701-1703-00L  Evolutionary Medicine for Infectious Diseases

SemesterAutumn Semester 2020
LecturersA. Hall
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentNumber of participants limited to 25.


701-1703-00 GEvolutionary Medicine for Infectious Diseases2 hrs
Fri10:00-12:00ON LI NE »
A. Hall

Catalogue data

AbstractThis course explores infectious disease from both the host and pathogen perspective. Through short lectures, reading and active discussion, students will identify areas where evolutionary thinking can improve our understanding of infectious diseases and, ultimately, our ability to treat them effectively.
ObjectiveStudents will learn to (i) identify evolutionary explanations for the origins and characteristics of infectious diseases in a range of organisms and (ii) evaluate ways of integrating evolutionary thinking into improved strategies for treating infections of humans and animals. This will incorporate principles that apply across any host-pathogen interaction, as well as system-specific mechanistic information, with particular emphasis on bacteria and viruses.
ContentWe will cover several topics where evolutionary thinking is relevant to understanding or treating infectious diseases. This includes: (i) determinants of pathogen host range and virulence, (ii) dynamics of host-parasite coevolution, (iii) pathogen adaptation to evade or suppress immune responses, (iv) antimicrobial resistance, (v) evolution-proof medicine. For each topic there will be a short (< 20 minutes) introductory lecture, before students independently research the primary literature and develop discussion points and questions, followed by interactive discussion in class.
LiteratureThe focus is on primary literature, but for some parts the following text books provide good background information:

Schmid Hempel 2011 Evolutionary Parasitology
Stearns & Medzhitov 2016 Evolutionary Medicine
Prerequisites / NoticeA basic understanding of evolutionary biology, microbiology or parasitology will be advantageous but is not essential.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersA. Hall
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationStudents write brief reports (~1 page each) on 3-5 topics during the course. The final grade is a combination of the grades for these reports (75% of overall grade) and the grade from a short oral test (taking place in the last two weeks of the course; 25% of overall grade).

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places25 at the most
Waiting listuntil 27.09.2020

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