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Pathogens and Disease

The second module of the course covers host factors that determine the outcome of infection. We will first focus on host immunity and present both the general immune capabilities—the innate immune response—that are encoded in our genes and that provide the initial response to infection and the adaptive immune response, which arises from highly specialized cells that protect against a specific pathogen. You will then learn about the ways that pathogens circumvent these two types of immunity and consider other factors that can contribute to an individual becoming infected or diseased—including genetic factors, other microbes, and how social and emotional factors influence immunity. We will then consider how infection with a microorganism causes disease and how public health officials determine whether a disease outbreak is caused by an infectious organism.

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