STUDY QUESTIONS IN GENERAL MICROBIOLOGY

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  1. Briefly explain the term microbiology.
  2. Give a detailed definition of a microorganism.
  3. Differentiate between micro- and macro- organisms.
  4. State and explain the different groups of microorganisms. 
  5. Mention 5 branches/fields of microbiology and explain their significance to the society.
  6. State and explain five areas where microbiology can be applied; and succinctly explain the importance of these field to man and his environment.
  7. In a few words, describe the significance of microorganisms in industrial processes.
  8. Microorganisms are ubiquitous. Explain.
  9. Describe in detail the importance of microorganisms in nature.
  10. Microorganisms play important roles in maintaining the flora and fauna of the environment. Explain.
  11. Enumerate the significance of microorganisms. 
  12. Explain the roles of microbiologists in infection control measures.
  13. How can microbiologists aid in ensuring food security?
  14. Microorganisms can be used to clean up the environment when there is oil spill. Explain.    
  15. Mention two bacteria that are the world’s largest bacteria.
  16. What is applied microbiology?
  17. What are probiotics?
  18. Which instrument or equipment contributed the most in the development and advancement of the field of microbiology? Briefly explain your reason for this answer.
  19. “Chance favours only the prepared mind in the field of observation” is a famous quote in microbiology quoted by?
  20. How do pathogens differ from probiotics?
  21. What is bioremediation?
  22. The surface active chemical compounds produced by some microbes and which enhances the solubilization and removal of hydrocarbons and other organic compound contaminants in the environment are called?
  23. Explain the terms bioaerosols, bioremediation, biodegradation, cellulolysis and biofertilizers.
  24. Differentiate between biogenesis and abiogenesis.
  25. Succinctly explain spontaneous generation.
  26. Explain how spontaneous generation was finally invalidated?
  27. State Koch’s postulate.
  28. State Koch’s molecular postulates. 
  29. What is appertization?
  30. What is pasteurization?
  31. What is tyndallization?
  32. Briefly describe the significance of appertization, pasteurization and tyndallization techniques in the food industry, and mention the names of the scientists who discovered them. 
  33. Explain the contributions of Robert Koch, Alexander Fleming, John Needham, Antonie Von Leeuwenhoek and Louis Pasteur to microbiology.
  34. Who discovered the Gram staining technique? 
  35. The study of microbiology blossomed because of the discovery of the microscope. Explain.
  36. Differentiate between variolation and vaccination.
  37. Mention the first drug used for the treatment of syphilis.
  38. Succinctly explain the contribution of Elie Metchnikoff, Girolamo Fracastoro, Martinus Beijerinck, Joseph Lister and Dmitri Ivanovskyto microbiology.
