Clinical Infection Biology and Antimicrobial Therapy

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 3MK008

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Infection Biology A1F, Medical Science A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Master Programmes Board of the Faculty of Medicine, 19 December 2017
Responsible department
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology

General provisions

The course is part of the second semester at the Master's Programme in infection biology.

Entry requirements

180 credits in biology, bio-/medicine, biotechnology, pharmacy, pharmaceutical bioscience, (pharmaceutical) chemistry, medical science, agriculture, animal science, veterinary medicine or education giving knowledge in cell biology, genetics (bio)chemistry and molecular biology. Proof of skills in English to a level corresponding to English 6/English Course B in the Swedish secondary school.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course students will be able to

  • analyse the clinical characteristics of the most common human infectious diseases from an organ system perspective
  • explain the molecular mechanisms of the inflammatory reaction and how the different components contribute to the symptoms and clinical pictures of infection.
  • analyse and discuss how to diagnose and identify infectious agents with appropriate methods and identify possible routes of transmission
  • analyse and discuss the mechanistic action of antimicrobial drugs in whole systems and at the molecular level, as well as mechanisms controlling development and transfer of resistance
  • know the basic principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • explain how preclinical research can identify and characterise microbial targets and compounds suitable for development into new antimicrobial drugs
  • interpret, critically analyse, synthesise and communicate, both orally and in writing, scientific data and other information relevant for the course
  • Additionally, students should be able to describe how patient safety and integrity are ensured during treatment, in clinical studies and in clinical trials.


The course aims to give a broad knowledge of the major infectious diseases in humans, from both local and global perspectives, and is based on earlier studies of infectious processes at the molecular level. The most common bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections in humans will be addressed during the course. Examples of infectious diseases occurring in different organs, such as respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary tract, central nervous, skin, soft tissue and skeletal, and cardiovascular systems will be discussed. The inflammatory cascades will be addressed in detail to give a profound knowledge about how these symptoms connect to both virulence factors of microorganisms as well as to the defence against infection. Diagnostic procedures, medical intervention and antimicrobial therapy will be discussed in detail, including pharmacological aspects of antimicrobial drugs. The biochemistry behind the inhibitory mechanisms of different classes of anti-infectives is discussed as well as their impact on the microbes' life cycles.

Strategies to identify new targets for antimicrobial therapy, as well as processes for drug development are discussed in detail.

Relevant model systems are used to practically illustrate the molecular mechanisms and factors affecting resistance development and global transmission of resistance. The focus requires relevant knowledge in molecular biology and biochemistry.

The course consists of three modules covering all aspects of clinical infection biology (6 credits), antimicrobial therapy and resistance (4 credits) and drug development (5 credits). These modules are partly integrated by a recurring theme that deals with antimicrobial therapy and resistance development from a social perspective where questions concerning healthcare associated infections, economics, ethics as well as information- and knowledge dissemination are discussed.


Instruction is provided in English and consists of lectures, seminars and practical and theoretical tasks. All seminars and assignments are mandatory.


Written tests with the grade Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG) ends the respective module. The mandatory parts are examined at seminars, oral presentations/reports and through written reports and given the grade of pass or fail.

To pass the course all mandatory parts must be approved. The grading from exam(s) and assignments will together generate a final weighted course grade. Possibility for completion of not approved compulsory assignments may be given at the earliest at next course and only in case of a vacancy.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.