67006 - General Virology and Microbiology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, the student will know the fundamental concepts defining both structure and metabolism of prokaryotes along with the main phylogenetic and physiological relations between Bacteria and Archaea in natural habitat and their biotechnological applications. The student will also know the basic concepts associated with the virus structure and replication in addition to bacterial growth and genetic exchanges among bacteria/viruses with the aim of defining the recombination mechanisms

Course contents

General Microbiology Course (Lectures, 5 CFU - 40 hrs): Bacterial cell structure (4 hrs); Fundamental aspects of bacterial metabolism (4hr); Bacterial growth (2hrs); Archaea: microbial groups and their metabolism (8hrs); Microbial groups performing eterophy and autotrophy (chemo- and photo-trophy) (12 hrs); Nitrogen global cycle (2 hrs); Carbon and sulfur global cycle (2 hrs); Some examples of pathogenic bacteria and their metabolism (Chlostridia, Pseudomonas spp., Agrobacteria) (4hrs); Microbial applications in biotechnology: agriculture, industry and medicine (2hrs).

Lectures on methods in microbiology (2CFU - 12 hrs): a series of lessons will be dedicated to illustrates the microbial methodologies such as cultivation, isolation and sterilization. 

General Virology Course  (Lectures, 2 CFU -16 hr): Structure, composition and classification of bacterial, plants and animal viruses. Viral genomes, capsids and envelope: structure-function relationships ( 2hrs); Different entry mechanisms of viruses into host cells: bacterial, plants and animal viruses.(2hr); The different steps in a viral replication cycle ( 2hrs). Virus-host interaction and the course taken by different virus infections. ( 2hrs). Virus cultivation, characterization and quantification (1hr); Replication strategies of ss+RNA virus ( eg: Picornavirus) (2hrs) and dsDNA viruses ( es: SV40 and Herpes simplex virus) (2hrs); Replication of Retroviruses. HIV and AIDS (3hrs).

Readings/Bibliography

Recommended text-books: Brock. Biology of Microrganisms (M.T. Madigan and J.M. Martinko, Prentice Hall). Alternatively: Biologia dei microrganismi (G Dehò e Galli E) Casa Ed Ambrosiana (this latter text is available in italian only)

Teaching methods

This Course consists of 8 CFU in total that is: 5 CFU (40 hr) of frontal lessons on topics of general microbiology, 2 CFU (16 hr) on topics of general virology and 1 CFU (12 hr) on topics of methods in microbiology and virology. The aim of these lessons (6 lessons, 2 hr each) on methods is to introduce the student into procedures used to grow and count bacteria and viruses, along with the main sterilization techniques.  

Assessment methods

At the end of this course, the student will know the fundamental concepts defining both structure and metabolism of prokaryotes along with the main phylogenetic and physiological relations between Bacteria and Archaea in natural habitat and their biotechnological applications. The student will also know the basic concepts associated with the virus structure and replication in addition to bacterial growth and genetic exchanges among bacteria/viruses with the aim of defining the recombination mechanisms.

The final Course examination consists of a written test - 5 open questions: 3 questions on topics illustrated during the lesson of general microbiology, 1 question on general virology topics and 1 question on microbial and viral methodologies. The final mark is defined by the average of the 5 open questions marks.

Teaching tools

Didactic material: all the didactic material, illustrated as a power-point presentation, corresponds to the iconographic section of the recommended text-books in order to facilitate the students during the preparation of their final examination. In case that extra material is used, it will be available on-line (http://campus.unibo.it) or alternatively it is distributed to students as printed copies.   

Links to further information

http://www.unibo.it

Office hours

See the website of Davide Zannoni

See the website of Elisa Avitabile

See the website of Stefano Fedi