cod. 1007260

Academic year 2017/18
1° year of course - Second semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
5 credits
course unit

Learning objectives

Students have to know general characteristics of the pathogenic factors and basic technical aspects related to the laboratory diagnosis of infections caused by relevant bacteria, fungi, and viruses of medical interest. In addition, they must be able to apply this knowledge in the workplace.


Basic knowledge of biology, biochemistry and physiology are suitable to understand the course topics successfully.

Course unit content

Main morphological and structural characteristics and life cycle of microorganisms and viruses.
Cultivation of microorganisms and viruses.
Resident microbial population.
Pathogenicity of microorganisms.
Antibacterial and antifungal drugs.
Main protozoa and helminths of medical interest.
General principles of laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Full programme

Structural and functional characteristics of the prokaryotic cell. Comparison of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Sporogenesis and germination. Microscopic examination: simple and differential staining. Metabolism and cultivation: media and curve of growth. Quantitation methods. Bacterial genetics. Host-bacterium interactions. Resident bacterial population. Mechanisms of pathogenicity. Antibacterial drugs. Mechanisms of resistance to antibacterial drugs. Antibacterial drug susceptibility testing.

Introduction to medical parasitology: terminology and definitions used in the study of systematic medical parasitology, definition of parasitism, general features and classification of medically important parasites. Presentation of the principal parasitic protozoa of medical interest. Notes on the life cycle of principal blood and tissue parasitic protozoa: Plasmodium sp., Leishmania, Toxoplasma gondii, free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba). Notes on the life cycle of the principal intestinal parasitic protozoa: intestinal amoebae (Entamoeba histolytica), Flagellates (Giardia intestinalis), Coccidia (Cryptosporidium spp.). Notes on the life cycle of the principal genito-urinary parasitic protozoa (Trichomonas). Presentation of the principal helmints of medical interest: Cestoda (Diphyllobotrium latum, Taenia solium, Taenia saginata, Echinococcus), Nematoda. Notes on the life cycle of the principal intestinal parasitic helmints: Cestoda (Diphyllobotrium latum, Taenia solium, Taenia saginata, Echinococcus), Nematoda (Ascaris lumbricoides, Strongyloides stercoralis, Enterobius vermicularis). Notes on the life cycle of the principal parasitic helmints of the muscoskeletal apparatus: Nematoda (Trichinella spiralis).

General characteristics of fungi. Structure of the fungal cell and of the fungal colony. Yeasts and moulds. Reproduction of fungi. Notes on mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity. Fungal dimorphism. Cultivation of fungi. Antifungal drugs.

Definition of virus. General features of viruses. Morphology and structure of viruses. Nucleic acids of viruses. Host-virus interactions: steps of viral infection. Cultivation of viruses. Effects of virus replication on host cell (productive and abortive infection; lysogeny; virus-induced transformation). Quantitation of viruses. Classification of viruses. Mutations and genetic interactions between viruses. Antiviral drugs. Principles of laboratory diagnosis of viral infections.


M. Bendinelli, C. Chezzi, G. Dettori, N. Manca, G. Morace, L. Polonelli, M.A.T u f a n o.
Microbiologia Medica. Batteriologia. Parassitologia, Micologia. Virologia. Monduzzi Editore

Teaching methods

Lectures supported by visual aids will be used to present and discuss the contents of the course.

Assessment methods and criteria

The outcomes of learning will be verified through an oral examination.
By questions regarding the topics of the course it will be determined whether the student has achieved the goal of basic knowledge in the field, in order to access the following years of the bachelor course in TLB.

Other information

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