PATHOLOGICAL MECHANISM OF SKIN DISORDERS

Letizia Fracchia (12 h – 2 ECTS)

In 2004 she received the title of PhD in Environmental Science at the Department of Science and Advanced Technologies (UPO). Currently, she is Assistant Professor of General Microbiology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). Her main research interests include biosurfactant-based coatings for the inhibition of microbial adhesion and multi-species biofilms on materials for medical use, the lipoaspirate as an antimicrobial and bioactive scaffold in wound healing, activity of cosmetic products preservatives on skin microbiota and the study of the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity of Guayule resin.

Academic lecturers: 4

Guest lecturers: 2

Laboratory: 6

Chiara Porta (18 h – 3 ECTS)

She received her PhD in Biotechnology applied at the Medical Sciences, at the University of Milan in 2003. In 2002 she visited the Laboratorie d’Oncologie Virale, directed by Dr Mounirà Chelbi-Alix, at the Institute André Lwoff, CNRS, Villejuif, France. She worked as Post-Doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology directed by Professor Sica at Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, at Istituto Clinico Humanitas and at UPO. Since 2011, she is Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). Her research has been mainly focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the functional link between inflammation and cancer.

Academic lecturers: 10

Guest lecturers: 8

Laboratory: 0

Title Pathological mechanisms of skin disorders (5 ECTS)
Program

Microbial life on skin: importance for human health and implications in skin diseases.

Structure and functions of the healthy human skin microbiota. Definition of Microbiota and Microbiome and overview of the principal methodologies to study the human microbiota.

Skin microorganisms or communities with and adverse or sickening effect on their hosts. Abiotic and biotic factors affecting the skin flora and skin disease. Skin disinfection. Strategies to manipulate the skin microbiota for therapeutic reasons.

Microbial biofilms and skin infections. New strategies to limit microbial invasion.

Fracchia L. – 4 hours

The good and the bad: a close sight to some microorganisms belonging to skin microbiota and to those involved in skin diseases.

Theory and practice of cultivation on selective media, observation of colonies morphology, Gram-staining and observation of slides by optical microscopy, techniques for biofilm growth. Isolation and identification of microorganisms from skin surface. 

Fracchia L. – 6 hours (laboratory)

The interest of the cosmetics industry for the skin microbiota: a trend of the moment or the starting point for future innovation?

Guest lecturer – 2 hours

 

Skin immunity.

Overview of the immunological anatomy of the epidermis and derma with a particular focus on cutaneous macrophages, T cells and dendritic cell (DC) biology under steady state and skin disorders

Porta C. and guest lecturer – 5 hours

Inflammatory skin disorders.

Mechanisms driving tolerance and pathogenic bases of autoimmune diseases.

Pathogenesis, current therapeutic options and new potential therapeutic targets of the major autoimmune skin diseases, including alopecia areata, vitiligo and psoriasis.

Mechanisms driving hypersensitivity reactions. Pathogenesis, current therapeutic options and new potential therapeutic targets of the main skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis.

Porta C. and guest lecturer – 5 hours

Infectious skin diseases.

Pathogenic mechanisms underpinning the most common bacterial fungal and viral (HPV, HSV, MCV), infections.

Porta C. and guest lecturer – 4 hours

Immunology of transplants.

Tolerance, rejection and graft versus host diseases

Porta C – 1 hour

Wound healing.

The role of macrophages and iron metabolism, humoral arm of innate immunity, mesenchymal stem cells.

Guest lecturer – 3 hours

Textbooks

Prerequisite (to be studied before the course begins): Michael T. Madigan, Kelly S. Bender, Daniel H. Buckley, W. Matthew Sattley, David A. Stahl – Brock Biology of Microorganisms – Pearson – 2018 (XV edition).

Andreas Schwiertz – Microbiota of the Human Body: Implications in Health and Disease -Springer Verlag – 2016 (I edition)

Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 9th Edition. Authors: Abul Abbas Andrew H. Lichtman Shiv Pillai.

Selected scientific papers published by top ranking journals on the topic (e.g. Mucosal Immunology, British Journal of Dermatology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology).

The slides of the lectures and additional material such as scientific publications, laboratory protocols etc. will be available to students.

Objectives

The course aims to:

– provide students with adequate information about the skin as an ecosystem, the structure and function of the skin microbiota and factors affecting the microbial flora of the skin.

– provide students with the basis for the understanding of the main microbial skin pathogens/host interaction mechanisms, microbial skin infections, microbial life in biofilms and their adverse effects on health.

