Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are invisible to the naked eye. Micro biology helps us to understand the life cycle of these microorganisms and the effect they have on plants and animals. Life of microorganisms affects soil ,water etc. It is also used for immunization improvement.The development of micro biology depends largely on industrial methods, economic requirements and general programmes on science and Engineering.
History & Development
The existence of microorganisms was predicted many centuries before they were first observed, for example by the jains in India and by marcus terentius varro in ancient Rome. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is considered a father of microbiology as he observed and experimented with microscopic organisms in 1676, using simple microscopes of his own design. Scientific microbiology developed in the 19th century through the work of Louis Pasteur and in medical microbiology Robert Koch.
Microbiology is divided into two branches:
Pure Microbiology and Applied Microbiology.
Branches of Pure Microbiology:
- Astro microbiology: Study of microorganisms in outer space
- Bacteriology: Study of bacteria
- Cellular microbiology: A discipline bridging microbiology and cell biology
- Generation microbiology: Study of those microorganisms that have the same characters as their parents
- Immunology: Study of the immune system
- Molecular microbiology: Study of the molecular principles of the physiological processes in microorganisms
- Nano microbiology: Study of those organisms on nano level.
- Systems microbiology: A discipline bridging systems biology and microbiology.
- Virology: Study of viruses
Branches of Applied Microbiology:
- Aero Microbiology (or air microbiology): Study of airborne microorganisms.
- Agricultural Microbiology: Study of agriculturally relevant microorganisms. This field can be further classified into the following:
- Biotechnology: Related to recombinant DNA technology or genetic engineering.
- Food Microbiology: Study of the microorganisms that inhibit, create, or contaminate food. This includes the study of microorganisms causing food spoilage; as well as, pathogens that may cause disease especially if food is improperly cooked or stored. Those used to produce fermented foods such as cheese, yogurt, bread, beer, and wine.
- Industrial Microbiology: Exploitation of microbes for use in industrial processes. Examples include industrial fermentation and wastewater treatment. Closely linked to the biotechnology industry. This field also includes brewing, an important application of microbiology.
- Medical Microbiology: Study of the pathogenic microbes and the role of microbes in human illness also is related to the study of disease pathology and immunology. This area of microbiology also covers the study of human microbiota, cancer, and the tumor microenvironment.
- Microbial Biotechnology: Manipulation of microorganisms at the genetic and molecular level to generate useful products.
- Pharmaceutical Microbiology: Study of microorganisms that are related to the production of antibiotics, enzymes, vitamins, vaccines, and other pharmaceutical products and that cause pharmaceutical contamination and spoil.
- Soil Microbiology: Study of those microorganisms that are found in soil.
- Veterinary Microbiology: Study of the role of microbes in veterinary medicine or animal taxonomy.
- Water Microbiology (or aquatic microbiology): Study of those microorganisms that are found in water.
There are multiple levels of courses available in Microbiology
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
- Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Required Skills and Aptitude
Work of a microbiologist is research oriented. That is he has to work in a lab for a long time, keen observation skill and patience is required. Even if a person is working in a lab of a hospital or in a lab of research for industry he must be very hard working. Sometimes he need a patience to work for several years.He must have very high abstract reasoning capacity.
Plus two (12th std) course with biology
BSc Microbiology/BSc Biological Science / BSc MLT. In colleges, admission is based on merit and in Universities through entrance test
Msc in Microbiology or in similar disciplines
A person with MD Microbiology can work in a scientific Lab and in Pathology Lab. He can also work inIndustries like Pharmacy, dairy, Breweries , Distilleries .Microbiologist can work as teaching faculty and research guide even if the institute does not have a course named Microbiology but it may be a subject for other courses. For example Food Technology, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics , Bio Chemistry etc
- Food industries like Nesle
- Hospital Groups
- Medical coding Companies
National Premier Institutes:
- The Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC)
- All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)
- The Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD)
- Indian Institute of Science (IISC)
- Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
- National Institute of Virology (NIV)
- Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST)
Institutions offering BSc Microbiology:
Institutions offering MSc Microbiology:
Questions & Answers
- Q) What Types of Job Roles for Microbiologists?
- A) Microbiologists are required for diverse jobs. The following are some of the job profiles that Microbiologists can take up after obtaining the necessary skills.
- Research Assistant: These microbiologists engage in research activities associated with microorganisms, causes for the diseases, figuring out solutions or treatment for diseases etc. They assist higher-level researchers in varied activities in the field of science.
- Biomedical Scientists: Biomedical Scientists carry out a wide range of scientific and laboratory tests to support the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
- Food Technologist: The major responsibility of the food technologist is to ensure safe and efficient development, manufacture and modification of food products and processes.
- Pharmacologist: Usually, pharmacologists specialise in a specific field of research such as pharmacokinetics, toxicology etc. Microbiologists can choose pharmacology as one of the subjects at the Ph.D. level.
- Clinical & Veterinary Microbiologists: Veterinary microbiologists are veterinarians who specialise in the study of microorganisms that cause infectious diseases to animals.
- Industrial Microbiologist: These microbiologists apply engineering and scientific principles to the processing of materials by microorganisms, plant and animal cells to create useful products or processes.
- Environmental Microbiologist: The major responsibility of the environmental microbiologist is to study the microorganisms that exist in artificial environments such as bioreactors.