03893 - Medical Microbiology

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student acquires knowledge about the different species of microorganisms and viruses in their interaction with man and in their ability to cause disease. In addition, students acquire theoretical and practical skills in relation to laboratory diagnosis (virological, bacteriological and serological), the techniques of molecular identification and techniques for assessment of drug sensitivity.

Course contents


Bacterial pathogenesis: bacterial genetics and pathogenicity.

Bacteria of medical interest: bacilli, staphylococci, streptococci, clostridia, corynebacteria, mycobacteria, neisseria, enterobacteria, vibrio, spirochetes, chlamydiae.

Diagnosis of bacterial infection: isolation and identification of pathogenic bacteria, determination of sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.


Viral pathogenesis: structural and genetic characteristics of the viruses, virus-cell interaction;

Families of viruses of medical interest: Herpesviridae, Adenoviridae, Papillomaviridae, Polyomaviridae, Parvoviridae, Hepadnaviridae, Retroviridae, Picornaviridae, Flaviviridae, Alphaviridae, Ortomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Reoviridae.

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

Eukaryotic microorganisms

Pathogenesis of the main eukaryotic microorganisms (protozoa, fungi)

Laboratory module:

Bacteriology: bacterial culture media, preparation of isolating and pure cultures, identification of bacterial species, evaluation of sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.

Virology: detection of viral nucleic acids by hybridization reaction and by means of PCR reactions; detection of viral antigens; immunoassays for the detection of virus-specific antibodies


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)

Microbiologia Farmaceutica
EdiSES, 3a edizione (2021)

Teaching methods

Lecture and laboratory with supporting tutors

Assessment methods

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

- Knowledge of the main groups of microorganisms and viruses, their genomic organization and their pathogenicity factors;

- Knowledge of the dynamics of infectious processes, interactions with the host and the response of the immune system;

- Knowledge of the principles and techniques of bacteriological, virological and immunological diagnosis.

The test consists of an interview on the program of the course, and in the presentation and discussion of a summary of the laboratory experiments. The vote, out of thirty, will be given by the average of the evaluation of the oral and the elaborate presented.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint slides

Laboratory protocols

Office hours

See the website of Giorgio Gallinella