– provide students with the instruments for the application of some of the principal methods concerning bacterial and fungal cells cultivation and microscopic observation.

– provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of skin immunity and of the pathological mechanisms underpinning the most common skin disorders.

– provide students with the competences to address unmet clinical needs by suggesting experimental approaches that could be taken to identify new targets/approaches and to analyse their therapeutic potential.

Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of microbial cell biology, genetic and metabolism that can be acquired by studying the textbook “Brock Biology of Microorganisms” and by pre-course intensive tutoring.

Basic knowledge of cell biology and immunology is mandatory and can be acquired by pre-course intensive tutoring.

Anatomy, physiology and molecular biology are recommended.

Teaching methods Lectures, seminars held by experts in the field, flipped classroom based on journal club discussion, lab practicals.
Expected Results

At the end of the course, the student will acquire theoretical knowledge and understanding about the composition and the role of the physiological human skin microbiota as well as about the skin microorganisms or communities with adverse effect on human health and the main strategies to limit microbial invasion.

The student will acquire the instruments for the application of the acquired knowledge to critically analyse and discuss clinical and experimental themes in the field of skin microbial diseases and for the application of some of the principal methods for cultivation and observation of microorganisms.

The student will gain independence of judgment on the different topics addressed during the course, knowledge of their possible applications and repercussions in other scientific fields and skills regarding the verbal and written communication by the use of specific scientific and technical language.

The student will acquire theoretical knowledge and understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning cutaneous immunity, pathogenesis of inflammatory and infectious skin disorders and wound healing.

The student will acquire the specific scientific terminology and application of the acquired knowledge to critically analyse and discuss clinical and experimental data in the field of skin immunity and disorders.

Finally, the student will gain competence to conceptually design small research projects aimed to: 1) discover new targets, 2) study the therapeutic potential of a given target 3) evaluate new approaches to target key pathogenic events.

Exam modality The exam mark will be composed of two parts:

  • A written part that will be aimed at evaluating the knowledge and notions acquired during the lectures, seminars and laboratories (50% of the mark); the test will consist of 6 open questions (answers of 100-150 words maximum) and 12  multiple choice questions (with one true answer). The questions will be aimed at evaluating the knowledge and notions acquired by the student and will be distributed according to the two topics of the course (microbiology and pathology).

At each open question a maximum score of 3 points will be assigned. For multiple choice questions, 1 point will be obtained for the correct answer, whereas wrong or blank answers will be evaluated 0 points (maximum score will be 30 points). 

  • A written and interdisciplinary essay that will evaluate the ability of the students to apply the acquired knowledge and literature knowledge to critically address a microbiological theme and its impact on selected skin disorders (50% of the mark).  The topics will be defined in the second half of November and the assays will be due on the same day of the exam. Students will work in teams of 3-4 students (maximum score will be 30 points).

The final score will be given by the arithmetic average of the marks obtained in the two parts of the exam.

TITLE

Pathological mechanisms of skin disorders (5 ECTS)

 

PROGRAM

Microbial life on skin: importance for human health and implications in skin diseases.

Structure and functions of the healthy human skin microbiota. Definition of Microbiota and Microbiome and overview of the principal methodologies to study the human microbiota.

Skin microorganisms or communities with and adverse or sickening effect on their hosts. Abiotic and biotic factors affecting the skin flora and skin disease. Skin disinfection. Strategies to manipulate the skin microbiota for therapeutic reasons.

Microbial biofilms and skin infections. New strategies to limit microbial invasion.

Fracchia L. – 4 hours

The good and the bad: a close sight to some microorganisms belonging to skin microbiota and to those involved in skin diseases.

Theory and practice of cultivation on selective media, observation of colonies morphology, Gram-staining and observation of slides by optical microscopy, techniques for biofilm growth. Isolation and identification of microorganisms from skin surface.

Fracchia L. – 6 hours (laboratory)

The interest of the cosmetics industry for the skin microbiota: a trend of the moment or the starting point for future innovation?

Guest lecturer – 2 hours

 

Skin immunity.

Overview of the immunological anatomy of the epidermis and derma with a particular focus on cutaneous macrophages, T cells and dendritic cell (DC) biology under steady state and skin disorders

Porta C. and guest lecturer – 5 hours

Inflammatory skin disorders.

Mechanisms driving tolerance and pathogenic bases of autoimmune diseases.

Pathogenesis, current therapeutic options and new potential therapeutic targets of the major autoimmune skin diseases, including alopecia areata, vitiligo and psoriasis.

Mechanisms driving hypersensitivity reactions. Pathogenesis, current therapeutic options and new potential therapeutic targets of the main skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis.

