Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2021/2022 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Emanuela Frangipani Every day, to be agreed by phone or email
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English French
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Biotechnology (L-2)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide the fundamental knowledge of theoretical and applied General Microbiology. The principal learning objectives will focus on: 1) the structural and functional diversity which is present in the microbial world; 2) the mechanisms responsible for the replication, growth and metabolism of bacterial cells; 3) bacterial genetics; 4) antibacterial drugs, methods and strategies for the control of microbial growth; 5) the concept of species, evolution and biodiversity in prokaryotes; 6) the mechanisms that underlies the interactions between bacteria and higher organisms; 7) the structure and classification of viral particles; 8) the mechanisms responsible for viral replication; 9) the techniques for virus study; 10) antiviral drugs and methods for the prevention of viral disease (vaccines);11) the mechanisms that underlie the interactions between viruses and higher organisms.


  • Introduction to and history of General Microbiology
  • Structure and functions of bacterial cells
  • Structure of the prokaryotic cell. Cell division: binary fission. Cytoplasm, cytoplasmic inclusions and sub-cellular organelles. Cytoplasmic membrane and cell wall in Bacteria and Archaea
  • Mechanisms involved in protein secretion and cell wall biogenesis
  • Surface appendages: flagella and pili. Bacterial motility and chemotaxis
  • Cell differentiation in bacteria and sporulation. Microbial communities: biofilms
  • Bacterial metabolism: chemoorganotrophs, chemolithotrophs and phototrophs
  • Bacterial cultures and methods for bacterial cell count
  • Bacterial genetics
  • Mobile genetic elements and Horizontal gene transfer, genetic recombination and mutations
  • Antibiotics: activity and mechanisms of action. Evolution and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance
  • Introduction to and history of Virology
  • Structure and classification of Eukaryotic viruses
  • Virus replication and effects on their cellular hosts
  • Virus genetics. Virus titration, cultivation and isolation methodologies
  • Bacteriophages
  • Characteristics of selected virus families: Herpersviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Hepadnaviridae, Retroviridae.
  • Introduction to antiviral therapy and vaccines

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and understanding ability: Students must be able to describe the properties of prokaryotic cells as well as Viruses, highlighting the differences and similarities with Eukaryotic cells. Students will have to know the mechanisms underlying bacterial cells replication, metabolism and growth. Moreover, students will have to be familiar with the main methods applied to the control of bacterial growth, focusing in particular on antimicrobial drugs. Basic knowledge on microbial genetics and on the mechanisms that drive the interactions between bacteria and higher organisms is also required. Students will also have to know the mechanisms underlying viral replication and will have to be familiar with the main methods applied to the control of viral growth. It will be important to acquire knowledge on antiviral drugs and on methods for the prevention of viral disease (vaccines). Basic knowledge on the mechanisms that drive the interactions between viruses and higher organisms is also required.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: Both during oral and written exams, students will have to clearly and correctly illustrate the topics that they have studied, using the correct scientific and microbiological terminology.

Independent judgment: Students will have to be able to critically apply the acquired knowledge to solve General Microbiology questions.

Communicative ability: Students will have to be able to use the microbiological language and to link the different microbiological features with appropriate examples.

Learning capability: Student must demonstrate to have acquired the ability to illustrate and discuss with people of equal preparation and expertise on Microbiology-related topics.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Laboratory activities and seminars will be offered to attending students

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Course books

·  Dehò, G. e Galli, E. Biologia dei microrganismi. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.

·  Antonelli, Clementi. Principi di Virologia Medica. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.

·  Dimmock, Easton, Leppard. Introduzione alla Virologia Moderna. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.


The final assessment consists of a written and an oral exam.

The exam is aimed at verifying the level of knowledge and comprehension of the topics of the program and the reasoning skills developed by the student.

The written test includes both open and closed questions on the topics covered during lectures and laboratory exercises. Open questions are evaluated for accuracy, completeness of content as well as synthesis and elaboration skills. Property of language, clarity of exposition, acquired knowledge and ability to make connections between the different topics are evaluated during the oral examination. Overall, the exam aims to verify the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and comprehension of the topics, as well as communication skills. The evaluation is expressed in thirtieths (minimum mark 18/30, maximum mark 30/30 cum laude).

Disability and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

Students who have registered their disability certification or SLD certification with the Inclusion and Right to Study Office can request to use conceptual maps (for keywords) during exams.

To this end, it is necessary to send the maps, two weeks before the exam date, to the course instructor, who will verify their compliance with the university guidelines and may request modifications.

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