Biological sciences
Study-unit Code
Donatella Pietrella
  • Donatella Pietrella
  • 42 ore - Donatella Pietrella
Course Regulation
Coorte 2020
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Innate and Adaptive Immunity: lymphoid organs, differentiation and activation of T and B cells. Antibody: structure, synthesis and effector functions. Antigen presenting cells. Antigen processing. MHC molecules. Immune evasion by viruses. Structure and Composition of Viruses. Viral replication cycle. Laboratory methods used in the direct diagnosis of viral infections and tecniques to evaluate the immune response to infections caused by viruses.
Reference texts
Medical Microbiology Patrick R. Murray, Ken S. Rosenthal, Michael A. Pfaller. Paperback

Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 8th Edition. Abul K. Abbas, Andrew H. H. Lichtman, and Shiv Pillai. Paperback
Educational objectives
At the end of the course students will have a good knowledge of:

basic biological mechanisms of the immune system;

biology of viruses (structure and replicative strategies);

interaction of virus with the host (pathogenesis and host immune response);

cultivation methods and quantification of viruses;

principles of diagnostic virology.
In order to approach the study of the virus and the immune system it is necessary to have taken the exam of Microbiology.

It is also required the knowledge of cell biology and molecular mechanisms underlying the processes of replication, transcription and translation.
Teaching methods
The course consists of 21 lectures on all topics of the course, in the first part will be addressed virology, while the second part will examine the main arguments of immunology
Other information
Recommended attendance
Learning verification modality
Two progress evaluations written and one oral examination.

The written tests will have a minimum duration of two hours. Each written test consists of 3 open questions aimed at assessing the knowledge acquired in class. The first test will assess the knowledge of virology, the second test the immunology.

The oral examination will last for at least 20 minutes, the purpose of the examination is to assess the student's ability to use the terminology as well as the ability to connect the different topics covered.
Extended program

Innate and Adaptive Immunity. Hematopoiesis. Cells of the immune system: Neutrophils, Macrophages, Naural Killer cells, NKT cells, Mast cells, B Cells, T Cells. Primary lymphoid organs: Bone Marrow and thymus. B and T cells development. Positive and negative selection of T cells. Secondary lymphoid organs: spleen, Lymph nodes, MALT. Naive and memory lymphocyte recirculation. Immunoglobulin (Ig): structure, isotype, allotype and idiotype. B cell Receptor (BCR). Surface expression of IgM and IgD. Synthesis of membrane and secreted Ig. Rearrangement of immunoglobulin heavy and light variable regions. Mechanisms determining the variability of antibodies. Antibody isotype switching. Effector functions of antibodies. Monoclonal Antibodies. Primary and secondary humoral immune response. Fc receptors. Human Leukocytes antigens (HLA): genes. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules class I and II: expression, structure, and function. Antigens (Ags). Endocytosed and cytosolic protein antigen processing. Non-protein antigen processing. Cytokines. TCR receptor. gamma/delta T cells. CD4+ T Cells: TH1, TH2 e TH17. CD8+ cytotoxic T Cells. Apoptosis. Immune evasion by viruses.


Methods of study of viruses: Electron Microscopy. The Structure and Composition of Viruses. Viral replication cycle. Viral cultures: animal models, embryonated egg and cells lines. Virus taxonomy: classification and nomenclature of viruses. Virus quantification techniques: quantification of virus particles in suspension, of viral protein and nucleic acid. Hybridization techniques. Nucleic acids amplification. Diagnosis of the viral infections. Methods of quantification of cellular and antibody response.
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