Microbiology and Hygiene

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The purpose of the teaching of the theoretical part is that the participants acquire basic knowledge on microorganisms and understand the relationships between the structure and the biological activity, especially the pathogenic one; acquire basic knowledge on the main aspects of hygiene with particular attention to the epidemiology and prophylaxis of infectious diseases
The aim of the teaching of the practical part is that the participants learn some basic techniques as well as the use of the basic equipment of the microbiological laboratory
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the theoretical teaching the student will have specifically acquired an understanding of the essential structural and functional differences between viruses and bacteria and consequently will have acquired an understanding of the differences in medical intervention in infections caused by viruses and infections caused by bacteria.
At the end of the practical teaching the student will be able to apply some basic methods of the microbiological laboratory and in particular will have understood the application versatility of the methods based on bacterial growth in microbiological analyzes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Lectures will be held face to face in the classroom. If this is not possible or if it is possible only partially, the lessons will be delivered both in synchronous form, by means of the Microsoft Teams platform and carried out according to the scheduled time, and in asynchronous form as audio video recordings in powerpoint. In both cases, recordings of each lesson will be provided and made available in Ariel. The exam will take place in written form according to the procedures described in the section "Exam procedures". Alternatively, the exam will take place in oral form using the M. Teams platform. In this case, the duration of the test will be about 30 minutes and will focus on the three sections of the course: microbiology, hygiene and laboratory.

The laboratory lessons are planned if possible at 100% face to face. Alternatively, 50% will be held in the presence in an educational laboratory suitably equipped for the Covid emergency and the remaining 50% in a virtual laboratory through video lessons and videos. If this is not possible, all laboratory lessons will be carried out in a virtual laboratory. We remind you that, regardless of the delivery method, all laboratory lessons are mandatory.
The program and the reference material of the lectures will not change. All educational support material will always be made available through the Ariel platform.
Course syllabus

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

Bacterial genetics
Genetic material: chromosome; plasmids; transposons; Viral DNA; genetic islands and islands of pathogenicity.
Coding sequences and non-coding sequences; bacterial gene, bacterial mRNA
Genetic variability
Types of mutations. Effect of mutations (null, partial, complete);
Parental and mutant bacterial strains
Gene transfer
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.
Bacterial culture
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
Gram staining
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.
Teaching methods
Lectures and laboratory activities
Teaching Resources
Slides of the course uploaded on Ariel site
Principi di Microbiologia Medica. La Placa. Ed. EdiSES
Igiene, Medicina preventiva, Sanità pubblica. Barbuti. Ed. EdiSES
Igiene per le lauree e professioni sanitarie. Meloni. Ed. CEA
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.
BIO/19 - MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 8
Single bench laboratory practical: 48 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Zanotto Carlo