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Medical Microbiology and Parasitology

Code: 102933 ECTS Credits: 8
Degree Type Year Semester
2502442 Medicine OB 3 0


Tomàs Pumarola Suñé

Teaching groups languages

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Rosa Maria Bartolomé Comas
Carme Muñoz Batet
Maria Teresa Tórtola Fernández
Elisenda Miro Cardona
Maria Nieves Larrosa Escartin
Ferran Navarro Risueño
Montserrat Garrigo Fullola
Mayli del Consuelo Lung Suarez
Silvia Capilla Rubio
Tomàs Pumarola Suñé
Andres Anton Pagarolas
Juliana Esperalba Esquerra
Adrian Antuori Torres
Juan José González López
Anabel Fernández Navarro
Antonio Casabella Pernas
Marina Alguacil Guillen
Carla Berengua Pereira
Gladys Virginia Guedez Lopez
Pere Joan Cardona Iglesias
Maria Dolores Quesada Fernandez
Sonia Molinos Abos
Elena Sulleiro Igual
Maria Alba Rivera Martinez


General knowledge of cellular and molecular biology, anatomy, physiology and microscopic structure of human organs and systems.

Objectives and Contextualisation

Medical Microbiology and Parasitology is placed in the Third Course in Medicine Degree, together with other subjects, which place the student in the world of functional and structural human diseases.

The fact that a set of diseases are caused by microorganisms, presupposes a specific area of interrelation between two living beings, whose relationship, in certain circumstances, result in pathological processes that translate into infectious disease.

The subject is inserted in a year (third) in which General Pathology (pathophysiology), Pathological Anatomy and Pharmacology are developed. An intense correlation is developed with these areas of knowledge, both with the conceptual and the organizational sphere.

Infectious diseases respond to the action of a living causative agent, a specific and differential aspect with the rest of pathology and that entails several particularities such as the mentioned biological interaction between living beings and the transmission of microorganisms between people and therefore of the disease.

At the same time, these diseases are subject to treatment by means of antimicrobial medications, and immune prophylaxis through vaccines.

To identify the causative microorganism of the disease, cardinal aspect to establish the treatment and the prophylaxis, the location of the infections (focal and general) must be specified to take the appropriate samples to refer them to the laboratory of microbiology, where the studies are done to determine the etiological diagnosis. This aspect is important so that the treatment is directed and effective.

So, in Microbiology, we can differentiate knowledge objects and applied objectives: 1) microorganisms as causative agents of disease, 2) injury caused by the microorganisms defined by their pathogenicity and virulence 3) the host responses 4) the diagnostic processes and 5) the treatment and prophylaxis.

The processes of microbial injury and host response are inseparable and conform what we candefine as the pathophysiology of infection.

In this context the training objectives include:

1-      List the microorganisms that cause human illness (pathogenic microorganisms) and differentiate them from the commensal microorganisms.

2-      Describe the biological characteristics of microorganisms, emphasizing the following aspects: morphology, physiology and life cycles.

3-      Name and describe the reservoirs of microorganisms and ways of transmission.

4-      Describe the virulence factors and the mechanisms that explain the pathogenic capacity.

5-      Describe the nonspecific and specific defense mechanisms of the host. Describe the interrelations between the pathogen and the host (ie the pathophysiology of the infection). Describe the concept of opportunism.

6-      Describe the normal microbiome. Enumerate its physiological functions and its relation to opportunism.

7-      Determine the clinical samples of the focus of infection that must be collected and establish the measures and procedures to collect them and to transfer them to the laboratory for their study.

8-      Identify the tests that must be requested to the laboratory to make the etiological diagnosis of the process.

9-      To know the antimicrobials and their indications.

10-  Describe the sensitivity tests that must be used in the different microorganisms to direct the antimicrobial treatment.

11-  Establish the rules of immediate prophylaxis (isolation and immune prophylaxis) and long-term (vaccination).

12-  Based on the preceding information all microorganisms of human pathology are described to analyse and revise their characteristics: 1) structure and physiology 2) general epidemiology, reservoir and transmission mechanism 3) pathogenesis 4) clinical 5) etiologic diagnosis and 6) prophylaxis and treatment.


