Madigan MT, Martinko JM, Stahl DA, Clark DP; Brock - Biology of Microorganisms; ed. PEARSON
Prescott LM, Harley JP, Klein DA; Microbiology; ed. McGraw-Hill
Lecture notes given by the professors
Knowing the different possible causes of infectious diseases, learning the different approaches of laboratory diagnostics
Type of Assessment
Multiple-choice test. The exam consists of a written test. The written test evaluates the student's ability to apply the knowledge acquired during the course, demonstrating that he has achieved the objectives set by the specific module. Since it is an integrated course, the exam consists of 2 tests composed of multiple choice questions, one for each of the two modules that comprise it:
A. General microbiology
B. Environmental Microbiology
The difficulty level of the test questions corresponds to the program performed and to the reference texts indicated for each module. For each of the two tests, if resolved completely and without errors, 30 points are awarded; the test is deemed to have been passed if the evaluation for each of the two tests of the two modules is at least 18 points. The final grade will be obtained from the weighted average of the two tests.
Micro-fossils, stromatolites and cyanobacteria, evolution of life on earth.
Applications of microorganisms in biotechnology.
History of microbiology. The rudimentary microscope of A. van Leeuwenhoek. Pasteur's experiments. Koch's postulates. Ivanovski's experiment on tobacco mosaic virus.
Main characteristics of microorganisms and microbial life. Bacterial cell. Bacteria, archaea, actinomycetes, fungi, yeasts and viruses.
Microbiological techniques. Optics and staining. Progress in optics and physics and the advancement of microbiology. Microscopes: optical microscope, phase contrast microscope, fluorescence microscopes, flow cytometry, electronic microscope, confocal microscope. Cellular staining, gram test.
Prokaryotic cell structure and function. Prokaryotes, bacterial cell (size, organization, form).
Bacterial cell wall. Structure of peptidoglycan. Differences in the structure and function of the wall in gram + and gram-. Bacterial cell wall synthesis in gram-positive and gram-. Wall of archaea.
Extracellular layers, capsule or glycocalyx, sheath, mucous layers, protein envelopes, fimbriae.
Flagella: structure of the flagellum, movement in bacteria, chemotaxis. Adjustment of chemotaxis, receptors and sensors, signal transduction via phosphorylation and methylation adaptation. Slipping motility.
The Bacterial Spore: structure and function, morphological stages of sporulation.
Microbiological techniques. Control of microbial growth. Methods of sterilization and inhibition of bacterial growth, pasteurization.
Isolation of microorganisms and preparation of pure cultures.
Preservation of microorganisms.
Methods of measuring bacterial growth.
Determination of mass and cell concentration.
Bacterial cell cycle.
Bacterial growth curve and calculation of time of generation.
Synchronous and continuous cultures.
Environmental factors that influence the growth of microorgansims: temperature, pH, acidity, osmotic pressure.
Energy and microbial metabolism.
The microbial world and microbial nutrition.
Enzymes, enzyme catalysis.
Chemoheterotropic, chemoautotrophic, chemolitotrophic, photoautotrophic, photoheterotrophic microorganisms.
Catabolism and anabolism: oxide reduction and high energy compounds, main catabolic pathways, electron transport and proton motive force.
Respiration and electron carriers associated with the membrane.
Mechanisms of biodiversity: horizontal exchange (transformation, conjugation, transduction).
Main types of bacterial plasmids.
Mutations and mechanisms of mutation: transposons, insertion sequences.
The developmental, physiological, taxonomic and medical importance of genetic material transfer between microorganisms.
The regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes. Operons.
Antibiotics and resistance.
Definition of antibiotic and chemotherapeutic, differences between bactericidal and bacteriostatic.
Action of the main beta-lactam antibiotics and other inhibitors of bacterial cell wall synthesis.
Antibiotics wich inhibit protein synthesis (aminoglycosides) and nucleic acids synthesis, antimetabolites.
Main mechanisms of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Main tests of antibiotic susceptibility.
Structure of viruses: main types of capsid, pericapsid and viral genome (DNA and RNA)
Virus-cell interaction: productive, abortive and lysogenic cycle.
Stages of viral replication and molecules involved: absorption, penetration, dispossession, replication, maturation and budding.
Oncogenic viruses: different types of DNA and RNA tumor viruses and transformation mechanisms.
The interferon response to viral infections.
Virus-host interaction: the pathogenesis of viral infections (route of transmission, localized and systemic infections, mode of distant spread, routes of elimination)
Evolution of viral infections: acute or persistent (chronic, slow and latent) and damage mechanism of viral pathogenesis.
Mechanisms by which the virus vary: mutations, antigenic drift, recombination, reassortment. Overview of genetic interactions.
Antivirals and resistance.
Main antiviral drugs and their structure. Inhibitors of HIV: fusion inhibitors, nucleoside and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, integrase inhibitors. M2 ion channel protein and neuraminidase influenza virus inhibitors.
Other inhibitors used for other viruses (acyclovir, ribavirin).
Structure of bacteriophages.
Lytic and temperate bacteriophages: replication cycle and role of the immune region in the genetic cycle of bacteriophage lambda. Main mechanism for the regulation of lysogenic cycle.
Viroids and prions.
Viroids structure and classification. Main mechanism of viroid replication. Viroid diseases. Hepatitis Delta.
Discovery and history of prions. Structure of the prion protein. Pathogenic mechanism. Diseases caused by prions in living subjects.
Main features and classification of fungi (geophilic, antropophilic and zoophilic). Cell structure of fungi. Composition of the fungal thallus. Yeasts, filamentous fungi or molds and dimorphic fungi. Fungi reproduction. Fungal diseases.
Key features and classification of Protozoa. Malaria.
Pathogenesis and infection, bacterial, viral, fungal pathogenic mechanisms, endotoxins and exotoxins, Microbes in biofilms. Single cell life forms and multicellular structures.
Defense mechanisms: innate and specific immunity.
Principles of epidemiology, immunological assays.