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Code: 101008 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500502 Microbiology OB 2 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Iñaki Alvarez Perez

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Ángel Raúl Castaño García


The student must have got the learning competences of the courses programmed during the first course of the Degree. It is highly recommended some formation in Biochemistry, Genetics and Cell Biology.


Objectives and Contextualisation


Immunology is an obligatory course, specific of the Microbiology degree and included in the Area “Sanitary Microbiology”. Immunology introduces students in the study of physiological and pathological mechanisms of defence and specific response of the organisms against the presence of antigens, as microorganisms and toxins. This course is integrative and students can address the inter-relation between pathogens and hosts from their knowledge acquired in cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry, genetics and animal biology.

Objectives of the course:

The 6 ECTS course of Immunology is split in three blocks with different objectives that the student will have to achieve at the end of the course.

Block I. Basic Immunology

•          to know the concepts of innate and specific immunology and to recognize the important role of each of them during the response against pathogens.

•          to identify the elements that play a role in both responses.

•          to enumerate and explain the structural and functional features of the molecular and cellular components of the innate and adaptive immunity.

•          to explain the features of the lymphoid organs and the recirculation of lymphocytes.

Block I. Organization of the Immune Response

•          to integrate the elements described in the lessons of the Block I with the three phases of the immune response: 1) activation phase; 2) effector phase; and 3) regulation phase and homeostasis.

•          to identify the type of immune responses activated for each infectious agent: bacteria, virus, fung and parasites.

Block III. Immunopathology and Immunotherapy

•          to identify the disfunction of the immune system which is the cause of the immunopathologies: hypersensitivity, immunodeficiencies and autoimmunity.

•          to analyze the association of an ineficient response against infectious agents and certain immunopathologies.

•          to associate the targets of the immune response of different palliative and profilactic treatments.


  • Identify and solve problems.
  • Identify the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and relate them to the response to infection in order to design and develop strategies for diagnosing and combating diseases caused by microorganisms.
  • Obtain, select and manage information.
  • Use bibliography or internet tools, specific to microbiology or other related disciplines, both in English and in the first language.
  • Work individually or in groups, in multidisciplinary teams and in an international context.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse the relationship between the type of immune response that is developing and the characteristics of the pathogen: the entry pathway and anatomical location, the mechanisms that trigger response and evasion.
  2. Explain the mechanisms of activation and regulation of the cellular and humoral immune response and their link to immunopathology.
  3. Identify and solve problems.
  4. Know and define the properties that distinguish the adaptive immune response from the innate response and explain the theory of clonality: one lymphocyte, one antigen receptor.
  5. Obtain, select and manage information.
  6. Understand the theoretical principles behind the immunological techniques used in the characterisation and study of microorganisms.
  7. Use bibliography or internet tools, specific to microbiology or other related disciplines, both in English and in the first language.
  8. Work individually or in groups, in multidisciplinary teams and in an international context.


Each block is divided in teaching units (TU) organized by lessons defining the specific learning descriptors associated to the corresponding competences.


Lesson 1. Introduction

TU-1. Innate immunity

Lesson 2. Innate immunity

Lesson 3. The complement system

Lesson 4. Cells of the innate immunity

TU-2. Antigen specific receptors, presenting molecules and antigen recognition

Lesson 5. Structure of immunoglobulins

Lesson 6. Organization of the genes of immunoglobulins

Lesson 7. T cell receptor (TCR)

Lesson 8. Structure and function of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules

Lesson 9. Antigen processing and recognition

Lesson 10. Genetic organization of the MHC

TU-3. Cells of the immune system

Lesson 11. T lymphocytes

Lesson 12. B lymphocytes and antigen presenting cells

TU-4. Organs of the immune system and lymphocyte recirculation

Lesson 13. Organization of the organs of the immune system

Lesson 14. Cytokines and chemokines

Lesson 15. Leukocyte recirculation


UD-5. Immune response

Lesson 16. Cellular immune system I

Lesson 17. Cellular immune system II

Lesson 18. Humoral immune system I

Lesson 19. Humoral immune system II

Lesson 20. Regulation of the immune response

UD-6. Immune response against pathogens and mechanisms of action

Lesson 21. Immune response against bacteria, fungs and parasites I

Lesson 22. Immune response against bacteria, fungs and parasites II

Lesson 23. Immune response against virus


UD-7. Immunopathology

Lesson 24. Reactions of hypersensitibity I

Lesson 25. Reactions of hypersensitibity II

Lesson 26. Autoimmunity

Lesson 27. Immunodeficiencies I

Lesson 28. Immunodeficiencies II

Lesson 29. Immunotherapy. Vaccines

Lesson 30. Tumor immunology


“*Unless the requirements enforced by the health authorities demand a prioritization or reduction of these contents.”