  • Communicate clearly, orally and in writing, with other professionals and the media.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the causal agents and the risk factors that determine states of health and the progression of illnesses.
  • Demonstrate, in professional activity, a perspective that is critical, creative and research-oriented.
  • Establish a diagnostic approach and a well thought-out strategy for action, taking account of the results of the anamnesis and the physical examination, and the results of the appropriate complementary tests carried out subsequently.
  • Indicate the basic diagnosis techniques and procedures and analyse and interpret the results so as to better pinpoint the nature of the problems.
  • Maintain and sharpen one's professional competence, in particular by independently learning new material and techniques and by focusing on quality.
  • Use information and communication technologies in professional practice.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate clearly, orally and in writing, with other professionals and the media.
  2. Demonstrate, in professional activity, a perspective that is critical, creative and research-oriented.
  3. Describe the host-parasite interrelationship: mechanisms of pathogenicity and defence.
  4. Describe the main infectious syndromes caused by the various microorganisms.
  5. Describe the methods of microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases comprehensively and holistically, from a theoretical and a practical perspective.
  6. Establish a diagnostic approach and a specific strategy for action for each of the microorganisms responsible for infectious diseases.
  7. Explain the basic concepts of microbial genetics and its relationship to pathogenicity and resistance to antimicrobial agents.
  8. Explain the concept and the biological types of microorganisms.
  9. Identify the actions to prevent and protect against infectious diseases.
  10. Identify the causal agents and the risk and diagnostic factors of infectious diseases.
  11. Identify the importance of symbiosis as a way of living. Commensalism and parasitism as forms of symbiosis.
  12. Identify the indications of microbiological tests.
  13. Identify the main mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobial agents.
  14. Identify the performance of the different diagnostic techniques and interpret their results.
  15. Identify the principles behind microbiology and parasitology.
  16. Identify, individually, the biological, epidemiological (reservoir and transmission), pathogenic, clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic features of the different microorganisms responsible for infectious diseases.
  17. Indicate the basic techniques and procedures for diagnosing the major syndromes of infectious pathology.
  18. Indicate the clinical samples necessary for the microbiological diagnosis of syndromes, and how they are to be collected and transported to the laboratory.
  19. Maintain and sharpen one's professional competence, in particular by independently learning new material and techniques and by focusing on quality.
  20. Use information and communication technologies in professional practice.


Introduction to medical microbiology. Agents causing infectious diseases. Epidemiology. Main infectious syndromes. Microbial genetics. Mechanisms of pathogenicity. Defense mechanisms. Diagnosis of infectious diseases. Normal flora Treatment of infectious diseases. Mechanisms of resistance. Techniques for the study of the sensitivity to antimicrobials.

• Bacterial structure. Antibacterial drugs. Staphylococci. Streptococci. Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Colonizing and pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae. Gram-negative non-fermenting bacilli. Vibrios.  Parvobacteria. Legionella. Mycobacteria. Anaerobic bacteria. Treponematoses. Mycoplasma Chlamydia. Rickettsia.

• General characteristics of fungi. Antifungal agents. Yeasts. Molds. Dermatophytoses. Dimorphic fungi.

• General characteristics of viruses. Antiviral drugs. Enterovirus. Picornavirus and viruses that cause enteritis. Respiratory viruses Herpesvirus: herpes simplex virus, varicella, cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus. Papillomavirus and Polyamavirus. Viruses causing exanthema diseases. Hepatitis virus. Viruses of human immunodeficiency. Arbovirus and emerging viruses.

• General characteristics of parasites. Anti-parasitic drugs. Protozoa of open cavities. Systemic protozoa. Helminths. Arthropods of interest in medicine.


