91008 - Microbiology and Public Health

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Pharmacy (cod. 9078)

Learning outcomes

Objectives: At the end of the course, the student will acquire: - knowledge of principles of Bacteriology, Virology, Mycology and Parassitology;- Knowledge of the molecular and cellular basis of microbial pathogenicity and of the characteristics of host-microrganism interactions; -knowledge of the targets and mechanisms of action of antimicrobial and antiviral drugs; - knowledge and practical skill of the principles of microbiological and virological analysis.

Course contents

Front teaching (64 hours)

1. Introduction to Microbiology: bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. General characteristics of bacteria: cytoplasm, genome, plasma membrane, cell wall. Accessory components of the prokaryotic cell: crystalline layer, capsule, pili, flagella. Bacterial biofilms.

2. Bacterial reproduction: growth and cell division. Bacterial spores.

3. Bacterial genetics: transformation, conjugation, transduction. Energetic metabolism.

4. Mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. Exotoxins and endotoxins.

5. Antibacterial agents. The antibiotic stewardship. Public health microbiology.

6. Laboratory diagnosis of bacterial diseases.

7. Gram positive cocci: Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus.

8. Gram positive rods: Clostridium, Bacillus anthracis, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Listeria monocytogenes.

9. Gram positive rods – acid-fast bacteria: Mycobacterium.

10. Gram negative cocci: Neisseria.

11. Gram negative helically coiled Spirochetes: Treponema, Borrelia and Leptospira.

12. Gram-negative rods belonging to Enterobacteriaceae.

13. Other Gram negative rods: Vibrio cholerae, Helicobacter pylori.

14. Chlamydia.

15. General characteristics of viruses: structure and replication.

16. Viral pathogenesis: virus-cell interaction, dynamics of the infectious process. Antiviral drugs and interferon-mediate antiviral response.

17. Laboratory diagnosis of viral diseases.

18. DNA viruses: Human Herpesviruses, Papillomaviruses.

19. RNA viruses: respiratory viruses (Orthomyxoviruses, Paramyxoviruses)

20. RNA viruses: hepatitis viruses (HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV).

21. RNA viruses: Retroviruses.

22. Characteristics of fungi of medical importance. Pathogenesis of fungal disease. Antifungal agents.

23. Superficial, cutaneous, subcutaneous and systemic mycosis. Opportunistic mycosis.

24. Characteristics of protozoa of medical importance. Intestinal and urogenital protozoa.

25. Vector-borne protozoa: leishmaniasis, malaria.

Practical Laboratory Course (15 hours)

Diagnostic microbiology and laboratory methods: microscopy and in vitro culture. Direct examination of specimens (staining methods); bacterial culture (isolation of infectious agents), microbial identification, antimicrobial susceptibility. Molecular and serologic diagnosis.


Patrick Murray, Ken S. Rosenthal and Michael A. Pfaller. Medical Microbiology (8th Edition, 2016 - 9th Edition, 2020. Elsevier).

Teaching methods

Front lectures (64 hours) supported by powerpoint presentations of each topic of the course will be shown. The teaching material utilized is available to students on the IOL platform. The material alone is not enough for a deep and complete learning of the subject and must be integrated with the text book suggested by the teacher.

Laboratory practice (15 hours) with supporting tutors.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 online [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] (https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas), while Module 3 on health and safety is to be attended in class. Information about Module 3 attendance schedule is available on the website of your degree programme

To attend the laboratory, it is requested that students have completed the compulsory course on safety at work and they have handed over to the teacher (or sent by e-mail to francesca.bonvicini4@unibo.it) a copy of the certificate of passing the final exam.

Assessment methods

The examination will evaluate whether the student has mastered the above listed skills and has reached the teaching objectives. The final exam consists of a questionnaire with multiple choice questions. The questionnaire, for a total of 33 questions, must be completed within one hour of time. For each question, the student will have to specify only one answer considered correct. The score of the exam, out of thirty, is given by the number of correct answers.

The final score of MICROBIOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH, ELEMENTS OF EPIDEMIOLOGY (I.C.) will be the weighted average of the two exams.

Registration on-line on AlmaEsami is mandatory.

Teaching tools

Video projector-PC system for the front lectures; biological laboratory for the practical exercises. The slides and the experimental protocols are made available to students on the online teaching platform (IOL).

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Bonvicini


Good health and well-being

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