Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
First semester
Language of instruction: 



Learning outcomes of the course unit

The objectives of the Microbiology course are to enable the acquisition of knowledge and understanding about basic microbiology (morphology, structural organization, genetics and classification of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses; host-pathogen interactions and pathogenesis of infectious diseases; mechanisms of action and use of common antimicrobial and antiviral agents and their mechanisms of resistance; host immune response to infectious agents and prevention of infectious diseases; recombinant DNA and pharmaceuticals).
The objectives of the General Pathology course are to enable the acquisition of knowledge and understanding about etio-pathogenetic mechanisms of human diseases with their related essential notions of semeiotic and medical terminology and mechanisms and alterations of the innate and adaptive immune response. Great emphasis will be given to molecular pathology, oncology and immunology in order to allow the student to apply the knowledge gained to understanding the mechanisms of action of drugs and to identify new potential therapeutic targets.

The integrated course also aims to provide the ability to apply in occupational contexts knowledge and understanding acquired in the fields of Microbiology and General Pathology.


Getting through General Physiology and Biochemistry/Applied Biochemistry.

Course contents summary

Microbiology. General characteristics of microorganisms and viruses. Microbial metabolism and cultivation of microorganisms and viruses. Genetics of microorganisms and viruses. Host-parasite relationships in infection and infectious disease (pathogenicity and virulence). Infection and immunity. Antimicrobial and antiviral agents. Immunoprophylaxis of infectious disease. Pharmaceutical Microbiology.

General Pathology. Etiology. Cellular pathology. Molecular and cellular oncology. Immunology and immunopathology. Acute and chronic inflammation and tissue repair. Biochemical and metabolic pathology. Blood physiopathology. Cardiovascular physiopathology.

Course contents

Microbiology. Origin and evolution of microorganisms and Microbiology. Observation of microorganisms and viruses. Structure and functions of prokaryotic cell. Fungi. Protozoa. Viruses, viroids and prions. Growth and metabolism of microorganisms. Cultivation, titration and classification of microorganisms and viruses. Genetics of microorganisms and viruses: genetic recombination. Host-parasite relationships in infection and infectious disease. Microbial population of the human body. Microbial pathogens and their mechanisms of pathogenicity and virulence. Mechanisms of pathogenicity of the virus. Major infectious diseases. Infection and Immunity: nonspecific and specific defenses against infection. Strategies of microorganisms and viruses to escape the immune system. Chemical and physical antimicrobial and antiviral agents. Antibiotic and chemotherapeutic antimicrobial and antiviral agents: mechanism of action, resistance and sensitivity assays. Immunoprophylaxis of infectious diseases. Pharmaceutical Microbiology: microorganisms in chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Probiotics and prebiotics. Assessment of genotoxicity: Ames test. Biotechnology: Recombinant DNA and pharmaceutical products.
General Pathology. Etiology. Extrinsic causes of disease. Radiation injury by ionizing and nonionizing radiation. Chemical injury. Nutrition and disease. Intrinsic causes of disease. The molecular mechanisms of mutations and DNA repair. Transmission patterns of pathological characters. Single-gene disorders. Disorders with multifactorial inheritance. Cellular Pathology. Cellular alterations of growth and differentiation. Atrophy, hypertrophy, hyperplasia, metaplasia, dysplasia. Necrosis and apoptosis. Oncology: Definition, nomenclature, and biological properties of benign and malignant neoplasms. Classification, grading and staging of tumors. Molecular basis of cancer. Oncogenic DNA and RNA virus. Protooncogenes, oncogenes. Tumor suppressor genes. Survival and pro-apoptotic genes. DNA repair genes. Molecular basis of multistep carcinogenesis. Neoplastic phenotype. Angiogenesis. Tumor progression. Invasion and metastasis. Chemical carcinogenesis: initiation and promotion. Carcinogenic chemicals. Radiation carcinogenesis. Microbial carcinogenesis in humans. Genetic predisposition to cancer. Biological basis of anti-neoplastic therapies. Immunology and immunopathology: Innate immunity. Acquired immunity. Antigens. The structural and functional aspects of Antibodies. T and B lymphocytes and their receptors. The Major Histocompatibility System (MHC). Activation of B and T lymphocytes. Anatomy of the immune system. Effectors of the immune response: antibodies, T helper lymphocytes and cytokines, T cytotoxic lymphocytes. Immunity to bacteria, virus and protozoa. Vaccinations. Primary and secondary immunodeficiencies. Hypersensitivity. Immunological tolerance and autoimmune diseases. Celiac disease. Tumor immunology. Transplantation. Acute and chronic inflammation. Vascular changes, cellular events and chemical mediators. Inflammatory exudate and systemic effects. Fever and hyperthermia. Chronic inflammation: classification, cytological features and granuloma. Tissue repair. Blood physiopathology. Blood and Hematopoiesis. Sickle cell disease. Iron deficiency anemia, megaloblastic anemias. Thalassemia syndromes. Leukemia and lymphoma. Cardiovascular physiopathology. The hemostatic response and its control mechanisms. Thrombosis. Embolism. Atherosclerosis. Clinical manifestations of ischemic heart disease. Arrhythmias. Hypertension and hypotension. Edema. Biochemical, metabolic, and endocrine pathology. Pathogenesis of type1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Disorders of lipids circulation in the plasma. Familial hypercholesterolemia. Steatosis. Cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's disease.

Recommended readings

Carlone et al. - Microbiologia Farmaceutica - Editrice Edises.
Visual aids made available to the students.
Materiale iconografico utilizzato durante le lezioni.
Hugo-Russell – Microbiologia Farmaceutica - Editrice EMSI, Roma.
Murray, Rosenthal, Kobayashi, Pfaller - Microbiologia. EdiSES, Napoli.
La Placa - Principi di Microbiologia Medica - Società Editrice Esculapio, Bologna.
Robbins e Cotran: Le Basi Patologiche delle Malattie. Elsevier VIII edizione.
Pontieri-Russo-Frati: Patologia Generale. Piccin IV edizione.
Abbas A.K. e Lichtman: Le basi dell’ Immunologia. Fisiopatologia del Sistema Immunitario. MASSON Elsevier II edizione.

Teaching methods

The arguments regarding the courses content will be presented and discussed through lectures, with the aid of iconographic material.Lectures will present the main conceptual frame of each subject, summoning questions or doubts from the students.

Assessment methods and criteria

Learning outcomes will be verified through an oral examination. It 's possible for the student to address separately the parts of Microbiology and Pathology, as partial exams. Questions on the topics relating to the courses content will be used by different examiners to test the student’s knowledge and understanding in the two scientific disciplines, and her/his ability to apply them in occupational contexts. Failure to answer to questions on one of the courses , or proven inability to demonstrate at least a basic knowledge of the subjects, will prevent the successful completion of the exam. Upon successful completion of the examination, the attribution of voting will be carried out according to the degree of achievement of the objectives (excellent, good, fair, fully sufficient, barely sufficient). The final vote will be decided jointly by the examiners, who will have the possibility to decide a vote not higher or lower than three grades from the best or the worst vote derived from the mean of the two individual votes. Full marks with laude will be reserved to students exhibiting, together with an overal evaluation of 30/30, capability of making judgments and good communication ability and autonomous learning skills.