Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course is thought as an introduction to genetics starting from the mendelian theory of inheritance to molecular genetics. The purpose of the course is to gain understanding of the principles of heredity, the relationships between the genes and normal or disease traits and the current advances in genetics applied to humans.
- to know and describe the general characteristics of antigens, molecular structures (antibodies, receptors, cytokines), cells, tissues and organs of the immune system; the components and the interactions of innate and acquired immune responses.
- to know and understand the mechanisms of the innate and adaptive, humoral and cellular immune responses to invading microorganisms.
- to understand the pathogenesis of diseases caused by abnormal immune response.
Acquisition of the essential knowledge about the general characters of etiologic agents of infectious diseases (bacteria, fungi, helminths, protozoa, viruses), host-etiological agents interactions, prophylaxis and therapy (notes), drug-resistance mechanisms, nosocomial infections.
To pass the exams of the first semester, first year
Course contents summary
Mitotis, meiosis. Principles of mendelian inheritance (Mendel’s laws), physical basis of mendelian inheritance, expression and interaction of genes, crossing over and linkage, mapping, biochemical nature of genetic material, replication and repair of DNA, the genetic code, the “central dogma” of molecular genetics, mutation. Mitochondrial heredity. Polymorphisms, multiple alleles (ABO and MHC systems). Mechanisms of genetic transmission in humans. Gene structure and function. Mechanisms of gene regulation in prokaryotes (the operon model) and eukaryotes. Human cytogenetics and chromosomal abnormalities. Polygenic inheritance. Principles of population genetics. Principles of genetic manipulation and recent developments in molecular genetics diagnosis of diseases.
Definition of immunology. Outlines of the history of immunology.
Haematopoiesis: stem cells, myelopoiesis, lymphopoiesis, and erythropoiesis. Role of haematopoietic cytokines.
Innate immunity: self versus non-self. Physical and chemical barriers. Pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Complement, acute phase proteins, phagocytosis, NK cells, cytokines and chemokines.
Acquired specific immunity: lymphocyte clonal selection, specificity and immune memory. Structure of antibody, isotypes, antigens, and antibody-antigen interaction. T and B lymphocytes and their receptors. The generation of diversity for antigen recognition. The Major Histocompatibility System (MHC). Antigen processing. Activation of B and T lymphocytes. Anatomy of the immune response. Lymphocytes traffic between lymphoid tissues. Antigen Presenting Cells (APC).
The production of effectors of the acquired immune response: antibodies, TH1, TH2, TC lymphocytes, cytokines and chemokines. Immunity to bacteria, virus, fungi and parasitic infections. Evasion of immune mechanisms by pathogens. Passive acquired immunity and vaccination.
Brief outlines of immunopathology (autoimmunity, tumor immunology, transplantation, hypersensitivity, immunodeficiency).
General characters of prokaryotic cell
Morphology of prokaryotic cell
Prokaryotic cell structures (cell wall, cytoplasmic membrane, nucleus, flagella, pili and fimbriae, capsule, endospores)
Notes on bacterial metabolism and replication
Normal flora of humans
Microbial pathogenicity and potential virulence factors (adhesins, enzymes, bacterial toxins)
Laboratory diagnosis of bacterial diseases
Bacterial (components) detection and identification. Notes on laboratory methods (sample collection and transport, microscopic examination, cultural examination, bacterial identification, molecular biology approaches)
Antibody detection (notes)
Antibiotics and synthetic antimicrobial agents; methods for antibacterial susceptibility testing (notes)
Important pathogenic bacteria (notes)
- Staphylococci (S. aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci)
- Streptococci (Group A beta-haemolitic streptococci, Pneumococci)
- Neisseria meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae
- Corynebacterium diphtheriae
- Enteropathogenic Gram-negative bacteria: Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia, Campylobacter and Vibrio
- Clostridia (C. tetani, C. perfringens and C. botulinum)
- Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria causing nosocomial infections: Pseudomonas and S. aureus.
General characters of fungi
The fungal cell, the fungal colony; Yeasts and moulds
Classification of mycoses; Common human mycoses
Protozoa: Lyfe cicles - notes
- Intestinal parasites:
- Tissues and blood parasites:
Free living amoebas (Acanthamoeba)
- Uro-genital tract parasites:
Helminths: Lyfe cicles - notes
Enterobius vermicularis (ossiuri)
Arthropods: Lyfe cicles - notes
Pediculus humanus var. corporis and var. capitis
Biological, morphological and structural characters of viruses
Size and morphology
Classification of viruses (notes)
Viral replicative cycle
Genome expression and replication
Laboratory animals, embryonated chicken eggs, cell cultures
Laboratory diagnosis of viral infection
Clinical samples (collection, transport and storage criteria)
Virus (components) detection (cytologic evaluation, viral culture, rapid antigen detection, gene amplification)
Antibody detection techniques
Common human viral diseases
Campbell NA, Reece JB, Biologia, Genetica Zanichelli Ed)
Novelli G - Giardina E : Genetica medica pratica, Aracne editrice, Roma
Abbas & Lichtman: BASIC IMMUNOLOGY: Functions and disorders of the immune system. 2nd edition 2006 - Saunders
Parham: THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. 2nd edition 2005 - Garland
Bendinelli, Chezzi, Fumarola, Pitzurra: Microbiologia Medica, Monduzzi Editore
La Placa: Principi di Microbiologia Medica, Società Editrice Esculapio.
“Microbiologia Medica/Micologia. Gli agenti infettivi dell’uomo: biologia, azione patogena, laboratorio”. Monduzzi Editore.
I.De Carneri-Parassitologia Generale ed Umana, Casa editrice Ambrosiana, Milano.