General characteristics of microorganisms; types of microorganisms; the three domains of the living world: Archaea, Bacteria, Eucarya
Observation of microorganisms
Simple and differential stainings. Fluorescent staining. Staining with specific probes. Optical and electronic microscopy.
Morphology and structure of the bacterial cell
Characteristic forms and aggregations
Cell membrane, wall, capsule, pili, flagella, endospore. For each structure: definition, observation, structure and composition, importance, function, role in pathogenesis
Genetic material: chromosome; plasmids; transposons; Viral DNA; genetic islands and islands of pathogenicity.
Coding sequences and non-coding sequences; bacterial gene, bacterial mRNA
Types of mutations. Effect of mutations (null, partial, complete);
Parental and mutant bacterial strains
transformation, conjugation, transduction
Genetic bases of drug (antibiotic) resistance
Nutrition and metabolism,
bacterial nutritional types, growth factors
peptidoglycan biosynthesis; primary metabolism and secondary metabolism
Growth and multiplication.
Binary fission; clonal growth (clone and colony); exponential growth;
duplication time; growth curve of the bacterial population
Quantification of the bacterial population
total count and vital count; direct count and indirect count.
Culture media. Chemical and physical parameters that influence bacterial growth
definition, size, general characteristics,
Structure and morphology of virions;
classification of the capsid; of viral genomes; naked viruses and enveloped viruses
The viral replication process; replication of DNA viruses and RNA viruses
Introduction to hygiene, definition and field of study of Hygiene; definition of health.
Notions of Demography and Epidemiology.
Prevention: definition and scope of intervention. Individual and collective prevention. Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Generic prevention: report, isolation, diagnostic assessment, disinfection and sterilization. Physical methods and chemical methods.
Specific prophylaxis: seroprophylaxis, homologous and heterologous sera; vaccine prophylaxis, classic vaccines (attenuated, inactivated, subunit vaccines, anatoxins) and recombinant vaccines
Epidemiology of infectious diseases
Infection. Cell infection; organism infection; symptomatic and asymptomatic; acute, chronic and latent. Localized infection and generalized infection
Virulence factors and host defenses, the immune system.
Diffusion of microorganisms in the population, transmission routes, reservoirs and sources of infection, vehicles and vectors.
Prevention of infectious diseases
For each pathology: general and specific characteristics of the causative agent; main antigens; virulence factors; reproduction; pathogenetic mechanisms, clinical aspects, epidemiology, diagnosis, therapy, prophylaxis
· Airborne diseases
Viral infections: measles, rubella, scarlet fever, smallpox, varicella, mumps, flu;
Bacterial infections: cerebro-spinal meningitis, pertussis, diphtheria, tuberculosis;
· Direct transmission diseases
Viral infections: AIDS;
Bacterial infections: syphilis, gonorrhea;
· Faecal-oral diseases
Viral infections: poliomyelitis;
Bacterial infections: salmonellosis, cholera;
· Diseases transmitted by animals
Protozoan infections, malaria;
Viral infections, yellow fever, rabies;
Bacterial infections, plague
· Diseases transmitted by bacterial endospores: anthrax, tetanus.
Food analysis (milk)
Water analysis (river, lake)
Quantification of bacterial suspension
Sensitivity test (antibiotics, disinfectants)
Microbiological dosage (of an antibiotic)
Plasmid extraction from E. coli
Prerequisites for admission
For lectures, basic notions of general biology, human anatomy and general chemistry are required. For laboratory activities, a basic familiarity is required with the expression of concentrations (molarity, percentage, weight/volume); with simple dilutions (dilution formula) and serial dilutions (according to a constant factor); with equivalences (transition from mM to microM, from L to mL to microL, from g to mg to microg); with the concept of absorbance and use of the spectrophotometer.
Assessment methods and Criteria
At the end of the laboratory activities there will be a verification test which consists of a written test of 30 questions, lasting 30 minutes, concerning the activities performed in the laboratory. The student must indicate for each question whether it is true or false. Each question is worth one point. Based on the score obtained, it is possible to get up to a maximum of two votes to be added to the exam grade.
The exam consists of a written test lasting one and a half hours and consists of 30 questions with 4 answers for each question. The student must indicate both the true answers and the false ones, taking into account that several true answers are possible in the same question. The questions concern the whole program, both for the microbiology part and for the hygiene part. The evaluation is in thirtieths.