Immunology and Serology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MLT 117

       Course Name: Immunology and Serology

       Credits: 1 (0.5 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

MLT 105, 106, 111, and 112, with a minimum grade of C in each course.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course includes classroom lecture and laboratory course in immunology and serology. Content includes factors involved in host response to a specific challenge with a foreign antigen; focus of serology portion of course is on detection of disease and pregnancy based on antigen-antibody reactions, using a variety of immunologic methods.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:


  1. Summarize the components of the immune system and the roles of various white blood cells in host defenses.
  2. Compare basic principles and concepts of active and passive immunity as they apply to antigens, antigen presentation, antibodies, dendritic cells, B and T lymphs and NK cells, the humoral response, primary and secondary responses in humoral immunity, cell-mediated immunity and cytokines.
  3. Compare the five types of classes of immunoglobulins (antibodies), their basic structure, parts and function.
  4. Summarize complement, its activation, and biological functions as presented in lectures and readings.
  5. Compare acute phase reactants including CRP; compare their role in host defenses.
  6. Relate the basic principle of natural immunity with reference to susceptibility & non-susceptibility, epithelial barriers.
  7. Compare various immune system diseases and deficiencies.


  1. Compare in vitro antigen-antibody reactions and methods including precipitation, agglutination, labeled assays including enzyme immunoassays and immunofluorescence, electrophoresis, immunoelectrophoresis, and serial titers.
  2. Compare the spirochete diseases including the causative organism, the antigens and antibodies used in testing for the disease, and the correlation of treatment with serological test results.
  3. Summarize the relationship of Yaws, Pinta, and Bejel to the syphilitic diseases.
  4. Compare the principles of serological tests for syphilis including reagin testing (VDRL and RPR), Treponemal testing, such as FTA-ABS and MHA-TP, and the enzyme immunoassay testing available.
  5. Differentiate the properties and significance of Streptolysin O, the significance of the antistreptolysin reaction and the principles for the tests for antistreptolysin O and other Streptococcal related antibodies.
  6. Trace the development of heterophil antibodies in infectious mononucleosis. Compare the principles of the Paul Bunnell test, Davidsohn differential test, monotest and monodiff tests.
  7. State the relationship of the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) to infectious mononucleosis and other diseases and describe     serological tests specific to the EBV.
  8. Identify the IM mimic diseases and the tests that are done to help differentiate them.
  9. List the properties of C-reactive protein and the principles of the laboratory tests for its detection.
  10. Summarize the clinical aspects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the characteristics of the rheumatoid factors, and the principles of the test methods for the rheumatoid factors.
  11. Summarize the clinical aspects of lupus and laboratory tests used to detect the disease.
  12. Correlate the testing available for various autoimmune diseases with the autoimmune diseases involved.
  13. Identify the clinical aspects of pregnancy as they relate to laboratory testing and laboratory tests to detect pregnancy.
  14. Compare the similarities and differences between the types of hepatitis (A-E) and the serological tests for their detection.
  15. Name the testing available for HIV and other retroviruses.
  16. Identify the serological testing available for miscellaneous viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
  17. Compare the differences between Rubella and Rubeola and the relative usefulness of the serological tests for rubella.
  18. Compare the basic principles of the cold agglutinins and miscellaneous serological testing.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics


  1. Review of basic concepts
  2. Active and passive immunity
    1. Antigens-antibodies
    2. T and B lymphs
  3. Immunoglobulins
  4. Complement
  5. Immunity, humoral and cell-mediated
  6. Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  7. Autoimmunity
  8. Infectious diseases


  1. Basic Concepts Review
  2. Serological tests for syphilis
  3. Antistreptolysin O titration
  4. Infectious mononucleosis
  5. C-reactive protein and rheumatoid arthritis
  6. Systemic lupus erythematosis
  7. Hepatitis, HIV and AIDS
  8. Rubella, Rubeola, and miscellaneous viral.
  9. Miscellaneous serology; ToRCH, cold agglutinins, pregnancy testing, tumor markers, and febrile agglutinations.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classroom lectures, discussion of case studies, slide tape series, reading assignments, and laboratory demonstrations will be used to present theory and techniques.

