PFT401 - Microbiology I

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:49:11.052
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:49:20.76

Subject Title
Microbiology I

Subject Description
This subject is designed to teach students the basic methods used in microbiology to identify and enumerate bacteria. Students are introduced to the microbial world through practical experimentation, and acquire the essential tools to function in a laboratory setting. (Lectures and Labs)

Credit Status
One credit toward the Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology Certificate Program

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of WHMIS hazard symbols to manage risks associated with working in a safe laboratory environment.

2. Explain basic theory of microbiology.

3. Explain bacterial cell structures and classification.

4. Perform a variety of basic staining techniques on bacterial cells, including Gram-stain, and spore stain.

5. Use and care for a light microscope.

6. Prepare media.

7. Isolate bacteria using the streak methods on solid media: establish pure cultures, and use aseptic techniques.

8. Determine the number of bacteria by plate count and turbido metric measurements to prepare a "standard curve".

9. Carry out an antibiotic susceptibility test.

10. Explain factors that affect microbial growth.

11. Acquire knowledge about control of microorganisms by physical methods, chemicals, and antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Test and assignment dates; Introduction to microbiology; bacteria, viruses, yeasts and moulds, procaryotes vs. eucaryotes, classification systems, theory of spontaneous generation
Safety rules for the laboratory, laboratory conditions for working with microorganisms, levels of containment, WHMIS overview. Bacterial morphology: Introduction to the microscope, size and staining characteristics, growth and nutritional requirements, liquid vs. solid media. Cultivation of bacteria: major characteristics of bacteria, classification based on nutritional and physical conditions requirements, differential and selective media
Microscope, Exp. #1, examination of prepared slides, parfocality, resolution, handling and microscope operation. Preparation of media, Exp. #2
Principles of microscopy, parts of a microscope, magnification, resolution and index of refraction, examples of modern light microscopes, fluorescent, phase and electron microscopes; bacterial cell components: internal structures, cell membranes and cell walls, Gram-negative vs. Gram-positive bacteria, bacterial spores, flagella, pili, capsules and sheaths, pure cultures
Subculture to broths and slopes, Exp. #3.
Selective and differential media, Exp. #4.
Streak plates, Exp. #5.
Simple and Gram-stain, Exp. #6.

Cell division and growth cycle of microorganisms: bacterial growth, stationary, synchronous and continuous cultures, replication of viruses, yeasts and moulds, calculations of generations, generation times and growth rate of bacteria;  basis for bacterial identification: bacterial enzymes, morphology, biochemistry and physiology. Spore stain, Exp. #7.
Antimicrobial action of chemical substances and physical conditions, Exp. #8.

Bergy's Manual and its use, major groups of bacteria, review

Quantitative measurement of bacterial growth: direct microscope counts, electronic counts, plate counts and turbidimetric methods;  fundamentals and methods of bacterial growth control: physical and chemical methods, examples of applications in the pharmaceutical industry; estimation of bacterial growth by dilution plate count and turbidimetry, Exp. #9.

Antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents: types of antimicrobial agents, mode of action and mechanism of resistance, side effects and problems associated with resistance; bacterial genetics: transformation, transduction and recombination, mutation, DNA homology tests; bacteria most often associated to human diseases: examples of Gram-positive, Gram-negative, acid-fast bacillus
Antibiotics sensitivity testing and evaluation of antiseptics and disinfectants, Exp. #10.

Review of laboratory results

Introduction to microbiology, test and assignment dates, bacteria, viruses, yeasts and moulds, procaryotes vs. eucaryotes, classification systems, theory of spontaneous generation.
Safety rules for the laboratory, WHMIS overview, the microscope
Microscopic Exp. #1, examination of prepared slides
Parfocality, resolution, how to handle and operate the microscope

Bacteria and how to recognize them: morphology, size and staining characteristics of bacteria, growth and nutritional requirements. Fluorescent, phase, and electron microscopes
Liquid vs. solid media preparation of media, Exp. #2.

Cultivation of bacteria,  nutritional types of bacteria; physical conditions required for growth; differential and selective media, major characteristics of bacteria subculture to broths and slopes, Exp. #3.

Bacterial cell components internal structure, cell membranes and cell walls, gram negative vs. gram positive bacteria, bacterial spores, flagella, pili, capsules and sheaths pure cultures
streak plates, Exp. #4.

