Learning outcomes of the course unit
Students have to know:
1. the morphology and structure of bacteria/ fungi/ parasites/ viruses, the physiology
of bacteria/ fungi/ parasites and the replication of viruses
2. the classification of bacteria/fungi/parasites/viruses
3. the natural history of infections by bacteria/ fungi/ parasites/ viruses and their
mechanisms of pathogenicity
4. the main defense mechanisms of the host against infections by bacteria/ fungi/
5. the main mechanisms of action of drugs against bacteria/ fungi/ parasites/ viruses
and the mechanisms of resistance to drugs6. the laboratory procedures to study the
morphology and growth requirements of bacteria/ fungi/ parasites/ viruses, and their
in vitro susceptibility to antimicrobial and antiviral drugs.
Course contents summary
The evolutionary aspects of research in microbiology. Classification of the microbial
world. Morphology and structure of bacterial cell. Chemical composition of the
bacterial cell. Bacterial genetics. The bacterial metabolism. The microbial
reproduction. The cultivation of bacteria. Antibacterial drugs: mechanisms of action
and resistance, susceptibility testing. The microrganisms and the multicellular
organisms. The resident microbiota of the body. Bacteria-host interactions.
Mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity and virulence. Invasiveness. Toxigenicity.
Antigenic mimetism. Steps in the reduction shid between host and bacteria. Notes
on modes of transmission of infectious diseases, sources of infection and epidemics
influencing factors .
- Introduction to Medical Mycology. General features of fungi. Structure of the fungal
cell and colony. Fungal metabolism. Modalities of fungal reproduction. Fungal
dimorphism. Classification of fungi. Mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity. Immune
response to fungal infections. Host-parasite interactions in fungal infections.
Pathogenesis of mycoses. Classification of mycoses. Epidemiology of mycoses.
Antifungal drugs. Mycotoxins.
Parasitism, commensalism, mutualism. Infections and infestations. Host-parasite
interactions. Prevalence of parasitic infections and infestations. Classification of
medically important human parasitic Protozoa, Helmints and Arthropods.
The beginnings of experimental virology. Definition of viruses. Characteristics of
viruses. Nature of viruses. Theories on the origin of viruses. Morphology of viruses.
Structure of viruses: cubic symmetry, helical symmetry, complex structure,
combined cubic and helical symmetry.
Chemical composition of viruses: nucleic acids , proteins, lipids, carbohydrates.
Haemagglutination by viruses.
Quantitative determination of viruses: chemical and physical determinations,
Steps in multiplication of viruses: adsorption, penetration, uncoating, synthesis of
viral components, maturation, release. Nucleic acid replication of RNA viruses.
Nucleic acid replication of DNA viruses. Expression of viral genomes . Cultivation of
viruses: cultivation in cell culture in vitro: cytopathic effect, haemadsorption,
immunoenzymatic and immunofluorescence techniques, cultivation in chicken
embryos, cultivation in animals.
Viral genetics: induction of mutations by physical and chemical agents, different
types of mutants, pleiotropism; covariation. Interactions between virus phenotypes:
complementation, phenotypic mixing, transcapsidation. Interactions between virus
genotypes: intramolecular recombination, genetic reassortment, polyploidism.
Viral interference: absorption mediated, homologue, heterologue, interferonmediated.
Virus-host interactions: pathogenesis of viral infections, the response from the host
to viral infections, persistent infections, notes on the epidemiology of viral infections,
notes on the prophylaxis and therapy with antiviral drugs.
The classification of viruses: classification based on pathogenetic and
epidemiological characteristics, classification based on chemical, physical,
biological and antigenic characteristics.
Morphology, cultivation, identification, mechanisms of pathogenicity, natural history
of infections with reference to the following bacteria:
Staphylococcus (S. aureus, S. epidermidis, S. haemolyticus and other species);
Streptococcus (S. pyogenes, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae); Enterococcus (S.
faecalis, S. faecium and other species); Neisseria (N. meningitidis, N. gonorrhoeae);
Salmonella and other main Enterobacteriaceae (Escherichia coli, Shigella,
Edwardsiella, Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Hafnia, Serratia, Proteus,
Morganella, Providencia, Yersinia); Vibrio, Campylobacter; Brucella; Bordetella;
Haemophilus; Corynebacterium diphtheria
"MICROBIOLOGIA MEDICA: BATTERIOLOGIA, MICOLOGIA, VIROLOGIA. Gli
agenti infettivi dell'uomo: biologia, azione patogena, laboratorio. " Monduzzi Editore
M.Bendinelli, A. Calderaro, C. Chezzi - Parassitologia Medica - Monduzzi Editore
Oral e practical lesson
Assessment methods and criteria