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Bacterial Pathogenesis


Bacterial Pathogenesis

Raquel Sá-Leão
Mónica Serrano



  1. Understand the mode of action of major bacterial virulence factors.
  2. Identify key defense and evasion mechanisms used by bacteria upon contact with the host.
  3. Address the problem of antibiotic resistance; identify the bacterial targets for the major classes of antibiotics, and the corresponding resistance mechanisms developed by bacteria.
  4. Identify bacterial pathogens associated with high mortality and morbidity and get acquainted with their epidemiology.
  5. Reflect about the usefulness of whole genome sequencing as a tool in bacterial pathogenesis.
  6. Understand the importance of vaccines and vaccination.
  7. Understand current challenges of biosafety, biosecurity and bioterrorism.
  8. Foster the ability to critically read scientific literature.
  9. Foster the ability to design a research project and communicate it.


1. Introduction to bacterial pathogenesis

2. Antimicrobial agens and antimicrobial resistance

3. Biofilms

4. Bacterial evasion and defenses.

5. Virulence factors.

6. Epidemiology of bacterial pathogens associated with high mortality and morbidity

7. Vaccines and vaccination

8. Whole genome sequencing as a tool to the study of bacterial pathogenesis

9. Biosecurity and bioterrorism


  1. Class participation: 30%
  2. Project preparation and presentation: 70% final grade (to be awarded individually)

Main Bibliography

  1. Bacterial Pathogenesis : a molecular approach. Brenda A. Wilson, Abigail A. Salyers, Dixie D. Whitt, Malcolm E. Winkler. 2019 4th edition, ASM Press, Washington DC.
  2. High impact magazines such as Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Microbiology Reviews, Nature Microbiology, PLoS Pathogens, PNAS, Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Trends in Molecular Microbiology.



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