09229 - Applied Microbiology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Health Biology (cod. 5729)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class, the student has the tools for a critical evaluation of the impact that the diffusion, control and manipulation of microorganisms have on human health and society. Through the study of the complex microorganism-host interactions, the student is able to understand and describe the dynamics of infectious processes, the pathogenic mechanisms and the main strategies of antimicrobial prophylaxis and therapy. The study of microbial interactions also include the symbiotic relationships established between the human microbiota and the host. Finally, the student is able to illustrate and discuss the main technologies used for the characterization of human microbial ecosystems, as well as the most important applications of microbial biotechnologies in the biomedical and food fields.

Course contents

Microbial interactions: relationships of symbiosis (human microbiota) and relationships of pathogenicity.

Control of microbial infections: antimicrobial agents.

Therapeutic manipulation of the microbiota: probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics.

Analysis of microbial communities using culture and molecular methods.

Omics technologies: microbial genomics, trascrittomics and proteomics.

Biotechnology and microbial metabolism.

Genetic improvement of microorganisms.

Primary microbial metabolites: amino acids.

Secondary microbial metabolites: antibiotics.

Study, elaboration and discussion of scientific articles concerning the topics of the course.

Laboratory: microscopy, isolation and identification of probiotic microorganisms from foods and supplements, extraction of genomic DNA from a bacterial culture, amplification of the 16S rRNA gene, sequence analysis by comparison with databases, MIC determination of an antibiotic.


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

Biotecnologie Microbiche. Stefano Donadio e Gennaro Marino. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.

Microbiologia Sistematica, Ambientale ed Industriale. M. Willey, M. Sherwood, J. Woolverton. MvGray-Hill.

Teaching methods

- slides uploaded to VIRTUALE

- laboratory protocols loaded on VIRTUALE

- scientific articles presentation (interactive)

- Teams platform

- In consideration of the types of activities and teaching methods adopted, the attendance of this training activity requires that all students carry out modules 1 and 2 by e-learning [https://www.unibo.it/it/servizi-e -opportunities / health-and-assistance / health-and-safety / safety-and-health-in-places-of-study-and-internship] and participate to the module 3 of specific training on safety and health in study places. Information on dates and methods of attendance of module 3 can be consulted in the specific section of the degree program website.

Assessment methods

  • presentation of an essay (individual or group) on a scientific article on the issues covered in the course;
  • written/oral examination at the appeals set in the examination windows for the verification of theoretical and lab content.

Teaching tools

- slides uploaded to VIRTUALE

- laboratory protocols loaded on VIRTUALE

- Teams platform

Office hours

See the website of Beatrice Vitali


Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production Life on land

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