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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Some of the Recommended Readings as an Introduction to Microbiology

Medical Microbiology is an important subject for medical students as many diseases are caused by infectious agents. Often there is little time to catch up with familiarizing with the basics of Microbiology because of the many other things to be read so that there may be a need to zero in on some important points as an Introduction to Microbiology. Among them are:

  • Difference between Prokaryotes, Eukaryotes and Viruses.
  • The Bacterial Cell Structure including External appendages and special structures.
  • Difference between a gram-positive and gram-negative cell wall especially that gram-staining is very important in the Microbiology laboratory. This post with video may help.
  • The acid fast cell wall.
  • Gram-staining, acid fast staining and what happens at each step.
  • The Bacterial Growth Curve and the phases.
  • Host-Parasite Relationship and the types of symbiotic relationship
  • Mode of transmission
  • Virulence factors and the role of plasmids, phages, pathogenecity islands, etc.
  • Difference between exotoxin and endotoxin
  • Host defense mechanisms
  • DNA, plasmids and transposable elements and their significance
  • The Operon concept and the operon components
  • Mutation: transversion vs. transition; silent, missense vs. nonsense; frameshift mutations; significance; 
  • Mechanisms of gene transfer
  • Horizontal gene transfer: Conjugation, Transformation, Transduction and their differences
Any Medical Microbiology textbook can be used to study the above topics. Some good online Microbiology references for me are found in this free medical book site.
Offline references which may or may not contain topics mentioned above but are used often in Philippine medical schools such as CIM are (I can name two):
  1. Jawetz, Melnick and Adelberg's Medical Microbiology
  2. Bailey and Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology (with more focus on microbiology laboratory aspect)
Welcome to the new schoolyear Philippine medical students!

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