Introduction to the study of microbiology. Microorganisms: general information. One Health approach to the management of microbial infections. Prokaryotes vs eukaryotes.
Size, shape and general organization of bacteria. The surface structures of the bacterial cell: cytoplasmic membrane; bacterial wall of gram negative and gram positive; wall of acid-resistant alcohol bacteria. Internal structures: cytoplasm, nucleoid, plasmids and transposons, ribosomes, endospores. Structures external to the bacterial wall: Capsule, glycocalyx, flagella, pili and fimbriae. Binary fission and horizontal transfer of genetic information: transformation, conjugation, restricted and generalized phage transduction, phage conversion. Pathogenicity factors of bacteria. Factors that promote host colonization: motility, adhesion, invasion, competition for iron and other nutrients. Factors that promote the evasion of the innate and adaptive immune response. Virulence factors that cause damage to the host: ability to induce the production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, bacterial endotoxins and exotoxins. Antibiotics and chemotherapy. Direct and indirect diagnostic methods: isolation of bacteria of veterinary interest, cultural traits, dye traits, biochemical tests, serological tests, immunofluorescence, ELISA, molecular diagnosis of bacterial infections.
General characteristics of viruses. Size and shapes of viruses. Structure of viruses. Virus classification criteria. Viroids and prions. Life cycle of viruses of veterinary interest. Oncogenic viruses. Lytic cycle and lysogenic cycle of bacteriophages. Pathogenicity of animal viruses. Antivirals. Types of viral infection. Virus isolation, cytopathic effect. Direct and indirect virological diagnosis methods: Isolation, PCR, serological tests, ELISA, Immunofluorescence.
Information will be provided regarding the interactions between Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs) and Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs).
The nature and function of the cells involved in both the innate nonspecific and specific acquired and anamnestic immune responses will be described.
We will describe the mechanisms and cells that are involved in the humoral immune response, underlining the nature and function of antibodies and their different classes.
We will describe the mechanisms and cells that are involved in the cell-mediated immune response, underlining the nature and function of the cells involved in it.
The main serological and cell-mediated diagnostic methods used in veterinary medicine will be described, underlining the criteria for their correct application and interpretation.
The different types of immunization tools will be described, underlining the criteria for their correct use.
The practical activity (10h per student) involves the collection of biological samples from clinical cases with suspected bacterial etiology, the preparation of culture media, bacterial isolation, and the study of the cultural characteristics of the bacteria, and finally the preparation and interpretation of the antibiogram. During the first hour of practice the teacher will illustrate the safety rules for the manipulation of bacterial species and for the correct use of the microbiology laboratory. Immunology practical work will focus on the design of vaccines capable of allowing the differentiation of vaccinated animals from naturally infected ones (DIVA). The different groups will work on pathologies of their choice and will present their project to their colleagues at the end of the course during the exam.