Digestion and Defense I

9 ECTS / Modular / English

This CU is the modular type, subsequent of Thinking and Doing I CU and preceding Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle CU. This CU constitutes the basis for 2nd year CU Digestion and Defence II.

Intended learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and competences to be developed by the students)

  • Acquire and develop knowledge of anatomy and histology of the digestive system and hormonal and neural regulation of food intake and digestion;
  • Acquire and develop knowledge about innate and adaptive immunity, its role on physiological and physiopathological inflammation;
  • Acquire basic knowledge of microbiology (bacteriology, virology and parasitology), host-pathogen interactions, characteristics of pathogenic microorganisms and the importance of commensal microorganisms, favouring the host;
  • To know the most frequent microorganisms associated to pathologies of the digestive tract, as well as its virulence factors and associated pathologies (syndromic approach);
  • Understand the normal physiology of the digestive tract including the regulation of digestion, digestion of food and nutrient absorption.



  • Categorization, morphologic description (anatomic, histologic and functional) of digestive system organs and annexes.
  • Physiology of swallowing, secretion and composition of saliva, secretion of gastric juice and mucosa protection, endocrine and exocrine pancreatic function, function of bile and other functions of the liver.
  • Digestive tract motility (anatomy, histology and physiology).
  • Composition of food, biotransformation, metabolism and absorption of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats), as well as minerals, vitamins, electrolytes and water.
  • Composition and function of commensal flora in the digestive tract.
  • Main pathogenic microorganisms in the digestive system.
  • Mechanism of action of antibiotics.
  • Mechanisms of development of resistance to antibiotics.
  • The inflammatory process, the process of leukocyte migration and the induction and role of fever.


Invited Assistant Professor
Participation in Católica Medical School Coordination of the curricular unit Digestion and Defense I