Week 1: How the immune assesses danger and responds to it, and conversely how the immune system identifies and prevents hostile responses to non-threats. The mechanisms discussed include actions of cells and proteins and the effects of mutation of genes important to the process.
Week 2: Survey of the causes and symptoms of nine autoimmune diseases, include MS, lupus and Type I diabetes, followed by a discussion of underlying immune disturbances that lead to these diseases and a variety of treatment strategies.
Week 3: Present the mechanisms, characteristics and treatments of the four classic categories of hypersensitivity: allergy, mis-directed ADCC, excess antibody complexes and delayed or cellular responses. We will also look at the hygiene hypothesis and consider our defenses again tuberculosis in this context.
Week 4: How we protect transplanted tissues and organs. These are, by definition, foreign and a natural target of the immune system. We will begin with the development of testing for specific antigen, apply this to tissue typing and predicting donor-organ sensitivity. Then we will look at therapies designed to protect organs, comparing them to similar strategies in treating autoimmune diseases and finally survey some specific transplants.
Because this is the third course in a series exploring the fundamental of immunology, we will also include the outlines from the two previous courses.