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Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[60/71]  CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY [71/20 - Ord. 2021]  Citologia molecolare 12 112


The course aims to initiate the student to a thorough study of molecular mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions, by providing the tools for understanding the different strategy of infection of the main families of pathogenic viruses (Module I) and of bacteria (Module II).
In particular, the course is aimed at the comprehension of the biology of the major families of pathogenic viruses and bacteria, as well as of cellular and molecular host defense mechanisms, of the pathogens’ strategies for avoiding the host immune response, and of the current approaches for the control of infectious diseases.
Also, the study of the biology of pathogens provides the theoretical basis to gain methodological skills in the laboratory of bacteriology and of virology. The course provides competences to grow cells in cultures, to evaluate the innate immune system activation in gene-reporter assays, and to evaluate the ability of viral proteins to inhibit the innate immune system activation (Module I), and includes semi narwal activities (II Module).


Good knowledge of general microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology


Module I - Molecular Virology (5+2 CFU)

Origin of viruses: coevolution, retrograde evolution, theory of evasion genes.
Structure and classification of viruses.
Methodologies to study viruses
The phases of the viral replication cycle:
- Adsorption and entry
- Synthesis of viral RNA from genomic RNA
- Synthesis of viral RNA from genomic DNA
- processing of viral pre-mRNA
- Retrotranscription and integration
- Deregulation of cell cycle by viruses
- Control of translation
- Intracellular trafficking of viral proteins
- Virion assembly and budding
- Antiviral drugs
- Molecular mechanisms of intrinsic and innate immunity
- Molecular mechanisms of adaptive immunity


Epidemiology, transmission, replication cycle, prophylaxis and therapy of the following viral families:
- Retroviridae
- Flaviviridae
- Coronaviridae
- Orthomyxoviridae
- Paramyxoviridae
- Filoviridae
- Hepadnaviridae
- Herpesviridae
- Papillomaviridae
- Adenoviridae

Laboratory (12 hours): preparation and growth of monolayer cells in culture; luciferase gene reporter assay to evaluate the innate immune system activation (interferon production) by viral RNA; luciferase gene reporter assay to evaluate the ability of viral proteins to inhibit the production of interferon

Module II - Molecular Microbiology (3+2 CFU)

Mechanism of pathogenicity of pathogenic bacteria:
- bacterial multiplication in vivo (colonization, penetration into deep tissues of the host, avoidance of constitutive or inducible antibacterial defenses).
- toxigenicity of bacteria (exotoxins that act at the cell surface, exotoxins that act by altering the intracellular content of cAMP, exotoxins which act by inhibiting cellular protein synthesis, exotoxin anthrax, toxins neurotrope, endotoxins).
Mechanism of action of current antibacterial drugs.
Molecular basis of bacterial single drug- and multidrug-resistance.

Epidemiology, transmission, replication cycle, virulence factors, prophylaxis and therapy of the following bacteria:
- Helicobacter pylori
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- Pathogenic E. coli
- Neisseria
- Clamidia
- Staphylococcus
- Streptococcus
- Rickettsia
- Chlostridium
- Bacteroides
- Corynebacterium
- Lysteria
- Bacillus
- Hemophilus
- Bordetella
- Legionella
- Coxiella
- Vibrio
- Campylobacter
- Spirochete.

Laboratory (12 hrs): seminars

Teaching Methods

Lectures, seminars, experimental experience in the laboratory.

Verification of learning

The final evaluation is an oral exam that takes into account several factors:
Quality of the knowledge, skills, competences showed:
a) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of knowledge
b) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of skills
c) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of skills
Exhibition mode:
a) Capacity of expression;
b) Proper use of the specific language of the discipline;
c) Logical ability also in the consequential fitting of the contents;
e) Ability to connect different subjects by finding the common points and establish a consistent overall design;
f) Ability to summarize through the use of symbolism on the matter, and including the graphic expression of ideas and concepts, for example scheme of biological processes and structures.
Relational qualities:
Ability to talk and interac with the teacher during the interview.
Personal qualities:
a) critical spirit;
b) ability to self-evaluation.

Consequently, the judgment can be:
a) Fair (18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little knowledge acquired, superficial level, many gaps. Expressive abilities modest, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue, logical and consequential in the fitting of the subjects of the elementary level; poor capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression rather stunted, lack of interaction with the examiner.
b) Moderate (21 to 23)
The applicant demonstrates a discreet acquisition of knowledge but lack of depth, a few gaps; expressive abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the language of science, logical and consequential in the fitting of the arguments of moderate complexity, more than enough capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression acceptable.
c) Good (24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates knowledge rather large, moderate depth, with few gaps; satisfactory mastery of the expressive capabilities and significant scientific language; critical ability, good capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression more than acceptable.
d) Outstanding (27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of notions very extensive, well depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable powers of expression and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable dialogue capacity, good competence and relevant aptitude for logic synthesis, high capacity for synthesis and graphic expression.
e) Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of very extensive and in-depth knowledge, gaps irrelevant, high capacity and high mastery of the expressive language of science; excellent ability dialogical aptitude to make connections between different subjects, excellent ability to synthesize and very familiar with the expression graphics.
The praise is attributed to the candidates clearly above average, and whose notional limits, if any, expressive, conceptual, logical, as a whole are completely irrelevant.


- Flint. Enquist, Racaniello, Skalka - Virology - ASM Press
- Sherris - Microbioloiga Medica, EMSI

More Information

Students will be given slides of lectures, scientific publications (reviews) on specific topics covered in class (English), links to free online text books of Microbiology and Virology (English)

Questionnaire and social

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