Distributive blocks


A. Introduction to Microbiology

B. Bacteriology

C. Mycology

D. Virology

E. Parasitology


Schedule lectures 


1. Introduction to Microbiology. Medical microbiology: vision as a whole

2. Pathogens causing infectious diseases. Autochthonous flora

3. Infectious diseases

4. Microbial genetics

5. Mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity

6. Host defense mechanisms

7. Epidemiology and prevention of infectious diseases

8. Classical diagnosis of infectious diseases

9. Molecular and serological diagnosis of infectious diseases

10. Structure and bacterial metabolism

11. Antibacterial drugs

12. Staphylococci

13. Streptococci

14. Neisseria

15. Pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae

16. Commensal enterobacteria and gram-negative non-fermenting bacilli

17. Campylobacter, Helicobacter and Vibrio

18. Parvobacteria and Legionella

19. Mycobacteria. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

20. Opportunistic environmental mycobacteria

21. Anaerobic bacteria

22. Spirochetes

23. Chlamydia

24. Mycoplasma and Rickettsia

25. Structure and metabolism of fungi

26. Antifungal agents

27. Yeasts

28. Dermatophytoses

29. Dimorphic fungi

30. Molds

31. Structure and propagation of viruses

32. Antiviral agents

33. Enterovirus. Picornavirus. Virus causing enteritis

34. Respiratory Virus: Flu. Syncytic respiratory virus. Other respiratory viruses

35. Herpes simplex virus. Chicken pox

36. Citomegalovirus. Virus Epstein- Barr. Other herpesvirus

37. Papillomavirus and Polyamavirus

38. Viruses causing exanthemic diseases

39. Hepatitis viruses (1)

40. Hepatitis viruses (2)

41. Viruses of human immunodeficiency

42. Arbovirus. Emerging viruses

43. General characteristics of protozoa and helminths

44. General characteristics of parasitic diseases. Arthropods of medical interest

45. Protozoa of open cavities

46. Systemic protozoa. Leishmania and Tripanosoma

47. Systemic protozoa. Toxoplasma and Plasmodium

48. Platelmints: Trematodes. Beasts

49. Intestinal and tissues nematodes


Laboratory practices 

1. Conventional diagnosis of infectiousdiseases. Direct examination: Gram staining and Ziehl-Neelsen.

2. Techniques and means of cultivation. Identification

3. Study of the sensitivity to antimicrobials. Antibiogram

4. Diagnosis of special bacteria: Mycobacteria and anaerobic bacteria

5. Quick diagnosis. Antigen detection

6. Molecular diagnosis of infectious diseases

7. Fungi

8. Viruses

9. Parasites

10. Serological diagnosis of infectious diseases


Specialized seminars 

a) Fundamentals of practical education

1. Concept of infectious disease, focus of infection and clinical sample

2. Direct examination. Cultivation and Identification

3. Sensitivity to antimicrobials

4. Quick diagnosis. Antigen detection Techniques of molecular biology

5. Indirect etiologic diagnosis.


b) Clinical syndromes

1. Urinary infection

2. Sexually transmitted infection

3. Enteritis

4. Infection of the central nervous system

5. Respiratory infection

6. Infection of skin and soft parts

7. Osteo-articular infections

8. Hepatitis

9. Nosocomial infection

10. AIDS

Oral presentation 

Presentation of work by students


This Guide describes the framework, contents, methodology and general norms of the subject, in accordance with the current curriculum. The final organization of the subject with regard to the number and size of groups, distribution in the calendar and dates of examinations, specific criteria of evaluation and review of exams, will be specified in each one of the Hospital Teaching Units (UUDDHH), who will explain it through their web pages and the first day of class of each subject, through the teachers responsible for the subject at the UUDHH.

For the 2019-2020 academic year, the professors designated by the Departments as responsible for the subject at the Faculty level and the UUDHH are:


Responsible department(s): Department of Genetics and Microbiology. Area of Microbiology Head of Faculty: Tomás Pumarola

UUDHH Responsible

UD Vall d'Hebron: Tomás Pumarola

UD Germans Trias i Pujol: Pere-Joan Cardona Iglesias

UD Sant Pau: Carme Muñoz Batet

UD Parc Taulí: Silvia Capilla Rubio



The teaching methodology will consist of theoretical classes, laboratory work, specialized seminars and clinical cases presentation.

Theoretical classes will be taught in the form of master classes and constitute a basic knowledge base on which all the rest of the learning activity is supported.

The seminars will be held in groups of 20 students. In these seminars, the basic principles of the etiologic diagnosis of infectious diseases will be reviewed and discussed with students. These seminars are the theoretical basis for the correct realization of the laboratory work.

The laboratory work will be carried out in groups of 5-6 students. In these practices the students will develop different techniques to familiarize themselves with the methods of work of the Microbiology laboratory used for the etiologic diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Classroom practices are basedon the development of aclinical case on the part of the students, previous orientation on the part of the teachers about the content of the subject proposed, the way to develop it, as well as the objectives that have to be done. Achieve, through support tutorials. Afterwards the students will orally present in class the result of their work.