Student laboratory practice sessions analyzing biological specimens will be used to develop student skill and accuracy in coagulation.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Course is taught face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
  2. Participate in all sessions and activities. Since late arrivals disrupt the class, you should be prepared to begin on time.
  3. Attend all lectures and laboratory sessions.
  4. Complete reading assignments, study questions, worksheets, and any other specific assignments for class.
  5. Complete lab assignment each week.
  6. Complete all assigned Media Lab modules.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. The final grade will be based on the total number of points earned on 3 exams, homework assignments, a comprehensive final exam, laboratory work, attendance and class participation.
  2. Points will be deducted for late assignments.
  3. All study questions must be turned in to pass this course even if no points will be earned. Points will be deducted for incomplete/late assignments as follows:
    Incomplete (one answer missing)   – 1 point
    Incomplete (more than two answers missing)  – 2 points
    Late (handed in next class session) – 2 point
    Late (handed in 2 classes later) – 3 points
    Late (handed in >2 classes later) – 5 points
  4. Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
    Exam 1 100 points
    Exam 2 100 points
    Quizzes 20 points
    Final Comprehensive Exam  120 points
    Homework 30 points
    Study Homework 10 points
    Laboratory worksheets 30 points
    Laboratory Practical Exam 40 points
    Total Points Possible 450 points
  5. The final grade will be based on the total points earned as follows:
    Points Earned  Grade Equivalent
    414 – 450 A
    378 – 413 B
    342 – 377 C
    315 – 341 D
    Below 315 F

XI.   Other Course Information

Students must notify the instructor if they will be late or absent. Attendance and class participation are included in grading.  Points will be deducted for excessive absences and late arrivals to class as they disrupt class for your classmates.

Students must successfully complete both the lecture and laboratory components of the course (this means earning a 76% or above in each component).

No makeup quizzes or exams will be given unless the instructor agrees (to give the exam) prior to the class meeting.  Students will be permitted to make up only one exam.  The exam must be completed in a timely manner for full credit.  Instances where the exam is not completed before the next class session may result in a reduction of points.  Students that do not complete an exam in the regularly scheduled time slot will still be required to complete it, but may receive little or no credit depending on the circumstances.

Students are responsible for material covered in class, even if missed.  If absent, it is advised that students contact someone in class for this information prior to the next class session.  Your instructor is willing to assist you in reviewing any material you do not understand.  Please initiate the contact for such help.

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date specified; late papers will have points deducted. If you are absent on the date an assignment is due you must make arrangements with the instructor to be allowed to turn it in for credit. All assignments must be completed in order to earn a grade for the class.

Failure to comply with established laboratory waste disposal policies will result in loss of laboratory points.

Established laboratory safety protocol must be followed while in the laboratory including: no eating or drinking in the lab, removal of personal protective equipment and washing of hands before leaving lab, and others discussed in class.

Proper clothing must be worn to all laboratory sessions which includes no shorts or open toe shoes.  Long hair must also be tied back.   If shorts or open toe shoes are worn to class, you will not be allowed to participate in the lab session.  You will be asked to leave and points will be deducted for an absence.  The lab will need to be made up in open lab.

No special projects or term papers will be accepted in lieu of class assignments, written exams, or active participation in class.

College policies regarding Academic Dishonesty, Student Procedure for Appeal of a Final Grade, and Code of Student Conduct, are described in the catalogue.

Oakton Community College recognizes the broad diversity of religious beliefs of its constituencies.  The college has embraced a practice of shared responsibility in the event a religious observance interferes with class work or assignments.  Students who inform instructors in advance of an intended absence for a major religious observance will not be penalized.  The instructor will make reasonable accommodation for students, which may include providing a make-up test, altering assignment dates, permitting a student to attend another section of the same course for a class period or similar remedies.  Instructors are not responsible for teaching material againInstructors should inform students of this practice at the beginning of the semester so that arrangements can be made accordingly.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services.  To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus.  All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements.  The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Health Status Change Policy Statement – Any change in health status of currently enrolled students, resulting in the inability to meet the course/program objectives and standards as outlined in the Essential Skills requirement policy will require documentation and medical approval for the student to return to clinical, theory, and lab-which require lifting without restrictions.

  1. Any change in health status must be reported to the Chair of the department.  Examples may include but are not limited to, back injury, pregnancy, infection such as shingles, fractures, etc.
  2. Students must provide documentation of care by an Illinois licensed physician or an Illinois certified nurse practitioner and submit a medical release without restrictions before returning to clinical/class.
  3. Releases from physicians or nurse practitioners must state that the student “can return to the laboratory and clinical facility without any work restrictions.”

A change in health status must be reported to the Chair of the department.  Failure to submit a medical release or information regarding a change in health status within 30 days is grounds for immediate dismissal from a Health Career Program.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.