Growth of micro-organisms, cell division and growth cycles of bacteria, stationary, synchronous and continuous cultures replication of viruses, yeasts and moulds gram-stains, Exp. #5 spore stain, Exp. #6.

Calculations of generations, generation times and growth rate of bacteria bacterial enzymes, anaerobes and aerobes free oxygen and bacterial growth, Exp. #7.

Bergy's Manual and its use major groups of bacteria,  review

Quantitative measurement of bacterial growth direct microscope counts, electronic counts plate counts and turbidimetric methods dilutions and suspensions of bacteria, Exp. #8.

Fundamentals and methods of control of bacteria physical and chemical means demonstration of bacterial enzymes, Exp. #9a bacteriostatic dyes, Exp. #9b.

Antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents types of antimicrobial agents, mode of action of important agents. Reactions, side effects and problems associated with resistance
antibiotics, Exp. #10.

Bacterial genetics transformation, transduction and recombination
mutations, DNA homology tests

Classification of bacteria ordinary Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria


Mode of Instruction

  • Lectures to teach the basics in microbiology
  • Introduction to the fundamental principles behind each experiment
  • Students work in pairs to conduct each assigned experiment
  • Hand-outs of lab exercise protocols
  • Quizzes on experiments are used to determine students' understanding of the lab work

Prescribed Texts
(Pkg) MICROBIOLOGY AN INTRODUCTION W/MASTERING MICROBIOLOGY,  11th Edition; Tortora/Funke/Case; Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman   ISBN 978-0-321-76738-7 Pearson Education Canada

Reference Material

Required Supplies
All students must wear a laboratory coat and safety glasses while in the lab.  This requirement is mandatory and consistent with safe practice.  Anyone not having the mandatory requirements will be asked to leave the lab.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

  • Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on which they are due.
  • A late penalty of 10% per day is assessed for late assignments, including those not handed in at the beginning of class when due.
  • Material will not be accepted after one week following the due date and/or when the marked material is returned to students, whichever comes first.
  • Assignments are to be prepared by computer.

Absenteeism and Exams
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism almost guarantees an inability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • Students who are absent for an examination due to an emergency (e.g., motor vehicle accident, hospitalization or death in the family) may provide official documentation within five days of the missed exam and be provided a deferred exam at a later date.  Official documentation includes a death notice or an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time expected absence and the specific reason for the absence.  Examinations missed without official documentation and approval result in a grade of zero.
  • There are no deferred options for missed tests.  The value of missed tests, at the discretion of the Faculty, will be added to other evaluation components

English Proficiency
  • All written work should demonstrate the following characteristics for clarity and conciseness:
-writing is consistent with the rules of English grammar
-spelling and punctuation are correct
-sentences are structured correctly
-main ideas are supported with specific, relevant examples and reasons
-work flows logically through supporting statements/paragraphs
-work is arranged in correct format (e.g., as a report, essay)
-up to 10% of the final grade may be deducted on all work if the above English competencies are not met.

Format for Assignments
  • Students must use the standard, APA style for quoting sources.   Help is available at:

Laboratory Attendance

The laboratory component is essential and therefore it is strongly recommended  that you attend all labs.  Any missed labs must be supported with a legal document with three days of the lab.  Any student who fails to attend 2 scheduled laboratory classes for a 7 week subject and more than 3 laboratory classes for a 14 week subject will not pass the subject.    

Laboratory Safety
Students are required to review and understand the safety procedures and guidelines outlined on the first class and sign the sheet to this effect before beginning work in the laboratory.  Students must also wear a lab coat and safety glasses when conducting experiments.
A student who arrives without the proper safety equipment will not be permitted to participant in the lab but will be asked to leave the class.  The student will receive no grade for the lab missed.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:
Quizzes (total 4 quizzes, average of the highest 3) 20%
Mid-Term Test 30%
Laboratory Skills 10%
Final Exam 40%


Other Evaluation Considerations
The student is expected to comply with the Safety Rules for working in the laboratory, sign the safety contract, and WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WEAR CONTACT LENSES in the laboratory.  The student will know where all safety equipment is located in the laboratory and will be familiar with WHMIS concepts and signage.


Approved by: Denis Gravelle