  39. Who discovered phagocytosis?
  40. Mention the two famous microbiologists whose experiments ended abiogenesis.
  41. Who discovered the field of medical microbiology?
  42. Succinctly explain the term fomites, and give examples?
  43. Diagrammatically illustrate the scientific method used in experimentations/research.
  44.  Whose experiment gave rise to the central dogma of molecular biology?
  45. What is aetiology?
  46. Antisepsis, an infection control method is attributed to the work of?  
  47. What are bacteriophages? 
  48. Describe succinctly the germ theory of disease.
  49. What is taxonomy?
  50. State and explain the three areas of taxonomy.
  51. What is a taxon?
  52. What is a strain?
  53. Explain Carolus Linnaeus’s contribution to microbial taxonomy. 
  54. How does genus differ from species?
  55. In writing the scientific name of an organism, which of the name is capitalized and which one is not?
  56. List and explain the five taxonomic groups of microorganisms.
  57. Mention five molecular techniques employed in the characterization/classification of microorganisms. 
  58. How do actinomycetes differ from bacteria?
  59. What is a prion?
  60. How do viroids differ from prions?
  61. Mention four pathogenic animals that cause disease in man.
  62. How do Eubacteria, Archaea and Bacteria differ from each other?
  63. What is microbial phylogeny?
  64. What is the best tool for determining the evolutionary relationships of microbial cells?
  65. How do phototrophs obtain their energy?
  66. What are methanogens?
  67. How do chemolithotrophs differ from phototrophs?
  68. Enumerate the five classes of proteobacteria.
  69. With examples explain the term halophiles.
  70. Which organism is the source of Taq polymeraseused in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments?
  71. What is microbial phylogeny?
  72. With examples define thermophiles.
  73. Enumerate any five pathogenic animals/macro-organisms that cause infectious diseases in humans. 
  74. What is a colony?
  75. Explain colonial morphology.
  76. Describe the significance of colonial morphology in microbial identification.
  77. What is a punctiform?
  78. Explain in detail five techniques employed in microbiology for microbial identification.
  79. What is a pure culture?
  80. Mention and explain the three methods of obtaining pure cultures in the microbiology laboratory.
  81. What is sterilization?
  82. What is CFU?
  83. What is PFU? 
  84. Briefly describe the significance and uses of an anaerobic chamber in the microbiology laboratory.
  85. Differentiate between trace elements and macronutrients.
  86. What is an aseptic technique?
  87. Briefly explain the significance of aseptic technique in microbiology research.
  88. Outline the aseptic techniques observed in the microbiology laboratory.
  89. Describe how a colony forms on a culture media.
  90. Explain growth factors with examples.
  91. Mention the function of any five macronutrients required by microbes for growth.
  92. What is the major importance of micronutrients in microbial metabolism?
  93. Succinctly explain the terms autotroph and heterotroph.
  94. Describe the four major nutritional groups of microorganisms.
  95. What is mixotrophy?
  96. Define active transport and diffusion.
  97. Define organotroph and lithotroph.
  98. What is the significance of agar in microbial culture media?
  99. Mention five characteristics of agar.
  100. What is culture media?
  101. Briefly differentiate broth from solid culture/agar medium.
  102. Mention and explain any five bacteriological culture media used for microbiological experimentation.
  103. Enumerate the basic steps involved in the preparation of culture media.  
  104. Define “growth” in the context of microorganisms.
  105. What is binary fission? 
  106. Define doubling time.
  107. What is batch culture?
  108. What is a continuous culture?
  109. Briefly explain a chemostat.
  110. Define turbidity.
  111. Explain in details the microbial growth curve.
  112. Enumerate four methods of determining microbial cell numbers.
  113. What is the significance of spectrophotometer in determining microbial cell mass?
  114. Differentiate between viable cell count and total cell count. 
  115. What is optical density (OD)?
  116. Diagrammatically illustrate the growth curve of bacteria.
  117. How can microbial cell mass be enumerated?
  118. Mathematically illustrate the formular for calculating optical density (OD).
  119. What is turbidometry and spectrophotometry?
  120. Which instrument is routinely used to measure viable cell numbers of microbes in samples?
  121. How can viral cells be enumerated in a sample?
  122. When is a bacterium defined as “dead”?
  123. What are the basic parameters measured and used to determine microbial growth.
  124. What is normal microflora?
  125. Differentiate between resident and transient normal microflora.
  126. Define amensalism.
  127. Explain the contribution of normal microflora in disease development.
  128. List five normal microflora that colonize the female genitalia.
  129. Enumerate the benefits of normal microflora in the body.
  130. With the aid of a diagram, illustrate the path followed by pathogens in the development of disease in the body.
  131. What is axenic animal?
  132. Describe in detail the portal of entry of pathogens into the human body.
  133. Briefly explain how acne (black spot) develops.
  134. Differentiate between endogenous and exogenous microbes.
  135. Define mycoflora.
  136. What is a host-parasite relationship?
  137. Enumerate five normal microflora found in the human mouth.
  138. Outline five normal microflora found in the female vagina.
  139. Bifidobacterium species or Bifidobacteria is a normal flora found in the human gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Mention the particular area of the GIT where it is located as a microflora. 
