18607 - Applied Microbiology and Virology

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Elisa Avitabile (Modulo 1) Carola Eleonora Parolin (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Health Biology (cod. 9212)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has the tools to critically evaluate the impact that the spread, control, manipulation and emergence of 'old' and 'new' microorganisms have on human health and on society. Through the study of complex microorganism-host interactions, the student is able to understand and describe  infectious processes dynamics, pathogenetic mechanisms and the main strategies of prophylaxis and antiviral and antibacterial therapy, with particular reference to common or relevant topical diseases . The student is also able to illustrate and masterfully discuss the main investigation techniques used in basic research and microbiological diagnostics, as well as the main applications of biotechnology in the biomedical field.

Course contents

PART 1 - Applied Virology Lectures (4cfu , 32 hrs ); Prof.ssa Elisa Avitabile


Introduction- Infectious diseases. Pathogenic viruses. Transmission, prevention and control of infectious diseases.

How to study viruses and viral diagnostic methods. Viral spread strategies and Viral pathogenesis. Viral oncogenesis.

Antiviral defense and viral immune evasion strategies. Interferon system.

Antiviral vaccines and Antiviral therapies.

Virus genetics and evolution. Emerging viruses.

Biotecniques and their application in Virology.

Viral vectors and gene therapy.

Oncolytic viruses and anticancer therapy.

Molecular approaches to the development of viral vaccines.

A topic subject  (variable from year to year):  The novel Sars Coronavirus pandemic.

PART 2 - Laboratory of Applied Microbiology (1cfu, 8hrs -Lectures +1 cfu, 15hrs- Lab); Prof.ssa Carola Eleonora Parolin



Lectures: Analysis of microbial communities using culture and molecular methods.


Antibiotic Potency Testing.


Isolation and identification of probiotic microorganisms from foods and supplements.

Extraction of genomic DNA from a bacterial culture.

Amplification of the 16S rRNA gene and sequence analysis by comparison with databases.



Recommended reading, among :

  • Michele La Placa
    Principi di Microbiologia Medica
    Società Editrice Esculapio/EdiSES, 14a edizione (2014)

  • G.Antonelli, M.Clementi, G.Pozzi, G.M.Rossolini
    Principi di Microbiologia Medica
    Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 3a edizione (2017)
  • N.Carlone
    Microbiologia Farmaceutica
    EdiSES, 3a edizione (2021)

Previous Text-books suggested also by Prof. Gallinella for the Medical Microbiology Course

For Insights on specific topics:

Principles of Virology, Flint et al., Fifth Edition (2020), ASM Press



Dimmock et al., Introduzione alla Virologia Moderna, Casa editrice Ambrosiana (2017)


Prescott -Microbiologia medica - Mc Graw-Hill, Last Edition

Brock-Madigan-Microbiologia medica -Pearson, Last Edition

Only for attending students


In addition:

Lectures slides in .pdf files, video and specific articles freely available on IOL platform for students attending the course..

Teaching methods

Lectures with slides. Class reading and discussion of scientific reports.

Laboratory activity.

“As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [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] online, 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”

If the degree programme includes lectures and classes in IT laboratories, professors should include the following under the label “Teaching methods” on their website:

“As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [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] on Health and Safety online”.

Assessment methods

PART 1 (Lectures):  Oral examination about courses contents.

PART 2 (LAB): Written examination only for Lab part at the end of the course. Oral examination during the year.

For the final evaluation, the following will be considered: acquisition of knowledge and skills, exhibition capacity and  language properties, ability to synthesize (identification of the key points), ability to analyze and deepening of the topics.

The final mark will be given by the weighted average between the results of the two tests.

Teaching tools

Lectures slides in PowerPoint freely available as .pdf files for students attending the course at VIRTUALE platform.

Documents, videos and tests available at the same web site.

.pdf Slides do NOT replace the textbook.

For more information, please contact the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Elisa Avitabile

See the website of Carola Eleonora Parolin


Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality

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