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PA20345: Infection and immunity

[Page last updated: 03 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Credits: 9 [equivalent to 18 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 180
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: ES 20%, EX 80%
Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (ES 20%)
  • Exam (EX 80%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: After taking this unit, the student will be able to
* Describe the innate, adaptive and inflammatory host defence mechanisms against infectious agents
* List the key features required by micro-organisms to cause human disease
* Explain the role of excessive stimulation of host defence mechanisms in themselves causing human disease;
* Justify the use of pharmacology of agents targeted at the exogenous infection or endogenous host defence response,
* Explain the uses and limitations of antibodies in the laboratory and in the diagnosis and treatment of disease
* Apply their knowledge of host defence mechanisms to interpret clinical case studies.

Aims: To familiarise the students with the pathogenic mechanisms of infectious disease, the human host response to infection and the pharmacology of anti-infective agents; to describe the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with acute and chronic inflammation, to illustrate the pathology of chronic inflammatory diseases and to introduce the pharmacology of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs and biological agents; to illustrate clinical cases through problem-based learning.

Skills: Scientific and practical skills (T/F/A)
Study skills, handling information, working with others (T/F)
Problem solving (T/F)
Written skills (T/F/A).

* The innate and adaptive immune system - antibodies, T and B lymphocytes, antigen presenting cells and the MHC, effector functions,
* Mechanisms by which micro-organisms cause infectious disease.
* Pharmacology of anti-infective compounds.
* Mechanisms of tolerance and autoimmunity, acute and chronic inflammation,
* Pharmacology of anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic agents and potential novel therapeutic approaches.
* Use of antibodies as laboratory, diagnostic and therapeutic agents.
* Problem based learning applied to relevant clinical case studies.

Programme availability:

PA20345 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  • USPA-AFB02 : BSc(Hons) Pharmacology (Year 2)
  • USPA-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Pharmacology with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USPA-AKM02 : MPharmacol(Hons) Pharmacology with Year long work placement (Year 2)


  • 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.