67006 - General Virology and Microbiology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Marco Rinaldo Oggioni (Modulo 1) Beatrice Vitali (Modulo 2) Elisa Avitabile (Modulo 3)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2) Traditional lectures (Modulo 3)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Biological Sciences (cod. 8012)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has the fundamental concepts that define the organization and metabolism of prokaryotes as well as the main phylogenetic and physiological correlations of Bacteria and Archaea in natural environments and in biotechnological applications. The student also possesses the basic concepts of virus structure and replication as well as bacterial growth and exchanges of genetic material between prokaryotic cells in order to understand the recombination mechanisms.

Course contents

General Microbiology (Module 1 and Module 2)


Module 1 (Marco Rinaldo Oggioni)

(3 CFU: 26 h) 

Basic principles of Microbiology.

Principles of microscopy.

Evolutionary history and microbial diversity.

Structure and functions of prokaryotic cell.

Microbial metodologies.


Module 2 (Beatrice Vitali)

(3 CFU: 24 h)

Microbial Metabolism.

Regulation of microbial metabolism and other regulatory systems.

Microbial growth.

Phototrophy, chemolithotrophy and major biosyntheses.

Catabolism of organic compounds.


Module 3 (Elisa Avitabile)

General Virology (2 CFU: 16 hours)

Structure, composition and classification of animal, plant and bacterial viruses. Genome, capsid and viral envelope. Structure-function relationship.

The different mechanisms of virus penetration into the host cell (bacteriophages, plant and animal viruses).

The phases of the viral replicative cycle.

Cell virus interaction. Outcomes of infection. Cultivation and quantification of viruses.

Replication strategies of RNA viruses. Ex: Picornavirus (ss + RNA virus).

Replication strategies of DNA viruses. Ex: Herpesvirus (dsDNA virus).

Retrovirus replication strategies.

Coronavirus disease Pandemic: Sars-CoV-2 and COVID-19.


Brock. Biologia dei microrganismi. Microbiologia generale, ambientale e industriale • 14/Ed. • Pearson.

Prescott. Microbiologia generale. McGray-Hill.

Teaching methods

The course consists of 8 CFUs of lectures divided as follows:

Module 1: 2 CFUs of General Microbiology + 1 CFU (10 hours) of Microbial Methodologies

Module 2: 3 CFUs of General Microbiology 

Module 3: 2 CFUs of General Virology

Assessment methods

The exam consists in a written test including multiple-choice questions that will cover the contents of the three modules. The dates of the written tests will be published on almaesami.

Teaching tools

Presentations of the lessons will be made available online (Virtuale platform) or directly in the classroom.

Office hours

See the website of Beatrice Vitali

See the website of Marco Rinaldo Oggioni

See the website of Elisa Avitabile


Good health and well-being Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.