MD Education Program

Host Defense (6 credits; 6 weeks)

Students’ knowledge of the immune system and the pathogenesis of infectious organisms enable them to formulate appropriate diagnostic and interventional strategies for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and immune-mediated pathologies.

Course Objectives

The following course objectives align with the IU School of Medicine MD Curriculum Competencies and Institutional Learning Objectives. This alignment enables faculty and students to understand how current student learning prepares them for the next stage in training and for their ongoing practice and maintenance of certification.

Explain the development, structure, function and regulation of the immune system at molecular and cellular levels, and differentiate between the innate and adaptive mechanisms of host defense against microbial pathogens.

Describe the structure, physiology, genetics, pathogenesis and epidemiology of the major classes of infectious organisms associated with human diseases.

Describe the key characteristics of primary and acquired immunodeficiencies, analyze their clinical consequences, and define infectious organisms associated with these disorders.

Identify and explain the pathophysiology of allergies and other hypersensitivities, autoimmunity, transplantation, and immune responses to cancer.

Differentiate among the major pathogens associated with gastrointestinal, respiratory, CNS, skin and soft tissue, bone, circulatory, and urogenital infections, and illustrate how host defense mechanisms, diagnostic strategies, and therapeutic approaches differ between organ systems.

Illustrate the basic principles of immunization.

Explain the mechanisms of action of the major classes of antibiotics, anti-virals, anti-fungals, and anti-parasitic agents, including their use against specific pathogens, their effect on normal flora, adverse reactions, and the problem of drug resistance.

Categorize methods to prevent the spread of contagious organisms, including universal precautions, sterile techniques, sterilization, and disinfection, and apply these methods to the prevention of foodborne diseases and nosocomial infections.

Explain how issues of geography, economics, culture, and public health affect patterns of infectious diseases epidemiology and approaches to disease prevention.

Identify gaps in your understanding of Host Defense, identify and evaluate resources to help close these gaps, and articulate the information to your peers.

Behave in a professional manner and carry out any responsibilities in Host Defense with the highest levels of integrity.