MED/07 - 6 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Identify the different types of relationships that microorganisms and human parasites determine with the host, differentiating the "infection" from the "disease" phenomenon. Correlate the aggressive mechanisms of microorganisms and parasites with the various "types" of infection and induced pathological lesions. Classify microorganisms and parasites in the various stages of aggregation of living matter (metazoa, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, viruses), correlating the degree of organization with the pathogenic action. Within the structural organization of microorganisms and parasites, identify the structures / functions necessary to carry out metabolic processes and replication and to determine infection / disease in the host. Correlate the phenomenon of variation and mutation of microorganisms and parasites with the pathogenic action and resistance to antimicrobial substances. Describe and classify the inhibitory mechanisms, the site of action, the spectrum of action of chemoantibiotics, antivirals, antifungal and antiprotozoal substances. Indicate the biological assumptions of chemo-antibiotic resistance (genotypic and phenotypic) and of resistance to other antimicrobial agents (antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoan). Indicate the composition of an antimicrobial vaccine, list the main antimicrobial vaccines currently in use defining their essential characteristics. Identify the most essential biological characteristics and the pathogenic action of microorganisms and pathogenic parasites for humans

Course Structure

Frontal oral presentation. Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.

Detailed Course Content

  1. Microorganisms and parasites: infection of the host
    1. The normal microbiota of the human body.
      1. Human microbiota
        • Microbiota models for apparatus
        • The role of the microbiota
        • Microbiota dysfunction and loss of resilience
    2. Epidemiology of infectious diseases
      1. General concepts
      2. Epidemiological definitions
      3. Frequency indexes
      4. Recognition of an infectious disease within a population
      5. Recognition of an epidemic
      6. The infectious cycle: history of a disease
      7. Carriers e reservoirs
    3. Characteristics of fungi and their metabolism:
      1. The fungal cell structure and function
      2. Reproductive cycle
  2. The pathogenesis of infection
    1. The stages of bacterial infection
      1. Pathogenicity and virulence
      2. Pathogenic mechanisms
      3. Cellular structures linked to pathogenicity and virulence
      4. Bacterial toxins
      5. The host's response to bacterial infection
    2. Subviral pathogens: prions, viroids and virusoids
    3. The pathogenesis of viral infection
      1. Mode of transmission of viral infections
      2. Types of viral infection: acute infection and persistent infection (latent, slow, chronic and cytotransforming)
      3. The host's response to viral infection
      4. The interferon system
    4. Pathogenic mechanisms of fungi
      1. Micetism
      2. Mycotoxicoses
      3. Mycoses
    5. Pathogenesis of mycoses
    6. Dimorphism
    7. Infection mode
    8. Origin, classification and description of mycoses
    9. The host's response to fungal infection
  3. Il controllo dell’infezione
    1. Sterilization, disinfection and antisepsis
    2. Antimicrobial chemotherapy:
      1. Classification and characteristics of the main antibacterial groups
        • Mechanism of action
        • The antibiotic-resistance
        • Antibiogram
      2. The antiviral chemotherapy
        • Classification
        • Mechanism of action and resistance
        • Combination therapies
      3. Antifungal drugs
        • Classification
        • Mechanism of action and resistance
    3. Vaccines
  4. Taxonomy, main characteristics, pathogenicity, diseases, prevention and therapy

Main pathogenic bacteria for humans

Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Neisseria, Branhamella, Mycobacterium, Streptomyces, Nocardia, Actinomyces, Corynebacterium, Lactobacillus, Bartonella, Listeria, Gardnerella, Bacillus, Clostridium, Enterobacteriaceae, Haemophilus, Pasteurella, Vibrio, Legionella, Brucella, Bordetella, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Bacteroides, Campylobacter, Helicobacter, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Chlamydiaceae, Rickettsiales, Spirochetales

Main viruses responsible for infections in humans

Poxviridae, Herpesviridae, Adenoviridae, Papillomaviridae, Polyomaviridae (umani), Parvoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Pneumoviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Picornaviridae, Arenaviridae, Peribunyaviridae, Hantaviridae, Nairoviridae, Caliciviridae, Coronaviridae, Filoviridae, Flaviridae, Reoviridae, Retroviridae (solo umani), Togaviridae, Matonaviridae (Rubivirus), Rhabdoviridae (Rabies lyssavirus), virus delle epatiti (HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV, HGV).

Main fungi responsible for infections in humans

Primary dimorphic pathogens responsible for systemic mycoses: Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum, Histoplasma capsulatum var. duboisii, Blastomyces dermatitidis,Coccidioides immits , Paracoccidioides brasiliensis,

Opportunistic dimorphic pathogens responsible for systemic mycoses: Talaromyces marneffei

Superficial mycoses: Aspergillus spp., Rhizopus spp., Scopulariopsis spp., Mucor spp., Penicillium spp, Malassezia furfur, Exophiala werneckii, Trichosporon beigelii, Piedraia hortae, Candida spp.

Cutaneous mycoses. Dermatophytosis: Microsporum spp.., Trichophyton spp . , Epidermophyton spp.. Dermatomycoses: Hendersonula toruloidea, Scytalidium hyalium (Natrassia spp.), Scopulariopsis brevicaulis.

Sub-cutaneous mycoses (outline). Sporotrichosis: Sporothrix spp.. Chromoblastomycosis: Fonsecaea, Phialophora, Cladophialophora. Phaeohyphomycosis: Cladophialophora spp, Exophiala spp, Bipolaris spp, Exserohilum spp. Mycotic mycetoma: Scedosporium spp, Madurella spp, Trematosphaeria spp, Acremonium spp, Exophiala spp. Entomophthoromycosis: Basidiobolus ranarum, Conidiobolus coronatus. Mucormycosis: Rhizopus spp, Mucor spp, Rhizomucor spp, Lichtheimia spp, Saksenaea spp. Lobomycosis: Loboa loboi. Rhinosporidiosis: Rhinosporidium seeberi.

Systemic mycoses from opportunistic fungi: Candidiasis: Candida spp, Debaryomyces spp, Kluyveromyces spp, Meyerozyma spp, Pichia spp.. Cryptococcosis: Cryptococcus spp, C. neoformans/C. gattii. Aspergillosis: Aspergillus fumigatus complex, A. flavus, complex, A. terreus complex. Scedosporiosis (outline): Scedosporium spp., Lomentospora spp. Mucormicosis: Rhizopus spp, Mucor spp, Rhizomucor spp, Lichtheimia spp. Hyalohyphomycosis: Penicillium spp, Paecilomyces spp, Beauveria spp, Fusarium spp., Scopulariopsis spp. Phaeohyphomycosis (outline): Cladophialophora spp, Exophiala spp, Bipolaris spp, Exserohilum spp

Notes on Microsporidiosis and Pneumocystis spp

Textbook Information

Murray et Al VIII ed or IX ed., Edra

Topley & Wilsons' on:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9780470688 (this link must be used within Unversity of Catania network)


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