cod. 1007990

Academic year 2020/21
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Microbiologia e microbiologia clinica (MED/07)
Discipline biotecnologiche comuni
Type of training activity
42 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course aims to allow the student to know and understand basic notions and updated scientific knowledge about anti-infective vaccinology, relevant existing vaccines, biotechnological vaccines (characteristics and development), existing biotechnological tools in vaccinology, and provide the ability to use in occupational contexts the knowledge and understanding acquired in the field.


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Course unit content

Principles and immunological basis of vaccinology. Relevant anti-infective available or experimental vaccines. Biotechnological vaccines and their design. Rational design. Reverse vaccinology. Available biotechnological vaccines. Recombinant bacteriophages and bacteria as vaccines and vaccine delivery vectors. Plant-based vaccines. Main vaccine problems still not resolved. Routes of administration. Adjuvants.

Full programme

Introduction: principles and immunological basis of vaccinology.
Adjuvants. Routes of administration.
Main available anti-infective vaccines: live-attenuated (smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, influenza, typhoid fever), killed-inactivated (poliomyelitis, influenza, hepatitis A), anatoxins (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), subunits, purified antigens.
Rational design, biotechnological vaccines and their design (polysaccharide-conjugate Ags, recombinant Ags).
Main available biotechnological vaccines: HBV, HPV, rotavirus, polysaccharide-conjugated vaccines (Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae).
Anti-influenza vaccines (egg-based, cell-based, recombinant).
Reverse (anti-N. meningitidis group B vaccine) and stuctural vaccinology.
Calendar of vaccinations in Italy.
Experimental vaccines (DNA, anti-idiotypic).
Plant-based vaccines.
Recombinant bacteriophges and bacteria as vaccines and vaccine delivery vectors; viral vectors.
Relevant unresolved issues: experimental anti-fungal and anti-mycotoxin vaccines; malaria, ebola, HCV and HIV; biotechnologies for outbreak-response vaccination, potential applications of biotechnology against SARS-CoV-2.


Iconographic material used during lectures. Reviews on specific topics. References on specific subjects provided during lectures.

Teaching methods

The topics concerning the contents of the course will be presented and discussed through lectures with the help of iconographic material collected in PowerPoint files which, at the end of the course, will be made available to the students. During the lessons the main concepts of each topic will be exposed, emphasizing the links between the various parts of the course and encouraging the active participation of the students.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of the achievement of the objectives foreseen by the course will be carried out through an oral examination. Questions on the topics relating to the course will be used to verify whether the student has achieved the objective of knowledge and understanding the scientific discipline and is able to use the technical-scientific language in an appropriate manner and to apply in occupational contexts the knowledge acquired. Failure to answer to one question, or proven inability to demonstrate at least a basic knowledge on the subject, will prevent the successful completion of the exam. Upon successful completion of the examination, a grade, expressed in thirtieths, will be attributed according to the degree of achievement of the objectives (excellent, good, fair, fully sufficient, barely sufficient). The honors will be given to students who have demonstrated high communication skills and autonomous learning. The result of the examination is communicated immediately to the student, and, after its immediate acceptance, is then published on the ESSE3 portal (

Other information

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