Microbiology and HYGIENE

Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Maria Lina MEZZATESTA

Expected Learning Outcomes

The student must learn the biological and pathogenic characteristics of microorganisms of relevance to dentistry that play a role in human pathology, with reference to bacteria, viruses and fungi. He must acquire appropriate knowledge on the relationships between microorganisms and host in normal and pathological conditions, identify the transmission pathways, know the characteristics, the activity, the mechanism of action of the main antimicrobial drugs and vaccines. The student must also know the main methods for the cultivation and identification of microorganisms.

 The course also aims to illustrate the various methods of prevention of microbial infections and the main causes of infection related to specific professional activity.


Course Structure

Traditional lectures, with the support of slides and educational videos of some theoretical-practical teaching topics (the films will be available on the Studium page).

During the lessons will be dedicated to the Journal Club in which some groups of students will have the opportunity to critically evaluate recent articles in the medical literature.

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

Bacteria of relevance to dentistry

  1. Essential characteristics of bacteria: structure and function of principal components. Aspects of biochemistry, physiology and genetic organization.
  2. Oral Environment: biofilm. Physical and host parameters affecting oral microbiota. 
  3. Pathogenetic mechanisms of bacterial infections: interactions, Virulence factors of oral bacteria. Host-parasite interactions and mode of infection.
  4. Dental caries: etiology and pathogenesis.
  5.  Infection control

a)    Sterilization, disinfection and antisepsis

b)    Antibiotics, mechanisms of action

  1. Main pathogens of infections of the oral cavity: characteristics, identification, pathogenesis, clinical aspects, antibiotic-therapy
  2. Essential concepts of microbiological diagnostics


Viruses of relevance to dentistry

1.    Viruses structures: The organization of the viral particle and virus replication

2.    The pathogenesis of the viral infection

3.    Mode of transmission

4.    Types of viral infection: acute and persistent infection (latent, slow, chronic, oncogenic)

5.    The control of viral infections: the antiviral chemotherapy: classification, mechanism of action and resistance; antiviral immunoglobulin preparations and vaccines.

6.    The diagnostic principles of viral diseases

7.    Viruses that can cause pathologies in the oral cavity: Picornaviridae, Human Herpesviridae (Herpes simplex 1 and 2, Varicella-Zoster Virus, Cytomegalovirus and Epsten-Barr Virus, Human Herpesviruses 6, 7 and 8), Human Papillomaviruses.

8.    Viruses Present in the oral cavity: Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Fungi of relevance to dentistry

1.    The Fungi: Characteristics of fungi and their metabolism, the fungal cell.

2.    Mechanisms of pathogenicity: Micetism, Mycotoxicosis, Mycosis

3.    Pathogenesis of mycosis: Mode of infection, Dimorphism, The host defense to fungal infections

4.    Mycosis in the oral cavity: Candidiasis, Aspergillosis, Cryptococcosis, Histoplasmosis, Blastomycosis, Paracoccidioidomycosis, Mucormycosis.

5.    The antifungal drugs: classification, mechanism of action and resistance

Textbook Information

  • Antonelli, Clementi, Pozzi, Rossolini - Principi di Microbiologia medica – Ed. Ambrosiana
  • Lamont R.J., Burne R.A., Lantz M.S., Leblanc D.J. – Microbiologia ed Immunologia del Cavo Orale – EMSI
  • Maria Pia CONTE e Francesca BERLUTTI - Microbiologia medica e microbiologia del cavo orale, Esculapio
  • Philip Marsh e Michael V.Martin curato da Luciano Polonelli- Microbiologia odontoiatrica, UNINOVA
  • Lakshman Samaranayake – Essential Microbiology For Dentistry – Third Edition – Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier.

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral examination

 The oral examination consists of an interview in which questions will be asked that will focus on the different topics of the study program.

 The test allows to verify:

 i) the level of knowledge of human histology in physiological conditions of the organism.

 ii) clarity of presentation.

 iii) the property of medical-scientific language.

 For the attribution of the final grade, the following parameters will be taken into account:

 Grade 29-30 with honors: the student has a thorough knowledge of the topics discussed during the exam; he is able to promptly and correctly integrate and critically analyze the topics covered by the interview; he has excellent communication skills and masters medical-scientific language.

 Grade 26-28: the student has a good knowledge of the topics discussed during the exam, he is able to integrate and analyze the topics covered by the interview in a critical and linear way and he presents the topics clearly using an appropriate medical-scientific language;

 Grade 22-25: the student has a fair knowledge of the topics discussed during the exam, even if limited to the main topics; he manages to integrate and analyze in a critical but not always linear way the topics covered by the interview and he exposes the topics quite clearly with a discrete property of language;

 Score 18-21: the student has minimal knowledge of the topics discussed during the exam, he has a modest ability to integrate and critically analyze the topics covered by the interview and he explains the topics in a sufficiently clear way although the language property is underdeveloped;

 Failed exam: the student does not have the minimum required knowledge of the main teaching contents. The ability to use specific language is very little or absent and he is unable to apply the acquired knowledge.