Department of Bacteriology and Immunology

The Department of Bacteriology and Immunology studies microbes, innate and adaptive immunity, as well as host-microbe interactions. The knowledge gained is used to determine the pathogenesis of diseases and develop innovative immunological and microbiological diagnostic tools.

In basic education, the focus is on bacteria, fungi and parasites infectious to humans and the drugs used for treating the diseases caused by them. Immunology studies the functions, mechanisms and significance of human defence systems in various disease conditions. Additionally, vaccinations and the principles underlying novel immunological treatments are introduced to students. During the final course, the pathophysiology, diagnostics and treatment basics of the most significant infectious and immunological diseases are studied.

The research groups working at the Department provide students with opportunities to complete advanced studies in their own research areas. Advanced studies can be completed, for example, as separate research projects, or by familiarising oneself with an important subject in a creative manner and writing a related review.

The Department organises specialist training in clinical microbiology, most of which is, in practice, completed at HUSLAB laboratories.


The main research areas in bacteriology and immunology are

  • Immunological identification mechanisms and their defects
  • The pathogenesis and diagnostics of autoimmune disease
  • Microbe-host interactions, microbial virulence mechanisms, bacteriophages
  • The utilisation of genome sequencing (genomics, proteomics, systems biology, function studies)
  • Pathogenetic mechanisms of infectious diseases, the significance of inflammations in systemic diseases
  • Novel infectious threats
  • The microbiome
  • Immunotoxicology and allergies
  • Microbial diagnostics
  • The development of new treatment methods and study of vaccination opportunities



    Contact details

    Head of de­part­ment

    professor Seppo Meri
    PO Box 21 (Haartmaninkatu 3)
    00014 University of Helsinki


    PO BOX 21 (Haartmaninkatu 3)
    00014 University of Helsinki