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Code: MA225     Acronym: MICRO

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL General and Aquatic Biology

Instance: 2018/2019 - 1T (of 17-09-2018 to 02-11-2018) Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Molecular Biology
Course/CS Responsible: First Cycle Degree (BSc) in Aquatic Sciences

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
LCMA 30 Oficial Plan 2018 2 - 5 49 135

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Maria Salomé Custódio Gomes

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 4,00
Laboratory Practice: 4,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 4,00
Maria Salomé Custódio Gomes 3,00
Laboratory Practice Totals 2 8,00
Ana Carolina Dos Santos Moreira 2,85
Maria Salomé Custódio Gomes 5,14

Teaching language



At the end of this course, the student shoud be able to: Acknowledge the central importance of Microbiology for his/her own daily life, for Earth’s environment, for the health of plants and animals and for the development of other Biomedical Sciences. Enumerate the basic structural features of viruses and bacteria, as they are know today. Enumerate different strategies used by bacterial cells to obtain the energy and biosynthetic precursors they need. Explain the main differences between procaryotic and eucaryotic cells in terms of the organization of their genomes and the way genetic material is transferred between cells. Identify microbial virulence factors. Enumerate the main components of the antimicrobial defense systems present in vertebrate animals. Enumerate the mechanisms of action of some the antibiotics in clinical use today. Explain the mechanisms of emergence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics and ways to avoid this emergence. Manipulate microrganisms using a correct asseptic technique. Correctely use the optical microscope for the observation of different types of microrganisms. Apply different types of staining methods to visualize and classify microorganisms. Apply metabolic tests to the identification of microorganisms. Quantify bacteria or phages present in a given sample. Analyse a water sample for the presence of fecal contamination. Find and critically analyse scientific literature, so that he/she may keep up-to-date to relevant scientific knowledge throughout life.

Learning outcomes and competences

At the end of this course, the students should have:

1) acquired the knowledge about all the topics referred in the objectives and syllabus;

2) developed the capacity to plan and organize their work, both individually and within a team;

3) the capacity to safely cultivate and manipulate different microorganisms;

4) the capacity to search and analyze scientific literature in the area of Microbiology.

Working method



1- Definition, importance and History of Microbiology. 2- Bacterial structure: chemical composition of the cytosol and plasma membrane. Bacterial cell wall. The Gram staining. Differences in cell wall structure between Gram negatives and Gram positives. Peptidoglycan and teichoic acids. External membrane in Gram negatives. Peptidoglycan synthesis. 3- Bacterial Growth. Different methods used to quantify bacteria. Different phases of bacterial growth in a closed compartment. Mathematics of growth in an open culture. Definitions of generation time and growth rate. Environmental factors affecting bacterial growth. 4- Microbial nutrition and metabolism. Types of culture media. Nutritional categories. Main glicolytic pathways. The tricarboxylic acid cycle. Oxidative phosphorilation. Anaerobic respiration. Chemolytotrophy: impact on the environment, namely on carbon and sulfur cycles. Oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis. Anabolism: carbon dioxide and amonia fixation pathways. Metabolic regulatory mechanisms. Operon regulation. 5- Virology: the importance of viruses for human and animal pathology. Bacteria-infecting virus: the bacteriophages. Viral morphology and organization. Different types of nucleic acids that can be part of viral genomes. Viral capsids: different types of symetry and organization. Viral envelope. Virus classification in terms of host, type of genome, capsid symetry, presence of envelope, etc. Viral multiplication: adsorption, penetration, replication, assembling and release. Consequences of viral infection for the infected cell. Antiviral drugs. 6- Bacterial Genetics. Genetic organization of bacteria as compared to eukaryotes. Mechanisms of gene transfer between bacteria: transformation, transduction and conjugation. Genetic recombination. 7- Infection and pathogen-host interaction. Mechanisms of resistance to infection, innate and acquired immunity. Complement and interferons, inflammation, phagocytic cells, opsonization. Antimicrobial effector mechanisms: pH, proteases, defensins, lactoferrin, oxygen radicals, nitric oxide, nutrient deprivation. T and B lymphocytes. Antibodies. Cytotoxic and helper T cells, cytokines. Antigen recognition by T cells, role of MHC molecules. Microbial virulence factors and mechanisms for avoiding and subverting the immune response: toxins, adhesins, complement resistance, resistance to phagocytosis, intracellular parasitism. 8- Antimicrobial control. Distinction between microbiostatic, microbicidal and microbiolytic effects. Definitions of sterilization, disinfection, antisepsis, conservation and chemotherapy. Physical agents of microbial control: temperature, radiation. Chemical agents used as disinfectants, antiseptics or chemotherapeutics. Main groups of antibiotics in use, including cell wall and protein synthesis inhibitors. Mechanisms of action, mechanisms of bacterial resistance. Examples of synthetic antimicrobial drugs: quinolones and sulfas. The impact of bacterial resistance on the therapy of human and animal infectious diseases. Mechanisms of development and propagation of resistances, types of genetic alterations involved. Methods for determining the susceptibility of a bacterial isolate to antibiotics/ chemotherapy.

Mandatory literature

Willey Joanne M.; Prescott.s microbiology. ISBN: 978-1-259-28159-4
Willey Joanne M.; Prescott.s principles of microbiology. ISBN: 978-0-07-128367-0

Complementary Bibliography

Ferreira Wanda F. Canas 340; Microbiologia. ISBN: 978-972-757-515-2

Teaching methods and learning activities

1- Lectures: Presentation by the teacher, with audiovisual support; discussions with the students and problem solving;
2- The practical classes include: Isolation of microorganisms; Microscopic observation of live microorganisms; Bacterial morphology and staining techniques; Culture and quantification of bacteria and phages; Bacterial biochemistry; Microbiological analysis of water samples; Determination of antibiotic susceptibility. 3- A bibliographic search will be done by small groups of students, with the help of the teacher. Use of bibliographic databases, analysis of scientific papers, presentation of the data.


Health sciences > Medical sciences > Veterinary medicine > Bacterial pathogens of animals
Health sciences > Medical sciences > Veterinary medicine > Animal immunology
Health sciences > Medical sciences > Veterinary medicine > Viral pathogens of animals

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 10,50
Exame 70,00
Participação presencial 4,50
Trabalho laboratorial 15,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 20,00
Estudo autónomo 51,00
Frequência das aulas 49,00
Trabalho escrito 15,00
Total: 135,00

Eligibility for exams

To be eligible for the final exam, the student must attend three thirds of the practical classes with a positive evaluation.

The students who have attended these classes with a positive evaluation in the previous two years may be exempt of this obligation (contact the head of the UC).

Calculation formula of final grade

Final Classification= 0,7xWritten final exam + 0,3xPractical Evaluation

Practical Evaluation:
Presentation of a literature search work: 35%.
Nine writen reports done during the laboratory classes: 50%
Assiduity and active participation in the laboratory classes: 15%.

The following minimum classifications for each component apply:
9,5 in the Practical Evaluation;
9,0 in the Written final exam.

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