Course ObjectiveThis course aims to offer understanding in the interaction of microbial
pathogens with their host and how infections with these pathogens can be
treated. The use of antimicrobials as well as the rational of
antimicrobial guidelines associated with antibiotic/antimicrobial
resistance will be discussed. Furthermore, the emerging problems of
antibiotic resistance, the discovery of new antibiotics and the process
of bringing these new compounds into the clinic will be covered.
After this course the student can:
-Discuss Host-microbial interactions.
-Discuss the problems associated with antibiotic/ antimicrobial
-Apply and explain methods to test pathogens for drug susceptibility,
including tests used for detecting specific resistance mechanisms.
-Explain how new antibiotics are identified, developed, approved and
brought to the clinic.
-Explain and discuss the problems involved in developing and using anti-
viral agents for HIV.
-Present and discuss critically read scientific articles dealing with
antibiotic development from 1940 till 2017.
Course ContentThe emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens is a
major health threat that is often discussed in the media. Yet, the
development of new antibiotics with new working mechanisms only
decreased over the past decades. Why is the generation of new
antimicrobials so difficult?
In this course we will first look at the use of antimicrobials (with an
emphasis on antibiotics) in the clinic and the emergence and spread of
antibiotic resistance among human pathogens. How do clinicians decide
which antibiotics to use, how do you minimize the development and
especially the spread of antibiotic resistance?
In the second part of the course we will focus on the isolation of new
antibiotics. What is a good drug target? What is a good compound? And
how do you set up screens to find compounds blocking these new targets?
In the last part of the course we will focus on the roadblocks and
bottlenecks you will encounter once you have identified a new active
compound, i.e. what factors are crucial to make a successful
introduction of new compounds in the clinic.
This course aims to provide a thorough understanding of antibiotic usage
and development of new antibiotics. At the same time knowledge on the
evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance will be provided. It aims
to equip students with the specialized knowledge necessary to understand
the primary literature and all different aspects of this topic.
Teaching MethodsThe course has three different parts: lectures, practicals and
Literature Work-group: 12h
Method of AssessmentTwo partial Exams (open questions & multiple choice), together they form
the Exam. The Exam constitutes 80% of the final mark. In addition, the
mark of the exam must be >5.50 in order to pass the course.
The literature assignment is examined by a presentation and discussion.
For the assignment the students work in groups. The mark of the
assignment constitutes 20% of final mark.
LiteratureTo be announced in Canvas (book or reader)
Target AudienceStudents interested in infectious diseases and/or microbiology and/or
Additional InformationThe course is coordinated by dr. Coen Kuijl. The subthemes are
coordinated by: dr. Karin van Dijk (clinical microbiology), dr. Edith
Houben (discovery of new antibiotic targets, workgroups), prof. dr.
Wilbert Bitter and dr. Coen Kuijl (development of antibiotics
from bench to bedside, workgroups). All educational activities will be
provided by the experts in the field of clinical microbiology,
microbiology, infectious diseases, and medicinal chemistry both from the
VU University, VU University Medical Center and from other universities
This course is part of a minor with a limited number of participants.
Students taking the whole minor have priority.
Custom Course RegistrationThe registration for the literature assignment will follow in Canvas during the course.
Explanation CanvasThe final and leading schedule will be posted in Canvas.
Recommended background knowledgeBachelor's courses covering Microbiology and Molecular Biology with
theoretical knowledge of different classes of microbial pathogens.
Furthermore practical skills of handling microorganisms safely is highly
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||drs. C.P. Kuijl|
|Examiner||drs. C.P. Kuijl|
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Study Group, Lecture, Practical|