  140. Which normal flora produces lactic acid from the fermentation of glycogen in the female vagina?
  141. Succinctly describe how a normal microflora can become a pathogen?
  142. What are gnotobiotic animals?
  143. Diagrammatically illustrate the flow chart of disease development in a human host.
  144. Describe droplet infections and mention three bacteria notable with such infections.
  145. What are congenital infections? 
  146. What is the causative agent of acne?
  147. What is safety?
  148. Succinctly explain the significance of safety in the microbiology laboratory.
  149. Mention 5 precautionary measures to observe when working in the microbiology laboratory.
  150. What is the significance of “hand washing technique” in the microbiology laboratory?
  151. What is an aerosol?
  152. Mention the factors upon which an organisms hazard containment level or group is based.
  153. List and explain the various ways in which microorganisms can be classified based on hazards and their containment.
  154. Explain briefly the significance of the sample collection unit of the clinical microbiology laboratory.
  155.    What is a specimen?
  156. What is the significance of Amies Transport Swab in specimen collection?
  157. Define aseptic technique.
  158. Elucidate on the procedure of collecting venous blood from a patient.
  159. Why is sputum the most proffered specimen to saliva when collecting sample for clinical examination of a patient with upper or lower respiratory tract infection?
  160. Describe the significance of laminar flow biological safety cabinet (hood) in the microbiology laboratory.
  161. What are personal protective equipment (PPE)?
  162. Enumerate 5 personal protective equipment used in the microbiology laboratory or hospital as a containment measure against the spread and contamination of pathogens.
  163. What is a downing gown used for?
  164. Succinctly explain the term containment as it relates to the control and prevention of infectious diseases.   
  165. Briefly describe good laboratory practice (GLP).
  166. What is the major aim of GLP?
  167. What is the significance of charcoal in the Amies transport swab medium?
  168. Enumerate seven sites in the human body where clinical samples for laboratory or microbiological investigations can be collected from.
  169. Mention two anticoagulants that are significant in the collection of blood samples, and explain their main function in blood samples.
  170. When and why is urine sample and semen sample requested from a patient?
  171. A sick woman visited a medical health center and upon diagnosis, the clinical diagnosis show chest pain and productive cough. The cough was purulent and contains blood. As a microbiologist in the making, which sample will you suggest to be collected for microbiological investigations? Explain your reason/answer.  
  172. Mention and explain the uses of any 5 equipment/instruments found in the microbiology laboratory.
  173. What is a centrifuge and incubator used for?
  174. Explain the significance of inoculating loop in microbiological research.
  175. What is the importance of Petri dish in microbiological research?
  176. What is the main function of thermocycler in the microbiology laboratory?
  177. What is an autoclave?
  178. Succinctly explain the importance of weighing balance and cork borer in the microbiology laboratory.
  179. State the temperature, time and pressure limit observed during sterilization using the autoclave.
  180. What is a colony counter?
  181. Define colony forming unit (CFU).
  182. Define microscope; and briefly explain its significance in the microbiology laboratory.
  183. Explain the significance of pH meter and biosafety laminar flow cabinet in the microbiology laboratory.
  184. What is the importance of hot air oven and water bath in the microbiology laboratory?
  185. Explain the importance of McCartney bottles and Bijou bottles in microbiological research.
  186. Define centrifugation.
  187. What is the difference between a supernatant and a sediment/pellet?
  188. What is the significance of a thermocycler in the microbiology laboratory?
  189. Which equipment is used for counting colonies of bacteria in the microbiology laboratory?
  190. What is the full meaning of the acronym “CFU”? 
  191. Define buffers, and mention its components.
  192. Which equipment is used to maintain microbial cells or culture media at thermostatically-stable temperature in the laboratory?
