017 to 04/02/2018)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
  • The student is able to gain a state-of-the art understanding and a historical perspective of the mechanisms responsible for host defense against micro-organisms <li<>The student understands the major components of both innate as well as the adaptive immunity
  • The student can distinguish the immune responses to the major classes of pathogenic micro-organisms: bacteria, fungi and viruses
  • The student is able to identify areas in which our understanding of the host defense is incomplete
  • The student will gain knowledge of immune deficiencies that result in severe microbial infections, e.g. fungal infections
Host defense against pathogenic micro-organisms is excerted by a complex system of cellular and humoral mechanisms that forms the immune system. The immune response has been divided in two major components: the innate immune response that is responsible for the initial inflammatory reactions during early infections, and the specific adaptive immunity that develops thereafter and is directed agianst a certain pathogen through antibodies and specific T-cells.
In the recent years it has become clear that the innate immune system not only specifically reconizes vaious classes of micro-organisms, but also initiates and modulates the subsequent adaptive immune responses. The invading micro-organisms are seen by the host by specific recognition receptors (PRR) that sense conserved chemical signatures of the micro-organisms called pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs).
Activation of these PRR results in phagocytosis and killing of the micro-organisms and humoral defence mechanisms. The coordination of these responses is mediated by a complex network of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
In this course the student will learn the principles of host-microbe interactions and how micro-organisms are able to escape from the host defense system. In addition, several infectious diseases will be discussed.
Brock, Biology of Microorganisms, 14th edition, Pearson
Teaching formats

• Interactive lectures
• Self study assessments
• Workgroups
Additional comments
The course is a mandatory course within the MSc Biology specialisation Microbiology. The number of places is limited to allow for six additional students from other study programs. Please inquire with the course coordinator Prof. Leo Joosten (
• Innate Immunity
• Adaptive Immunity
• Microbial escape mechanisms
• Microbial Infections
Test information
Written examination (100 %)
Basic knowledge in microbial physiology and biochemistry as can be obtained in the course Physiology of Microorganisms in the BSc Biology at RU or by self-study with the books "Brock Microbiology of Microorganisms" and "Stryer: Biochemistry". The students are also encouraged to consult a basic book on immunology such as "Parham: The Immune system".
Required materials
Brock, Biology of Microorganisms, 14th edition, Pearson
Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Attendance MandatoryYes

Attendance MandatoryYes

Working group
Attendance MandatoryYes


Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW4

Kies de Nederlandse taal