Learning outcomes of the course unit
Etiology is the branch of science concerned with the causes and origin of diseases. The prevention of disease must be founded on a dynamic approach that, taking into account the time-related changes of the etiological factors associated with each particular specific environment (geographic, socio-economic, etc.), be able to define the manifold interactions either potential (state of risk) or actual (cause of disease) occurring within a real environment and in the real time. The student must recognize these interactions between the organism and the environmental pathogenic factors in order to evaluate the inherent risks of disease and to anticipate the effects to come.
Course contents summary
1. The biological homeostasis. Health and disease. 2. Pathogenic factors. 3. The multidisciplinary basis of etiology. The ecosystem of life.
4. The etiology and the changes of its pathogenic factors within the historical time.
5. Extrinsic (physical, chemical and biological) pathogenic factors. Physical factors. Transfer of energy: (a) mechanical; (b) thermal.
6. Physical factors. Transfer of energy: (c) electric and electro-magnetic).(d) Radiations (waves and particles). Radioactivity: accidental or planned emissions.
7. Chemical factors. (a) Contamination of natural environments: atmosphere, waters, land).
8. Chemical factors. (b) Industrial contaminations and occupational risks. Inorganic substances.
9. Chemical factors. (c) Industrial contaminations and occupational risks. Organic substances.
10. Chemical factors. (d) Food-stuff contamination Poisonous foods.
11. Chemical factors. (e) Accidental or planned food contaminations. Additives and dietary supplements.
12. Individual contaminations by habit-forming practices . Smoke, alcohol.
13. Individual contaminations by habit-forming practices. Drug-addictions.
14. Biological pathogenic interactions. Bites and stings.
15. Biological pathogenic factors. Viruses, bacteria and other prokaryotes.
16. Biological pathogenic factors. Fungi and parasitic metazoa.
Guidotti G.G. : L’omeostasi biologica ed Eziologia generale in Patologia Generale – Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (CEA), Milano (1990), pp. 49-233
Burton I., Kates RW., White G.F. : The Environment as Hazard – Oxford Univ. Press (1978)
Edelson S, Statman J.B. : Living with Environmental Illness – Taylor Pub (1998)
Kroll-Smith S.: Illness and the Environment – New York Univ. Press (2000)
McKeown T. : The Origins of Human Disease – Basil Blackwell (1988)
Assessment methods and criteria
Joined oral-written exam