Microbiology & Virology Research Center
Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

Microbiology & Virology

Microbiology & Virology

Microbiology & Virology

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are unicellularor cell-cluster microscopicorganisms. This includes eukaryotessuch as fungiand protists, and prokaryotessuch as bacteriaand certain algae. Viruses, though not strictly classed as living organisms, are also studied. Microbiology is a broad term which includes many branches like virology, mycology, parasitologyand others. A person who specializes in the area of microbiology is called a microbiologist.
Although much is now known in the field of microbiology, advances are being made regularly. We have probably only studied about 1% of all of the microbes on Earth. Thus, despite the fact that over three hundred years have passed since the discovery of microbes, the field of microbiology could be said to be in its infancy relative to other biological disciplines such as zoology, botanyand entomology.
The field of microbiology can be generally divided into several sub disciplines:
The existence of microorganismswas hypothesized during the late Middle Agesbut they were not observed or proven until the invention of the microscopein the 17th century. In The Canon of Medicine(1020), Abū Alī ibnSīnā (Avicenna)stated that bodily secretionis contaminated by foul foreign earthly bodies before being infected, but he did not view them as primary causes of disease. When the Black Deathbubonic plaguereached al-Andalusin the 14th century, Ibn Khatima and Ibn al-Khatib hypothesized that infectious diseasesare caused by microorganisms which enter the human body.
Bacteriawere first observed by Anton van Leeuwenhoekin 1676 using a single-lens microscopeof his own design. The name "bacterium" was introduced much later, by Ehrenbergin 1828, derived from the Greekβακτηριον meaning "small stick". While van Leeuwenhoek is often cited as the first microbiologist, the first recorded microbiological observation, that of the fruiting bodies of molds, was made earlier in 1665 by Robert Hooke.
The field of bacteriology(later a subdiscipline of microbiology) is generally considered to have been founded by Ferdinand Cohn(18281898), a botanist whose studies on algaeand photosynthetic bacterialed him to describe several bacteria including Bacillusand Beggiatoa. Cohn was also the first to formulate a scheme for the taxonomic classificationof bacteria. Pasteur(18221895) and Robert Koch(18431910) were contemporaries of Cohn’s and are often considered to be the founders of medical microbiology. Pasteur is most famous for his series of experiments designed to disprove the then widely held theory of spontaneous generation, thereby solidifying microbiology’s identity as a biological science. Pasteur also designed methods for food preservation (pasteurization) and vaccines against several diseases such as anthrax, fowl cholera and rabies. Koch is best known for his contributions to the germ theory of disease, proving that specific diseases were caused by specific pathogenic microorganisms. He developed a series of criteria that have become known as the Koch's postulates. Koch was one of the first scientists to focus on the isolation of bacteria in pure cultureresulting in his description of several novel bacteria including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis.
While Pasteur and Koch are often considered the founders of microbiology, their work did not accurately reflect the true diversity of the microbial world because of their exclusive focus on microorganisms having direct medical relevance. It was not until the work of Martinus Beijerinck(18511931) and Sergei Winogradsky(18561953), the founders of general microbiology(an older term encompassing aspects of microbial physiology, diversity and ecology), that the true breadth of microbiology was revealed. Beijerinck made two major contributions to microbiology: the discovery of virusesand the development of enrichment culture techniques. While his work on the Tobacco Mosaic Virusestablished the basic principles of virology, it was his development of enrichment culturingthat had the most immediate impact on microbiology by allowing for the cultivation of a wide range of microbes with wildly different physiologies. Winogradsky was the first to develop the concept of chemolithotrophyand to thereby reveal the essential role played by microorganisms in geochemical processes. He was responsible for the first isolation and description of both nitrifyingand nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Virology, often considered a part of microbiologyor of pathology, is the study of biological viruses and virus-like agents: their structure and classification, their ways to infect and exploit cellsfor virus reproduction, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their potential uses in research and therapy.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes most cases of tuberculosis.


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Last Update : 2017-11-24 19:57:26

Mashhad University of Medical Sciences Contact Details:
Main address: University St., Ghoraishy Building 91375-345 Mashhad, Iran ,
Tel:( 98 511) 841 2081-5 , Fax:( 98 511) 8430249 , E-mail: Info(at) Members: - Schools and Hospitals School: Dentistry , School: Health , School: Medicine , School: Nursing & Midwifery , School: Paramedical , School: Pharmacy , School: Traditional Medicine , Hospital: Dr.Sheikh , Hospital: Dr.Shariati , Hospital: Emam Reza , Hospital: Ghaem , Hospital: Hashemi Nezhad , Hospital: Ibn-e-Sina , Hospital: Khatam-al-Anbia , Hospital: Montaserie , Hospital: Ommul-Banin , Hospital: Omid , Hospital: Shahid Kamyab , Hospital: Taleghani , History: Mashhad Faculty of Medicine was officially opened on Nov. 23, 1949 by Dr Zanganeh, the minister of culture. The school started out with 61 students, one associate professor and seven tutors. In 1956, when the school of Arts opened, the two schools merged to form the University of Mashhad. In 1989, the faculties offering Medical Sciences' degrees across the country separated from the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. New emerging Medical Universities have gone under management of Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education. Thus the original University of Mashhad was divided into two independent universities: "Ferdowsi University of Mashhad" and "Mashhad University of Medical Sciences'. Mashhad University of Medical Sciences operates at present with 8 faculties, 32 hospitals, 179 rural and 147 urban health centers. It covers an enormous area stretching from the north east to the central parts of the country, which makes it the largest university of Medical Sciences providing health care and treatment services. With 597 teaching staff, 1645 MDs with different specialties, 138 dentists, 123 pharmacists and 25, 402 employees, the university provides health care and medical services to the area's large population as well as to over 25 million tourists a year.

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