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BB20027: Infection and immunity II: immunology

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 20%, EX 80%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 20%)
  • Examination (EX 80%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take BB10005 OR take BB10264
Learning Outcomes: After taking this unit, the student will be able to:
* demonstrate knowledge of the topics given in the outline of the course and the ability to integrate such knowledge through answering factual multiple-choice questions on any of these topics, and discussing them in integrative exam questions.
* analyse, display, interpret and draw conclusions from experimental data.

Aims: To provide the student with a knowledge of animal immune systems, with an emphasis on mammalian systems, including the cellular components of the immune system and how they communicate with one another to generate coherent immune responses. This will be relevant to both infectious disease and non-infectious immunity.
To provide the student with an understanding of how animals defend themselves against invading microorganisms, and how pathogenic microbes overcome these defences. A number of well studied microbial and viral diseases are used as examples. The approach will stress the methods by which knowledge has been gained, and the integrative features of cellular and systemic immunobiology. Lectures are supported by a number of "virtual practicals" that aim to develop interpretative skills.

Skills: Learning and studying T/F/A, Written Communication T/F/A, Data Acquisition, Handling and Analysis T/F/A, Problem Solving T/F/A, Group Working T/F.

Content: The course is in three parts:
1. Non-specific defences; barriers; skin; innate immunity; secreted antimicrobials; cellular defences; classes of leukocytes; FACS; innate immune responses; phagocytosis; cell killing; acute inflammation; humoral defences, haemostasis; recognition of microbial invaders; immune signalling by cytokines and chemokines, examples of immune evasion and suppression by microbial pathogens.
2. Antibodies and acquired immunity; immunoglobulins, Ig classes; genetic basis of Ab diversity; MHC; T-cell receptors; development of B and T-cells; immunity mediated by B and T cells.
3. The complement system; case studies of interactions between pathogens and the immune system.

Programme availability:

BB20027 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • UXXX-AFB11 : BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB11 : BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM11 : MBioMed(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM11 : MBioMed(Hons) Biomedical Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 2)

BB20027 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.