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BND2042 - Nutrition and immunology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Professor Jenny Rolland (Pathology & Immunology) & Ms Vicki Barrington (Nutrition & Dietetics)


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


The aim of this unit is to provide students with a basic understanding of immunology, its role in the development of human disease and the clinical interface between immune processes and nutrition. The unit will provide an overview of humoral and cellular immune responses. It will also cover cells of the immune system and the mechanisms of immune reactions followed by an examination of how these processes may be affected by nutritional deficiencies.


At the completion of this unit the students will be able to:

  1. explain the basic components, structure and function of the immune system;
  2. compare the various recognition and effector mechanisms involved in humoral and cellular immune responses and describe how these may be affected by the availability of nutrients;
  3. indicate the rule of cytokines and chemokines in inflammatory processes and disease states;
  4. explain the varied techniques used in common immunological assays;
  5. compare the effects of nutrient deficiencies on immune function in infancy, old age and normal adult life;
  6. Describe the nutritive value of breast milk and indicate the basis fro its protective rule against infectious disease;
  7. compare food allergy with food intolerance and design, experience and discuss a restrictive diet suitable to the nutritional therapy of one of these conditions;
  8. explain the concepts of self-tolerance and immune homeostasis and describe the development of type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease as two examples of autoimmune disease states;
  9. examine mechanisms for immune defense against micro-organisms and viruses and describe the nutritional care of patients with trauma, sepsis and HIV/AIDS;
  10. differentiate between different types of organ transplant, understand basic transplant rejection mechanisms and explain the role of nutrition in the care of transplant patients;
  11. demonstrate reflective and critical thinking and problem solving skills in response to case descriptions of nutritional conditions in which immunological processes are relevant;
  12. demonstrate effective teamwork and oral presentation skills to a 'competent' rather than 'beginner' level;
  13. exhibit critical thinking in reviewing the scientific literature.


Examination: 40%
Case study and practical reports: 30%
Essay: 15%
Elimination diet report: 15%

Contact hours

2 hours per week (lectures)