cod. 1009729

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Second semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
8 credits
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

The course's objective is to enable the student to deepen their laboratory knowledge for the correct microbiological diagnosis of the major infectious diseases with epidemiological relevance in Italy. Additionally, it aims to provide the necessary knowledge for managing the main diseases that can be acquired through travel to other countries. The theoretical knowledge acquired in classroom lectures will be complemented by a reasoned assessment of symptoms, clinical findings, and laboratory-instrumental data related to the discussed diseases in illustrative clinical cases.


Understanding the topics that will be covered in the course requires a solid foundation in biology, microbiology, and immunology, as these are essential for discussing the life cycle of various pathogens and the pathogenesis of related diseases.

Course unit content

The course aims to provide the principles and methods for laboratory diagnosis, as well as the foundational knowledge for the proper clinical management and prevention of the main infectious diseases in our geographical area.

Laboratory diagnosis includes:

Demonstrating the pathogen and its constituents in pathological material
Specific recent immune response
Execution methods for microbiological and virological investigations
Procedures for the collection, transportation, and storage of clinical microbiological samples.
The main diseases covered will be tuberculosis, meningitis, malaria, viral hepatitis, and HIV infection, SARS-CoV2.

Full programme

The integrated course will cover the following topics: Principles and methods for laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases through the demonstration of the pathogen and its constituents in pathological materials, as well as the demonstration of a recent specific immune response. Additionally, there will be discussions on pathogenesis, interpretation of results from microbiological and virological investigations related to all systems and organs, as well as systemic spread of infections. Finally, the determination of pathogen sensitivity/resistance to antibiotics will be addressed.
The main diseases to be covered include:
Tuberculosis (epidemiology, brief etiology and pathogenesis, pulmonary and extra-pulmonary clinical manifestations, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects).
Meningitis (bacterial forms, with particular reference to meningitis caused by meningococcus, pneumococcus, and listeria; tubercular and viral forms; diagnosis, therapy, and prophylaxis).
Malaria (etiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, therapy, and prophylaxis).
Infections caused by hepatitis B and C viruses (virus life cycle, immunopathogenesis of liver damage and viral persistence, epidemiology and natural history, clinical aspects, and brief therapy considerations).
Liver diseases caused by other viruses (HAV, HEV, delta, EBV, and CMV) and differential diagnosis with other non-viral causes of liver disease.
HIV infections (brief virus biology and pathogenesis; epidemiology, natural history, opportunistic diseases, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); diagnostic aspects, and brief therapy considerations).
SARS-CoV2 infection and disease.


Sherris & Ryan’s Medical Microbiology. Editor Ryan KJ. McGraw Hill. Eighth Edition, 2022.
Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Pfaller MA, Medical Microbiology. Ninth Edition, Elsevier, 2021.
Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious diseases.
Infectious Diseases: A Clinical Short Course, 4th Edition Frederick S. Southwick

Teaching methods

Interactive lessons with the use of slides. Lessons will be held on-site.

Assessment methods and criteria

An oral examination will be conducted during which questions related to the topics covered in the classroom lectures will be asked to assess the level of understanding of individual subjects and the ability to apply the knowledge to laboratory diagnostics and clinical situations.

Other information

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