Educational activities programmed for the course of Immunology of Microbiology degree are:


Lessons of the Didactive Units (UD) will be teached in 30 sessions.

-       SEMINARS

For the seminars, the group will be split in two subgroups, G1-IMM and G2-IMM, with an estimated number of 30 students per group. A total of 15 sessions per group will be given with the following programmed activities:

  2. CASES (ABP, 2 sessions).
  3. RESEARCH ARTICLE (ART, 4 sessions).
  4. SEMINARS (SEM, 3 sessions).
  5. AUTOEVALUATION (AUT, 2 sessions).



  1. 1.            EXPERIMENTAL TECHIQUES (TE)

Immunology is an experimental science and it is important that the student get the competences required to work in a laboratory. Some techniques based in the antigen-antibody recognition and others used in an Immunology laboratory will be explained.

Exams will include 3-5 questions for the evaluation of these activities (they will be a 10% of the partial qualification, that is, a 7% of the final qualification).

There are programmed 4 sessions to explain the concepts on which these techniques are based and the expected result will be obtained for each:

TE1 and TE2: Techniques based on the antigen-antibody interaction.

TE3 and TE4: Techniques used for the study of T lymphocytes.

  1. 2.            CASES (ABP)

Two cases have been programmed. To solve the cases, students must work in groups. The design and pautes of the case will be included in the programmation of the Blocks. Information of the cases will be uploaded by the teacher in the Virtual Campus (CV). In class the students ask the doubts about the case. The teacher will upload the questions in the CV and the students will answer them in groups.

  1. 3.            RESEARCH ARTICLE

This activity will consist in the oral presentation of a research article. The final objective is to learn to expose clearly a research article (introduction, hypothesis, exposition and interpretation of the results and discussion of them). Four sessions will be done in which students will expose an article with questions

  1. 4.            SEMINARS

It has been programmed 3 sessions of Seminars by professionals of the field of Immunology and Microbiology. These sessions will serve to consolidate the learning of the theoretical lessons.


“*The proposed teaching methodology may experience some modifications depending on the restrictions to face-to-face activities enforced by health authorities.”


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Seminars 15 0.6 1, 6, 3, 5, 8, 7
Theory lessons 30 1.2 1, 4, 2, 5, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Preparation of a research article (bibliographic search, reading, experimental techniques) 15 0.6 1, 6, 2, 3, 5, 8, 7
Resolution of cases / ABP (bibliographic search and text reading) 20 0.8 1, 6, 3, 5, 8, 7
Study 66 2.64 1, 6, 4, 2, 3, 5, 8, 7


Evaluation of the course will be individual and continuous through the next proves:

-       Individual learning by parcial exams.

-       Cooperative learning through forming activities during the seminar lessons.

The evaluation activities are:

Partial exams: Two partial examns at the end of Blocks I and III. The value of the first partial is 30% and of the second partial 40% of the final qualification. They will consist in test exams with 30 questions, 5 options and one unique correct response. To be evaluated, the student will have to answer at least 70% of the exam (21 questions). Each wrong response will diminish ¼ of the value. Non-answered questions will not have penalization. Three questions about experimental techniques (TE) will be included with a value of 10% of the exam (3% and 4% of the final course qualification, respectively). The duration of the exams will be of 2 hours. To the exams be considered, students must obtain a minimum of 3.5 points (over 10 points, 1.05 over 3) in the first partial and 4 points (over 10 points, 1.6 over 4) in the second exam. The average qualification must be at least of 4 over 10 (2.8 over 7).

Cases (ABP): Cases will be a cooperative work in 4-students groups. They can be practical problems or clinical cases. The objective is to develop auto-learning, synthesis and written communication capacities.

Evaluation will represent 15% (5% for the first case and 10% for the second one) of the final qualification. It will be evaluated as an on line delivery of an autonomous work of the group. Written presentation, answers and own aportation will be considered.

Articles (ART): Articles will be uploaded some weeks befor the exposition. Class sessions will consist in the presentation of the article by the group members and some questions by the teacher.

Evaluation of the oral presentation will represent 15%of the final qualification. Contents, oral exposition, clarity of slides and defense of the issues will be considered.

As the groups will be maintained during the course, the qualification of ABP and ART (30% of the final qualification) will be given to the full group. Students will have to distribute individual qualifications depending individual contribution. The individual qualification must not be higher than 3 points.

