2023-2024 / MICR0004-1

Bacterial pathogenesis


15h Th

Number of credits

 Master in bio-informatics and modelling (120 ECTS)2 crédits 
 Master in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology (120 ECTS)2 crédits 



Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

SECTION I: Approaches to the study of bacterial pathogenesis

  • Microbes and disease: establishing a connection
  • Models for studying bacterial pathogenesis
  • Strategies for identifying bacterial pathogenicity genes
  • Genetics determinants of bacterial pathogenicity
SECTION II: Bacterial adherence: role of adhesins in the context of bacterial pathogenesis
  • Fimbrial adhesins: adhesive molecules on a "stalk"
  • Non-pilus (non fimbrial) adhesins
  • Biofilms: the story of microbial communities

SECTION III: Poisoning the host by toxins
  • Toxins damaging cellular membranes: paradigms and molecular features
  • Toxins acting on intracellular targets

SECTION IV: Cellular invasion by bacterial pathogens
  • Mechanism of bacterial entry into host cells
  • The bacterial life in a vacuole
  • The bacterial life in the cytosol

SECTION V: Bacterial evasion of host defences
  • Bacterial handling of host nutrients: the iron paradigm
  • Bacterial escape from the complement system
  • Bacterial resistance to antimicrobial peptides
  • Bacteria-induced host cell death

SECTION VI : Specific bacterial pathogens
  • Staphylococcus aureus: many types of staphylococcal infection
  • Escherichia coli : lmany types of infecton
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Group A and Group B Streptococcus
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Successful completion of this course should enable students to:

  • demonstrate broad knowledge of the cellular and molecular bases of bacterial host pathogen interactions;
  • describe the principal mechanisms by which specific bacterial pathogens infect their hosts and cause disease.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Courses of general bacteriology and of bacterial physiology and genetics

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)


Recommended or required readings

Reference book Bacterial Pathogenesis. A molecular approach Brenda A. Wilson, Abigail A. Salyers and Dixie D. Whitt, Malcom E. Winkler Third edtion ISBN 978-1-55581-418-2

Any session :

- In-person

oral exam

- Remote

oral exam

- If evaluation in "hybrid"

preferred in-person

Additional information:

Oral exam

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Adresse ULiège : Bât. B6A Centre d'ingénierie des protéines Quartier Agora allée du six Août 11 4000 Liège 1 Belgique Tél. ULiège : +32 4 3669654 Fax ULiège : +32 4 3663364 Courriel : jddocquier@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs