Introduction to Human Immunology


About this course

The immune system refers to a collection of cells and proteins that function to protect the skin, respiratory tract, intestinal tract and other areas from foreign antigens, such as microbes (organisms such as bacteria fungi, and parasites), viruses, cancer cells, and toxins. Recent advances in translational, clinical and fundamental research provide evidence for the modulation of immune responses (e.g. by foods, dietary ingredients and natural products). The purpose of the Introduction to Human Immunology course is to provide a basic knowledge of the immune response and on the mechanisms by which humans, but principles and process apply on other mammals as well, defend themselves against foreign antigens.
The course will focus on:

  • basic aspects of immunology; the innate and adaptive immune system;
  • immune cell interactions to maximize, but also limit, immune responses;
  • the impact of various dietary components on the immune system;
  • immune-related disorders in humans;
  • test systems enabling detection of immunomodulatory activity.

This course overlaps with CBI21303. Therefore, combing this course with CBI21303 is not allowed.

Learning outcomes

After studying the relevant chapters of the book ‘how the immune system works’ by Lauren Sompayrac, attending the corresponding lectures, succesfully performing the practicals, completing the tutorials and passing the exam, students are expected to:

  • identify components of the innate immune system and know their individual function
  • understand how antigen presentation bridges innate to adaptive immunity
  • identify components of the adaptive immune system and understand requirements for activation
  • Understand the orchestration of immune responses in the lymphoid organs and induction of immunological memory
  • know means by which the immune system prevents self-responses
  • be familiar to how food and therapy can intervene in immune activity
  • acquire laboratory skills to measure functional responses of innate and adaptive immune cells and identify secondary lymphoid structure organisation

Required prior knowledge

Mandatory Knowledge:
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Assumed Knowledge:
For this course prior knowledge is assumed that is gained by course CBI10306 (Dutch version) or CBI-10806 (English version) Cell Biology and basic knowledge on Human Anatomy and Human Physiology. During these courses the book 'Essential Cell Biology (ISBN 978-0-393-68039-3) is used to obtain this knowledge.

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 March 2025

    • Ends
      2 May 2025
    • Term *
      Period 5
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 9 Feb 2025
    Enrolment starts in 3 days
These offerings are valid for students of TU Eindhoven