Microbiology Introduction 1

Hey guys, this is a short post about what microbiology is, I hope you enjoy 🙂



History of Microbiology:

  • Father of Microbiology : Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
  • Edward Jenner : cow pox vaccine against small pox 1798
  • Louis Pasteur: spontaneous generation theory 1822
  • Robert Koch: proved Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax 1843
  • Lord Lister: surgery with antiseptic techniques
  • Hands Christian Grahn 1884: Grahn staining techniques for bacteria
  • John Snow: was the first to link the cholera epidemic in London to the water pump



  • The study of organisms and agents that can’t be seen by the naked eye

The study looks at:

  •  Their helpful or harmful relationship with other living organisms (humans, animals and plants)
  • Their form, structure, reproduction, metabolism and classification
  • Their part in science, medicine and biology

Microbe/ Microorganisms:

  • Tiny things we can’t see with the naked  eye
  • Omnipresent

Fields of Microbiology:

  • Medical: causative agents of disease identification of causative agents, diagnostic procedures, treatment measures (antibiotic and golden staff – resistant)
  • Veterinary: causative agents of disease; identification of causation agents; diagnostic procedure, treatment and measures
  • Food and Diet: food preservation + preparation, food born disease + prevention
  • Agricultural: soil fertility, plant and animal disease
  • Aero: contamination and spoilage, dissemination of disease
  • Industrial: production of medical products – antibiotics and vaccines; fermented beverages + industrial chemicals
  • Exo: exploration of life in outer space
  • Aquatic: water purification, biological degradation of waste and ecology
  • Geochemical: Coal, mineral, gas formation

Germ Theory Of Disease:

  • Spontaneous Generation suggested by Aristotle 384 BC = magots and grubs develop out of thin air.
  • Disproven in 19th century by Louis Pasteur who has germ theory and cell theory.

Swan neck vase filled with meat broth, no microorganisms could float in, airborn particles got stuck in the low swan neck.

  • Germ Theory: infectious diseases are caused by microbes.
  • Robert Koch 1876 showed that certain microbes caused disease.

Robert Koch Postulates

  • Used to prove a relationship between pathogen and disease.
  • Guidelines to identify the causative agent of an infective disease


  1. A specific microorganism can always be connected to a given disease
  2. This microbe can be separated and grown in a lab
  3. This culture will be used on a susceptible  animal and produce the disease.

Cell Theory:

  • Theodor Schwann, Matthias Jacob Schlediden and Rudolf Virchow are given credit for developing this.
  • This theory explains the relationship between cells and living things.


  1.  All living things are made up of cells
  2. New cells are produced by old cells dividing into 2.
  3. Cells are the basic building blocks of life.

In vitro = outside organism or cell

In vivo = inside organism or cell


  • Epi= among
  • Demos = people, district
  • Logos= Study
  • Study of Disease in populations.

Main Aims of Epidemiology:

  1. identify disease patterns in human populations
  2. Identify the cause of disease
  3. Provide data/info for future management and planning in prevention in the control and treatment.


  • Hippocrates is sometimes called the father of epidemiology = he looked at the occurrence of a disease along with the environment
  •  Endemic = disease found in some places but not in others
  • Epidemic = disease seen sometimes but not at others

Types of Microbes:
Microbes are either:

  • Unicellular (single celled like bacteria)
  •  Multicellular (like fungi),
  •  Non cellular ( like viruses)


  • Viruses (Virology)
  • Bacteria (Bacteriology)
  • Fungi (Mycology)
  • Parasites (Parasitology)


Microbes are classified into:

  • Prokaryotes (more primitive, eg bacteria)
  • Eukaryotes (eg Fungi)

Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes:

  • Have DNA in their genetic material
  • Membrane bound
  • Diverse forms
  • Have ribosomes
  • Similar basic metabolism
    Differences :
Prokaryotes Eukaryotes
No nuclear membrane Nuclear membrane surrounding genetic material
No membrane bound organelles Numerous membrane bound organelles
Simple internal structure Complex internal structure
Primitive type of cell Appeared after prokaryotes
Multiply by binary fishion Multiply by mitosis or meiosis
DNA is circular DNA is liner
Asexual reproduction Asexual or sexual reproduction
100% DNA, 60% is protein 100% DNA, 2% is protein




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