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Applied Immunology

3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4007950FNR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

Information about this course is applicable on academic year 2017-2018.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method

Grading (scale from 0 to 20)

Can retake in second session
Enrollment requirements
Following courses are mutually exclusive: "Recombinant Antibody Engineering" and "Applied Immunology".
Taught in
Faculty of Science and Bio-engineering Sciences
Responsible organisation
Bio-Engineering Sciences
Educational Team:
Activities and contact hours
  • 26 contact hours Lecture
Course content

Part Immunochemistry /molecular immunology (Prof. S. Muyldermans):

We give a detailed overview of the structural aspects en specific properties of various antribody formats. Specifically, we discuss the detailed composition of immunoglobulins and their modular structure, the folding of the Ig domain en the canonical antigen binding loop structures. The various kinetic and equilibrium binding parameters and their role is discussed.

Starting from the natural generation of the antibody repertoire we give an overview of the possibilities to improve identified antibodies in terms of affinity, stability, specificity, humanisation etc... or by generating smaller recombinant antibody fragments of improved potency and applicability.

We end the course by a discussion of camelid heavy chain antibodies and their derived single domain antigen binding fragments including their benefit in diagnostic, therapy and biotechnology


Part Vaccine technology (Prof. J. Van Ginderachter):

This part of the course provides an Introduction to the basic principles of vaccine technology. More specifically, following topics will be dealt with: (1) overview of the existing vaccines and the types of infectious diseases kept under control by vaccination. This will include an insight in the type of immune response needed to prevent an infectious agent from causing illness. (2) a historic overview of vaccine development. (3) vaccine requirements and classifications. (4) biological working mechanisms of vaccines and adjuvants. (5) anti-tumor vaccines and anti-tumor immunotherapy. (6) safety issues & regulations. (7) case study: insight in to the roadmap for the development of a particular vaccine.

Course material
  • Digital course material (Required): Cursusnota's en getoonde powerpointpresentatie
  • Course text (Recommended): Gedeelte Vaccintechnologie
  • Course text (Recommended): Gedeelte Immunochemie
  • Digital course material (Required): Kopij van de uitgeschreven cursus en getoonde figuren
Additional info
Part Immunochemistry:

Course notes and powerpointpresentation shown during classes are available at pointcarre.

Part Vaccine technology:

Course notes and powerpointpresentation shown during classes are available at pointcarre.

Complementary study material:

Part Immunochemistry:

Review articles in international journals.

Part Vaccine technology:

Recent articles in international peer-reveiwed journals.
Programme Objectives

General competencies

The students:

understand the most important structural properties of the variable and constant domains of immunoglobulins

are able to explain the generation of an endless paratope repertoire

to describe the possibilities to generate smaller antigen binding fragments

or to describe the techniques to generate humanised antibodies

The students are able to give a balanced overview of the employed techniques to improve the affinity or stability of existing antibodies.

or how single domain antibody fragments in camelids or shark generate a large antibody repertoire and understand the advantages of single domain antibody fragments



- Students understand the basic components of a vaccine and can link these components to the functionality of a vaccine

- Students are able to clarify the relationship between the type of infectious agent and the type of immune responses needed to defend ourselves against this pathogen. Linked to this, the students are able to reason which type of vaccine is required for which type of infection.

- The students are able to define the working mechanisms of the most commonly used vaccines and adjuvants. The student can reason which type of adjuvant would be most suitable for the development of a vaccine against which type of pathogen.

- The students are able to argue about the most important pitfalls of anti-tumor immunotherapy and can provide potential solutions.

- The students are able to define the most common safety issues and regulations for the development of vaccines. This includes an understanding of the different steps in clinical trials.

- The students can describe and understand the necessity of the different developmental steps of a vaccine in an industrial environment.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:

  • Oral Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

Immunochemie with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 50% of the final mark.

Note: Voorbeel van examenvraag:
Rol van affiniteitsparameters (KD, kon, koff) tussen antigen/antilichaam in verschillende toepassingen en hoe kan je deze parameters wijzigen.

Vaccintechnologie with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 50% of the final mark.

Note: Hierbij wordt een zelf gekozen artikel dat verband houdt met de cursus, voorgesteld en worden vragen rond het artikels gesteld teneinde te peilen naar de algemene kennis van de kandidaat.

Additional info with regard to grading
Part Immunochemistry:

Oral examination.

Part Vaccine technology:

Oral.  An article, chosen by the student, in relation with the course shall be presented and will be followed by questionings to determine the general knowledge of the candidate.