Porta C. and guest lecturer – 5 hours

Infectious skin diseases.

Pathogenic mechanisms underpinning the most common bacterial fungal and viral (HPV, HSV, MCV), infections.

Porta C. and guest lecturer – 4 hours

Immunology of transplants.

Tolerance, rejection and graft versus host diseases

Porta C – 1 hour

Wound healing.

The role of macrophages and iron metabolism, humoral arm of innate immunity, mesenchymal stem cells.

Guest lecturer – 3 hours

TEXTBOOKS

Prerequisite (to be studied before the course begins): Michael T. Madigan, Kelly S. Bender, Daniel H. Buckley, W. Matthew Sattley, David A. Stahl – Brock Biology of Microorganisms – Pearson – 2018 (XV edition).

Andreas Schwiertz – Microbiota of the Human Body: Implications in Health and Disease -Springer Verlag – 2016 (I edition)

Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 9th Edition. Authors: Abul Abbas Andrew H. Lichtman Shiv Pillai.

Selected scientific papers published by top ranking journals on the topic (e.g. Mucosal Immunology, British Journal of Dermatology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology).

The slides of the lectures and additional material such as scientific publications, laboratory protocols etc. will be available to students.

OBJECTIVES

The course aims to:

– provide students with adequate information about the skin as an ecosystem, the structure and function of the skin microbiota and factors affecting the microbial flora of the skin.

– provide students with the basis for the understanding of the main microbial skin pathogens/host interaction mechanisms, microbial skin infections, microbial life in biofilms and their adverse effects on health.

– provide students with the instruments for the application of some of the principal methods concerning bacterial and fungal cells cultivation and microscopic observation.

– provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of skin immunity and of the pathological mechanisms underpinning the most common skin disorders.

– provide students with the competences to address unmet clinical needs by suggesting experimental approaches that could be taken to identify new targets/approaches and to analyse their therapeutic potential.

PREREQUISITES

Basic knowledge of microbial cell biology, genetic and metabolism that can be acquired by studying the textbook “Brock Biology of Microorganisms” and by pre-course intensive tutoring.

Basic knowledge of cell biology and immunology is mandatory and can be acquired by pre-course intensive tutoring.

Anatomy, physiology and molecular biology are recommended.

TEACHING METHODS

Lectures, seminars held by experts in the field, flipped classroom based on journal club discussion, lab practicals.

EXPECTED RESULTS

At the end of the course, the student will acquire theoretical knowledge and understanding about the composition and the role of the physiological human skin microbiota as well as about the skin microorganisms or communities with adverse effect on human health and the main strategies to limit microbial invasion.

The student will acquire the instruments for the application of the acquired knowledge to critically analyse and discuss clinical and experimental themes in the field of skin microbial diseases and for the application of some of the principal methods for cultivation and observation of microorganisms.

The student will gain independence of judgment on the different topics addressed during the course, knowledge of their possible applications and repercussions in other scientific fields and skills regarding the verbal and written communication by the use of specific scientific and technical language.

The student will acquire theoretical knowledge and understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning cutaneous immunity, pathogenesis of inflammatory and infectious skin disorders and wound healing.

The student will acquire the specific scientific terminology and application of the acquired knowledge to critically analyse and discuss clinical and experimental data in the field of skin immunity and disorders.

Finally, the student will gain competence to conceptually design small research projects aimed to: 1) discover new targets, 2) study the therapeutic potential of a given target 3) evaluate new approaches to target key pathogenic events.

EXAM MODALITY

The exam mark will be composed of two parts:

  • A written part that will be aimed at evaluating the knowledge and notions acquired during the lectures, seminars and laboratories (50% of the mark); the test will consist of 6 open questions (answers of 100-150 words maximum) and 12  multiple choice questions (with one true answer). The questions will be aimed at evaluating the knowledge and notions acquired by the student and will be distributed according to the two topics of the course (microbiology and pathology).

At each open question a maximum score of 3 points will be assigned. For multiple choice questions, 1 point will be obtained for the correct answer, whereas wrong or blank answers will be evaluated 0 points (maximum score will be 30 points).

  • A written and interdisciplinary essay that will evaluate the ability of the students to apply the acquired knowledge and literature knowledge to critically address a microbiological theme and its impact on selected skin disorders (50% of the mark).  The topics will be defined in the second half of November and the assays will be due on the same day of the exam. Students will work in teams of 3-4 students (maximum score will be 30 points).

The final score will be given by the arithmetic average of the marks obtained in the two parts of the exam.

Last modified: November 06, 2019