The main objective of the course is to provide students with the basis to face the study of the major fundamentals of microbiology including its applications in the diagnostic and pharmaceutical fields.
1) Microbiology and its applications. 2) Structures and functions of microbial cells. Comparison among cells of Eukaryotes, Bacteria and Archaea. Morphological features of main microbial groups.Capsule. Cell wall. Cytoplasmic membrane. Pili and flagella. The nucleoid. Structure and organization of the chromosome. Cytoplasm. Ribosomes and polysomes. Cytoplasmic inclusions. Endospores. 3) Microbial growth and its control. Principles of microbial nutrition. Media and growth conditions. Pure cultures. Sterilization and disinfection 4) Metabolism: metabolic, physiological and ecological characteristics of the principal microbial groups. Central metabolism and biosynthetic reactions. Energy metabolism. Fermentation, aerobic and aerobic respiration, chemiolithotropy, phototrophy. Evolution of the energetic mechanisms. Assimilation of C: autotrophy and heterotrophy. Assimilation of N. Nitrogen fixation. Assimilation of S and P. 5) Microbial Genetics. Mechanisms of genetic transfer. Regulation of gene expression. 6) Bacterial viruses (Bacteriophages): Lytic cycle. Lysogenic cycle. Control of lysogeny. Eukaryotic viruses: structure, principal infection and propagation mechanisms. 7) Microbial groups of clinical and application relevance. 8) Phenotypic and molecular methods for microbial identification and typing. Microbiological analyses of food, drugs and cosmetics. 9) Host-microbe interactions. Pathogenicity and virulence. Virulence factors, endotoxins and exotoxins. The process of infection and host defense mechanisms. Innate and adaptive immunity. 10) Antibiotics: structure and mode of action, minimal inhibiting concentration, mechanisms of resistance. Strategies for the development of next-generation antibiotics. 11) Vaccine development.
The exam is a written test composed of multiple-choice and open questions with a maximum score, assigned according to question complexity. Final mark results from summation of the scores obtained in each question. Exam duration: two hours.