Infection and Immunity

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Learning Object

In this free course you will be introduced to infectious diseases and to the biological agents that invade our bodies and cause them: pathogens. You will also learn about the immune system, the human body’s vital defence against pathogens. Along the way you will learn about the scientific method and how it has helped scientists understand pathogens and aid the prevention of infectious disease. But the challenge is ongoing. Pathogens are everywhere and come in all shapes and sizes. As you will see, the fight against infectious disease remains critical for global health today. After studying this course, you should be able to distinguish between symptoms and signs of an infectious disease and illustrate how they are combined in making a diagnosis, summarise the main direct and indirect transmission routes by which pathogens pass from person-to-person, from other animals, or from the environment to humans, appreciate the usefulness of combining systematic observations and measurements with testable hypotheses (the scientific method) in understanding infectious disease, distinguish between the six main types of pathogen – multicellular parasites, single-celled protists, fungi, bacteria, viruses and prions, and summarise the main features of human defences against infection.

Published by:

The Open University (OUUK)

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