In the current exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the teachers and also depending on the resources available and the public health situation, some of the theoretical classes, practicals and seminars organized by the Teaching Units may be taught either in person or virtually.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classroom practical work (PAUL) 10 0.4 1, 6, 16, 19, 20
Clinical cases seminars (SCC) 10 0.4 1, 6, 13, 16, 19
Laboratory practical work (PLAB) 5 0.2 6, 14, 13, 12, 16, 18, 17
Specialized seminars (SEM) 15 0.6 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7, 10, 15, 11, 9, 16
Theory (TE) 49 1.96 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7, 15, 13, 11, 9, 16, 17
Type: Autonomous      
Autonomous activities: excercise writting, personal study, reading reports, reports of interest 101 4.04 2, 6, 13, 16, 19, 20



The subject will be assessed through two partial exams. Each of them will have a weight of 50% in the final mark and will correspond, approximately, to 50% of the syllabus. Both exams will be written assessments and will consist of a theory evaluation part that will have a weight of 35% of the grade in both the first and the second part and a second practical evaluation part that will have a weight 15% of the grade in one partial and 10% in the other partial, depending on the semester in which the laboratory practices were done. The remaining 5% will correspond to the assessment that will be carried out at the end of the laboratory practices. The theory exam will consist of a part of multiple choice items and a part of restricted questions and/or correspondence items. The practical exam will consist of restricted questions and/or problem solving and/or oral defense of works. A grade of 5 or higher is required to release the subject from the partial exams.

There will be a recovery assessment where the student will be examined for the parts not released in the partial exams. This recovery exam will have the same structure and relative weight of the different parts as the partial exams and will be averaged, if applicable, with the grade obtained in the freed partial. To pass the subject you will need to obtain an overall grade equal to or higher than 5 out of 10.

Attendance at classroom practices, laboratory practices, clinical case seminars and specialized seminars is mandatory and an essential condition to be evaluated.

Reviewing tests is considered a fundamental part of learning. With their exam in front of them, students will hear what teachers expect from the various assessment activities. The day and time of the exam review will be announced together with the grades both on the Virtual Campus and on the notice board.

Students who do not take both the theoretical and practical assessment tests will be considered Not Assessed and will be recorded as such in the minutes, exhausting their rights to register for the subject.


Students who opt for the single assessment and have completed the compulsory parts of the subject (classroom practices, laboratory practices, clinical case seminars and specialized seminars), will take an identical exam and with the same typologies as the previous ones but corresponding to the entire program of the subject. This will correspond to 95% of the final grade. The remaining 5% will correspond to the assessment that will be carried out at the end of the laboratory practices. To pass the subject you will need to obtain an overall grade equal to or higher than 5 out of 10.
Students who opt for the single assessment and have NOT done the compulsory parts of the subject (classroom practices, laboratory practices, clinical case seminars and specialized seminars), must prove this knowledge through a face-to-face exam, oral and practical, in the Microbiology laboratory of the corresponding Teaching Unit. They will also take a written exam to accredit theoretical knowledge and which will consist of a part of multiple choice items and a part of restricted questions and/or correspondence items. The practical part will correspond to 30% and the theoretical part to 70% of the final grade.
The single assessment tests will be done coinciding with the same date fixed in the calendar for the last continuous assessment test.
The same recovery system will be applied as for the continuous assessment.
The review of the final grade follows the same procedure as for the continuous assessment.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Evaluation through practical cases and problem solving 30% 4 0.16 1, 2, 6, 13, 16, 19, 20
Written evaluation through objective tests 70% 6 0.24 3, 4, 5, 8, 7, 14, 10, 15, 11, 9, 12, 18, 17


Bibliografia específica

- Prats G. Microbiologia i Parasitologia mèdiques. Madrid. Editorial Panamericana. 2023

- Murray PR., Rossental KS., Pfaller MA. Medical Microbiology. 9th Ed. Philadelphia. Elsevier. 2020.

- Brooks GF, Carroll KC, Butel JS, Morse SA. Medical Microbiology. 24 Ed. New York: McGraw Hill. 2007


Bibliografia de consulta

- Mandell GL., Bennet JE., Dolin R. Mandell, Douglas and Bennet’s – Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th Ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2020.

- Ausina V., Moreno Guillén S. Tratado SEIMC de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica. Madrid. Editorial Médica Panamericana. 2006. Farreras-Rozman. Medicina Interna. 16th Ed. Elsevier España, S.L. 2009


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