KS5 Infection, Immunity & Forensics

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Topic 6: Infection, Immunity & Forensics
Learning Objectives

Pupils should be able to:

  1. Explain how to determine the time of death of a mammal by examining the extent of decomposition, stage of succession, forensic entomology, body temperature and degree of muscle contraction.
  2.  Know the role of micro-organisms in the decomposition of organic matter and the recycling of carbon.
  3. Know how DNA profiling is used for identification and determining genetic relationships between organisms (plants and animals).
  4. Know how DNA can be amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
  5. Compare the structure of bacteria and viruses.
  6. Explain how Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infect human cells, causing a sequence of symptoms that may result in death.
  7. Describe the non-specific responses of the body to infection, including inflammation, lysozyme action, interferon, and phagocytosis.
  8. Explain the roles of antigens and antibodies in the body’s immune response including the involvement of plasma cells, macrophages and antigen-presenting cells.
  9. Identify the differences between the roles of B cells (B memory and B effector cells) and T cells (T helper, T killer and T memory cells) in the body’s immune response.
  10. Describe how one gene can give rise to more than one protein through  posttranscriptional changes to messenger RNA (mRNA).
  11. Identify the major routes pathogens may take when entering the body and describe the role of barriers in protecting the body from infection, including skin, stomach acid, and gut and skin flora.
  12. Explain how individuals may develop immunity (natural, artificial, active, passive).
  13. Explain how the theory of an ‘evolutionary race’ between pathogens and their hosts is supported by the evasion mechanisms shown by pathogens.
  14. Identify the difference between bacteriostatic and bactericidal antibiotics.
  15. Discuss how an understanding of the contributory causes of hospital acquired infections have led to codes of practice regarding antibiotic prescription and hospital practice that relate to infection prevention and control.


  • Use gel electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments of different length.


  • Investigate the effect of different antibiotics on bacteria.

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