00714 - Microbiology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

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 of the principles of microbiological and virological analysis.

Course contents


Structure of the prokaryotic cell: general characteristics, study techniques, shape and arrangments, general architecture; genome, cytoplasm, plasma membrane, cell wall (organisation and structure of peptoglycan and of the cell wall in Gram+, Gram-, and acid-resistant bacteria), external structure (capsule, pili, flagelli); bacterial reproduction, cell division, bacterial sporae.

Bacterial Genetics: bacterial chromosome, accessorial genetic elements (plasmids, insertion sequences, trasposons); evolution of bacterial genomes (mutations, ricombination), transmission and mechanisms of exchange of genetic materials (transformation, conjugation, transduction).

Bacterial metabolism: general characteristics; mechanisms of phosphorilation, energetic metabolism; synthesis of folic acids; macromolecular synthesis (DNA, RNA, proteins, peptoglycan); targets and mechanisms of action of antibacterial drugs; mechanisms of antibacterial drug resistance.

Bacterial cultivation: culture media, bacterial growth, isolating and maintenance cultures; b acteriological analysis: isolation and identification of pathogenetic bacteria, antibacterial drug susceptibility testing.

Bacterial Pathogenesis: general characteristics, dynamics of the infectious process, virulence factors, mechanisms of host colonisation, mechanisms of pathogenesis.

Immunity and infectious processes: constitutive and adaptive immunity, effectors and mechanisms of immune response; antimicrobial tissue factors, acute phase proteins, complement, phagocytosis, inflammation, action of LPS.

Bacteria of medical relevance: bacilli, staphylococci, streptococci, clostridia, corynebacteria, mycobacteria, neisseriae, enterobacteria, vibrio, spyrochaetae, chlamydiae.


General biological characteristics and mechanisms of pathogenesis; protozoa of medical relevance.


General biological characteristics and mechanisms of pathogenesis; fungi of medical relevance.


Viral Structure: general characteristics, classification; characteristics of viral genomes and replicative strategies; virion structure (genome, capsid, pericapsid).

Viral Replication: general characteristics; phases of the viral replicative cycle (attachment, penetration, uncoating, macromolecular synthesis, assembly); bacteriophages and mechanisms of genetic transduction; viral genetics.

Viral Pathogenesis: virus-cell interaction; kind of infection; dynamics of the infectious process; examples of viruses of medical relevance; immune response and interferon-mediate antiviral response; antiviral drugs.

Diagnosis of viral infection: virus isolation and titration; molecular techniques for the direct detection and identification of viruses; immunological diagnosis of infection and serological reactions.


Microbiologia Farmaceutica
EdiSES, 2a edizione (2013)

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, 2a edizione (2012)

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

The examination at the end of the course aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives:

- Knowledge of the basic biological characteristics of microorganisms and viruses;

- Understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of microbial pathogenicity and viral and host-microorganism interactions;

- Knowledge of the main methods of microbiological analysis and virological and targets of action of antimicrobial drugs and viral infections;

- Knowledge of the main bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses etiologic agents of infectious diseases.

The final exam consists of a questionnaire with multiple choice questions.

The questionnaire, for a total of 32 questions, must be completed within one hour of time. The questions will have as their object topics related to the course, and the answers given will have a unique correct solution. For each question, the student will have to specify only one answer considered correct.

The final vote, out of thirty, is given by the number of correct answers.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint slides

Office hours

See the website of Giorgio Gallinella