The lecture Immunology in the 5th semester offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge in immunological research and also includes important veterinary questions.

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Hemolysis test to prove blood group tolerance. Photo: Christoph Baums

Content and Objectives of the Lecture Immunology

In the 28-hour lecture Immunology important aspects of innate and acquired immunity are explained. It includes the following aspects:

  • Innate Immunity
  • Adaptive humoral immunity
  • Adaptive cellular immunity
  • Immune response against bacteria and viruses
  • Immunotolerance using BVD MD as an example
  • Immunity against fungi and tumors
  • immunodeficiencies
  • Leishmaniasis Th1 vs Th2
  • Regulatory T cells and autoimmunity
  • Immunity in the nervous system
  • Type I and IV Hypersensitivity
  • Type II and III Hypersensitivity
  • Immunological Therapies
  • Virus evasion and defence against mycobacteria (tuberculosis)

After attending the lecture you will be able to:

  • Reproduce humoral and cellular components of the immune system and allocate them to the innate/adaptive or humoral/cellular immune response.
  • Describe the significance of acute phase proteins as diagnostic markers; name the consequences of opsonisation and complement activation (phagocytosis, lysis).
  • Describe the activation of immune cells by pattern recognition receptors; describe defence mechanisms of the cellular innate immune response (NK cell activation, neutrophil extracellular traps).
  • Define blood group; explain test systems for blood group compatibility; describe the development of neonatal isoerythrolysis in the horse.
  • Describe the selection processes of T-/B-cells in the primary lymphoid organs.
  • Explain the activation of T-/B-cells in the secondary lymphoid organs. Describe the circulation of immune cells in the body
  • Explain the modes of action of innate immunity (complement, phagocytosis, left shift, antigen presentation, chemotaxis)
  • Describe the activation of T-cells by APC after pathogen contact
  • Describe antibody structure and antibody-mediated mechanisms (opsonisation, complement activation, neutralisation, ADCC).
  • Name the antibody isotypes
  • Explain the origin of antibody diversity and mechanisms of clonal selection, affinity maturation and class switching.
  • Explain the importance of immunological memory for vaccination success
  • Describe the basics of the immune system Cells and organs, innate and acquired immunity, humoral and cellular immunity, systemic and mucosal immunity, primary and secondary immune responses
  • Explain the mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction/infectious immunology: Pathogen recognition and defence, pathogen-dependent defence (viruses, bacteria, protozoa, metazoa), extra- and intracellular infectious agents, evasion mechanisms of infectious agents, differentiation infection vs. disease.
  • Answer questions relevant to diagnosis and therapy in clinical immunology/immune pathogenesis and base differential diagnoses and therapy procedures on these (e.g. anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive therapy procedures: systemic and local immunopathological manifestations in the digestive tract, musculoskeletal system, respiratory tract, nervous system, skin (chronic inflammatory disease processes, autoimmunity, allergy, immunodeficiencies, immunotolerance, hypersensitivity reactions)
  • Identify the basics of immunodiagnostics (serological methods, cellular tests) and interpret the findings for the animal owner, as well as the resulting treatment procedures for individual animals or animal populations.
  • Name and justify common vaccination procedures, vaccine components, vaccination calendars, vaccination guidelines.
  • In addition, the students should use this knowledge to competently advise the pet owner in the vaccination conversation.

Passing the examination in Immunology is a prerequisite for admission to the examinations in Bacteriology/Mycology, Parasitology and Virology.

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