  193. Succinctly explain how the discovery of microscope revolutionized microbiology.
  194. Succinctly explain the timeline or history of the discovery of microscope.
  195. What is resolution?
  196. Define magnification.
  197. Mention and explain any 10 parts of the microscope.
  198. List and explain the function of 5 types of microscopes.
  199. Enumerate 5 ways of taking care of the microscope.
  200. As a would be microbiologist, how will you ensure that the microscopes kept in your custody will be correctly and efficiently used by students. 
  201. Illustrate the formular for calculating the resolving power of a microscope.
  202. What is the working distance of a microscope’s objective lens?
  203. Succinctly differentiate between a phase-contrast microscope and a bright-field microscope.
  204. Outline the two types of electron microscopy.
  205. What is electron microscopy mainly used for? 
  206. What is the major function of the fine adjustment knob of the microscope? 
  207. Write a short note on confocal microscopy.
  208. Define fluorescence microscopy.
  209. What are the advantages and disadvantages of confocal microscope.
  210. Succinctly explain microbial physiology.
  211. What is a cell?
  212. Outline the views of the cell theory.
  213. Enumerate and state the functions of any 10 parts of a cell.
  214. Differentiate between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
  215. What is transpeptidation reaction?
  216. Succinctly describe flagellation in bacteria.
  217. What is cell division?
  218. Define meiosis and mitosis.
  219. What is metabolism?
  220. Differentiate between catabolism and anabolism. 
  221. Describe the differences between Gram negative bacteria and Gram positive bacteria.
  222. What is fermentation?
  223. Describe in details microbial metabolites.
  224. What are psychrophiles?
  225. Enumerate and describe microorganisms based on their oxygen requirements.
  226. Using a suitable diagram, describe in detail glycolysis?
  227. Briefly describe the two stages of the glycolytic pathway. 
  228. Diagrammatically describe the Kreb cycle and explain its significance in microbial metabolism.
  229. What is the function of ATP in the cell?
  230. What is oxidative phosphorylation?
  231. What is substrate-level phosphorylation?
  232. What is electron transport chain? 
  233. What is proton motive force?
  234. Differentiate between substrate-level phosphorylation and oxidative phosphorylation.
  235. Briefly describe an endergonic reaction and an exergonic reaction.
  236.  Diagrammatically trace the connectivity that exists between the electron transport chain, glycolytic pathway and the TCA cycle.
  237. Define an enzyme.
  238. Outline and briefly explain the six classes of enzymes.
  239. What are apoenzymes?
  240. Define haloenzymes.
  241. Enumerate the functions of cell wall in a microbial cell.
  242. How does the Gram negative cell wall differ from the Gram positive cell wall?
  243. What are macromolecules?
  244. What is the full meaning of the acronyms NAG and NAM in relation to bacteria cell wall?
  245. Define capsules and outline its functions in a bacterial cell.
  246. Outline and explain briefly the different types of flagellation in bacteria.
  247. Define sporulation and outline the different types of spores formed by bacteria.
  248. In a tabular format, enumerate the different types of macromolecules, their monomers and functions in living systems.
  249. Briefly differentiate between alkalophiles and acidophiles with examples.
  250. How does mesophiles differ from neutrophiles? 
  251. What are thermophiles?
  252. Define entropy.
  253. Succinctly explain the term cryobiosis/cryptobiosis.
  254. What is the active site of an enzyme?
  255. What is chemiosmosis and how does it benefit the cell?
  256. Define water activity.
  257. Enumerate the fate of pyruvate after its production in the glycolytic pathway.
  258. What are uncouplers?
  259. Which stage of the electron transport chain does the enzyme, cytochrome oxidase catalyze?
  260. Define phosphorylation.
  261. What is photophosphorylation?
  262. Why is cellular respiration a continuous process in the cell?
  263. Which part of the mitochondrion is ATP generated?
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