Course code MVI292

MVI292 The Immune System, Food and Health

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Siv Kjølsrud Bøhn
Teachers: Preben Boysen
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in the autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in the autumn parallel, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2014-2015
Preferential right:
Course contents:
The course provides a thorough introduction to the immune system's structure, function and regulation. Both the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system will be reviewed, including the immune response to viruses, bacteria, parasites and cancer cells. Furthermore, the development of B cells, T cells, NK cells and antigen presenting cells will be reviewed in detail. Special emphasis will be put on understanding the mechanisms behind immunological tolerance and the importance of the intestinal bacteria for the immune system. This will provide basic knowledge for a further specialization in special conditions related to the mucous membrane's immunology and biology, as well as mechanisms for the development of food allergies and diseases associated with immunological intolerance. The importance of food, beyond the nutritional aspects, for an effective infection defense, and the importance of the immune system for the development of lifestyle diseases will be addressed.  Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals for the topic will be Goal 3 : 'Good health and Well being'
Learning outcome:

Knowledge: After completing the course, the students will have gained advanced knowledge on the structure and function of the immune system.

Skills: The students will be able to explain how the immune system responds to infections and cancer. They will also understand the mechanisms involved in problems with immunological tolerance, such as celiac disease and other hypersensitivity reactions associated with food such as allergies.  Furthermore, the students will also be able to explain why diet is important for the composition of the intestinal microbiota and how the interaction between the diet and the intestinal bacteria affects health.

General competence: Through lectures and supervised discussion groups, the students will have the opportunity to work through central theoretical issues that are relevant for their future careers and practice.

Learning activities:
Lectures, supervised discussion groups and exercises.
Teaching support:

The course responsible may be contacted via e-mail:


Will be announced in Canvas and in the first lecture.
Background in cell biology equivalent to BIO100, background in biochemistry equivalent to KJB200, background in microbiology equivalent to BIO130.
Recommended prerequisites:
Knowledge of human anatomy and physiology equivalent to HFX201.
Mandatory activity:
The two first lectures are compulsory.
Final written exam (3 hrs) with exercises from central parts of the curriculum.
Nominal workload:
Lectures: 20 hrs per semester, group activities: 60 hrs per semester, self studies: 210 hrs per semester, total: 300 hrs.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
The course overlaps 5 credits with the previous course MVI390, and 1 credit with the previous course MVI390B.
Type of course:
Lectures: 2 hrs/week. Group activities: 4 hrs/week.
An external examiner will assess a minimum of 25 selected exam papers.
Allowed examination aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Written exam: A - E / F