Immune Evasion: How Sneaky Pathogens Avoid Host Surveillance

Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast being endocytosed and destroyed by dendritic cells.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts (green) in process of being endocytosed and destroyed by dendritic cells (plasma membrane in red, nucleus in blue). (Photomicrograph courtesy of Dr. Eduardo Guillen and Jianzhu Chen. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2004



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Highlights

A full bibliography is included in the readings section of this course.

This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching. The instructor for this course, Dr. Halme, is a member of the HHMI Education Group.

Course Description

Every infection consists of a battle between the invading pathogen and the resisting host. To be successful, a pathogen must escape the many defenses of the host immune system until it can replicate and spread to another host. A pathogen must prevent one of three stages of immune function: detection, activation, or effector function. Examples of disease-specific immune evasion and the mechanisms used by pathogens to prevail over their hosts' immune systems are discussed. Also considered is what these host-pathogen interactions reveal about the normal function of the immune system and basic cell biological processes, such as protein maturation and degradation.

Related Content

Dina Halme. 7.340 Immune Evasion: How Sneaky Pathogens Avoid Host Surveillance. Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.