autumn 2021
MBI-2004 Immunology - 10 ECTS

Last changed 30.03.2022

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1st of June.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15th of April.

Type of course

This course is a part of the bachelor program in biomedicine. The course is also available as a singular course, and for exchange students.

Admission requirements

Applicants from Nordic countries: Generell studiekompetanse + Matematikk R1 eller (S1+S2) og ett av følgende fag:

  • Matematikk (R1+R2)
  • Fysikk (1+2)
  • Kjemi (1+2)
  • Biologi (1+2)
  • Informasjonsteknologi( 1+2)
  • Geologi (1+2)
  • Teknologi og forskningslære (1+2).

International applicants: Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English. It is a requirement that students have  some prior knowledge of biology and ecology, chemistry and mathematics (Participants must have taken introductory level university courses, and achieved pass grades, in these subjects).

A list of the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway can be found on the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education website -

Application code: 9197 (Nordic applicants).

Course overlap

BIO-3609 Basal and Comparative Immunology 8 stp

Course content

This course aims to provide a understanding of the components and principal workings of the vertebrate immune system. The main focus will be on how our immune system protects the body from microorganisms like virus, bacteria, fungi and parasites. We will also examine how immune responses are initiated and terminated, how the immune system "remembers" a pathogenic intruder such that it can respond stronger at subsequent infections (the basis for vaccination), and how erroneous immune responses can result in serious disease. We will also discuss the basis for the immune system to recognize virtually any structure it is exposed to and why the immune system will vigorously reject transplanted foreign tissues.

Recommended prerequisites

BIO-2601 General microbiology, MBI-2001 Biochemistry, MBI-2011 Molecular cellbiology 1

Objectives of the course

At the end of the course the students should be able to:

  • Explain the principle difference between innate and adaptive immunity and to name and describe each of the different types of cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems with respect to mechanisms of their activation and their main function in immune responses, cellular receptors that mediate these functions, and effector molecules and cytokines produced by the cells. The students should also be able to explain the typical tissue location and the mechanisms for migration and tissue invasion by the different cells.
  • Name and functionally describe the most important soluble effector molecules of the innate an adaptive immune systems, including C-reactive protein, mannose-binding lectin, defencins, the complement system and antibodies with respect to effector mechanism and function, the cells that produce the molecules and how the production of these molecules are activated in the respective cells in which they are produced.
  • Outline in detail the mechanisms for the generation of diverse antigen receptor repertoires in the T and B lymphocyte populations and the roles of RAG and TdT enzymes in this process.
  • explain how and where adaptive immune responses are initiated and the principles of clonal selection and clonal expansion in adaptive immune responses, and the difference between naive, effector and memory lymphocytes. The students should also be able to
  • give an over view of signal transduction in lymphocytes from antigen-receptor ligation to transcription factors including the roles of ITAM and ITIM motifs and the antigen receptor-associated signalling molecules in which they are present, membrane-associated Src kinases (Fyn, Lyn, Blk), Lck, Syk, ZAP-70, PLC, Calcineurin, NFkB, NFAT and AP-1.
  • Describe how the immune system fights bacterial, viral and parasite infections and cancer, respectively, and examples of mechanism used by these microorganisms and cancerous cells to avoid the immune system.
  • Describe the mechanisms that render B and T lymphocytes tolerant to self tissues and to describe at the molecular level examples of defects in these tolerance mechanisms that result in autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, the students should be able to explain the mechanisms of rejection of grafted allogeneic tissues and how at the molecular level the drug cyclosporine can inhibit acute graft rejection by T cells.
  • Describe the various mechanisms and outcomes of allergic reactions and other categories (II ,IV) of hypersensitivity reactions.
  • Describe the principle components of vaccines, including adjuvants, and mechanisms for induction of immunological memory by vaccination.
  • Describe the mechanisms and outcome of HIV infection that results in acquired immunodeficiency.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course will consist of lectures, colloquia and laboratory exercises.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is open for inbound exchange student.

There are no academic prerequisites to add this module in your Learning Agreement.

Do you have questions about this course?  Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty:


Written exam, 4 hours, graded alphabetically A-F.

A re-sit exam/postponed exam will be arranged early in the following semester for candidates who failed the exam, or who for valid reasons were unable to attend.

Coursework requirements:

  • Participation in labsafety demonstration
  • Participation in the labexercise and writing a labreport

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: MBI-2004