Retake exam: A final exam will be programmed for students which could not obtain the minimum to pass the course or for those students which can increase the qualification. The value of the exam will be 70% of the qualification. The exam will consist in 50 test questions (with 5 questions on TE) and only students that have participated in the continuous evaluation proves (partial exams) can access to the final exam. The exam will have a duration of 2 hours.

To pass the course the student must obtain a minimum of 50% after the addition of the values of individual and cooperative work modules. Students that will not obtain a minimum of 40% of the individual work will have access to pass the course in the final exam.

Students which want to increase the qualification must renounce to the obtained qualification during the partial exams and accept the qualification obtained in the final exam.

To be eligible for the retake process, the student should have been previously evaluated in a set of activities equaling at least two thirds of the final score of the course or module. Thus, the student will be graded as "Not Evaluable" if the weighting of all conducted evaluation activities is less than 67% of the final score.


“*Student’s assessment may experience some modifications depending on the restrictions to face-to-face activities enforced by health authorities.”

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Cases 15% 0 0 1, 6, 3, 5, 8, 7
Partial exam 1 30% (27% + questions TE 3%) 2 0.08 1, 6, 4, 2
Partial exam 2 40% (36% + questions TE 4%) 2 0.08 1, 6, 4, 2
Research article 15% 0 0 1, 6, 2, 3, 5, 8, 7



  • Books in English:

Janeway’s Immunobiology by K Murphy. Ltd/Garland Science, NY & London, 8th ed., (2012).

Kuby Immunology (with web support) by J.A. Owen, J Punt, S. A. Stranford. W.H. Freeman Co., 7th ed, (2013).

Cellular and Molecular Immunology by Abul K. Abbas, Andrew H. Lichtman, Shiv Pillai. Saunders, 8th ed, (2014).

Roitt's Essential Immunology, by Peter Delves, Seamus Martin, Dennis Burton, Ivan Roitt. Wiley-Blackwell Ed., 12th ed., (2011).

Immunology, 7 th Edition by David K. Male, Jonathan Brostoff, Ivan Maurice Roitt, David B. Roth Mosby Elsevier Ed. (2006).


Immunology, Infection and Immunity by Pier GB, Lyczak JB & Wetzler LM. ASM International (2004).

Medical Microbiology and Immunology by Warren Levinson. Lange Medical Books / McGraw-Hill, 10 th ed. (2006).

Review of Medical Microbiology and Immunology by Warren Levinson. Lange Basic Sicence / McGraw - Hill, 11th (2010).


  • Books in Spanish:

IMMUNOBIOLOGIA: El sistema inmunitario en condiciones de salud y enfermedad de C. Janeway Jr., P. Travers, L. Walport, M. J. Shlomchik. Traducción de la 4ª edición. Editorial Masson, S.A. Barcelona, (2003).  

Inmunología Celular y Molecular de A.Abbas, W. Lichtman, R. Pober. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 5ª edición, (2004).  

Introducción a la Inmunología Humana de L. Faimboim, J. Geffner. Ed Medica Panamericana, 5ª edición (2005).

Kuby Immunology (en español) by T.J. Kindt, R.A. Goldsby, B.A. Osborne. W.H. Freeman Co., 6 th ed, (2007).

Inmunología de P. Parham. Ed. Panamericana, 2ª ed. (2006).

Fundamentos de Inmunología de Roitt,I. M. Panamericana, 10ª ed. (2003). 

Inmunología de I. Roitt, J. Brostoff, D. Male.  Hartcourt Brace, 5ª ed. (2003).



  • Journals

Advances in Immunology



Annual Review of Immunology


Current Opinion in Immunology



Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection


Microbiology and Immunology



Nature Reviews in Immunology


Seminars in Immunology


Trends in Immunology


Trends in Microbiology



  • WEBS

Immunobiology by C. A. Janeway, P. Travers, M. Walport and M. Shlomchik. Garland Science2001


Roitt's Essential Immunology, by Peter Delves, Seamus Martin, Dennis Burton, Ivan Roitt. Wiley-Blackwell Ed., 11 th ed., (2006).


Kuby Immunology (with web support) by T.J. Kindt, R.A. Goldsby, B.A. Osborne. W.H. Freeman Co., 6 th ed, (2006).



Microbiology and Immunology On line. School of Medicine, University of South Carolina


Faculty of Medicine, Dalhouse University (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)


The Infectious Diseases WebLink




 Janeway's animations (també en podeu trobar d'animacions del llibre Janeway's Immunology a la web del yooutube)