Review the theory of the immune response, including lymphocyte trafficking, acute inflammation, and antigen presentation, as well as clinical applications of immunology, including primary immunodeficiencies, hypersensitivity disease, and transplantation. 

Mary Ruebush, PhD · February 8, 2020
The goal of the human immune system is to identify microbial invasion and/or cell injury and implement a sequence of steps to remove invaders and injured cells in order to repair current and prevent future tissue injury. This high-yield course reviews concepts of Immunology for the Step 1 exam.

Learning Objectives

  • Theory of the Immune Response
    • Name the cellular and anatomical components of the innate and adaptive arms of the immune response
    • Explain the role of chemokines and adhesion molecules in lymphocyte trafficking.
    • Enumerate the complex signals between the innate immune response and the bridge to adaptive immune response.
    • Describe the structure, loading, and function of the Class I and II HLA molecules.
    • Explain the complex signaling from the initial injury/infection site which results in the activation of the classical and alternative pathways of APC activation.
    • Explain the signals delivered downstream from APC which cause the stimulation of the main TH populations (TH1 and TH2) and lesser TH cells (Treg, TH17, TH9, Tfh).
    • Explain the outcome of the stimulation of different TH populations on the outcome of immune stimulation at the organismal level.
    • Explain the molecular signaling necessary to stimulate the APC1-TH1 pathway and name the infectious or pathological situations in which it would be important.
    • Name the 4 effector mechanisms within CMI and give examples of when each would be important.

  • Clinical Applications of Immunology
    • Describe the types of immunotherapies which are used in medicine.
    • Know the contents of the bacterial and viral vaccines, and the strategies for their use.
    • Describe the pros and cons of the 3 categories of viral vaccines as pertains to their safety and immunogenicity.
    • Be able to list the common pediatric vaccines and explain how they work at the molecular level.
    • Explain the role of the hapten/carrier effect in the HiB, PCV and MCV4 vaccines.
    • Know the contraindications for the major vaccines.
    • Predict the vaccination protocol for special risk and elderly patients and explain why they are used.
    • Diagnose the primary immunodeficiencies of phagocytes, B and T lymphocytes and severe combined immunodeficiencies and explain their patient presentation and therapy down to the molecular basis.
    • Explain the standard protocols for anti-microbial prophylaxis depending on CD4 count and relate them to the decline in the immune response.
    • Explain how to interpret data from these sources to diagnose immune or microbial disease.

Course Content

Expand All
Theory of the Immune Response
Clinical Applications of Immunology

About Instructor

Mary Ruebush, PhD

Dr. Mary Ruebush, PhD, is one of the nation's most experienced instructors in Microbiology and Inmunology for USMLE Step 1 review. Dr. Ruebush is the author of Becker's Step 1 USMLE lecture notes in Inmunology and Microbiology, and from 2000 to 2012 was the author of the Kaplan Step 1 Review Notes. Dr. Ruebush received her PhD from the University of Georgia and has taugh Infectious Disease, Inmunology and Pathology at Bowman-Gray Medical School, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Montana State University, where she received the outstanding teacher of the year award as a professor of medical science at the WWAMI Cooperative Medical School Program. Since 1990, she has taught Board Reviews for Rush Medical College (ARC Ventures), Kaplan Medical and Becker Healthcare, has helped thousands of students excel on their Step 1 USMLE exams and is the proud parent of two successful present and future MDs.

7 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 14 Lessons
  • 4 Topics
  • 15 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate