Basic microbiology module- short answer questions – annotated

  1. Contrast the structure of gram negative and gram positive cell walls : 
    • This posting may be of interest – it contrasts why Gram negative and positive bacteria exhibit different antimicrobial susceptibilities.
    • A knowledge of how the peptidoglycan cell wall is constructed is essential for understanding how betalactam and glycopeptide antibiotics work
    • Also understand how the Gram stain reaction works – here is an animation

2.  Contrast fungal cell wall structure with bacterial :

  • Wikipedia entry gives a brief overview
  • Most antifungal agents act by interfering with biosynthesis or integrity of the compound ergosterol whis is the major sterol in the fungal cell membrane. Others disrupt the cell wall. More later on this.

3. Which classes of antibiotic are active against the cell wall – revise mechanisms of action for the major classes of antibiotics (see the posting 1  and posting 2 from

4. Which agents have time dependent versus concentration dependent pharmacodynamic actions?  

  • Please ensure that you have read the PD review by Ambrose et al (below) – important concepts!

5. What DNA viruses are enveloped versus non-enveloped? What effect does the viral envelope have on antiviral immune response and environmental hardiness?

  • Useful table of viral families here
  • In general non-enveloped viruses – eg. HPV (DNA) or rotavirus, hepatitis C (RNA viruses) have much greater environmental survival and thereby create risks from direct/indirect contact and water or foodborne diseases

6. What are the main mechanisms of antibiotic resistance – give an example of each – here is an overview.


From Ambrose 2007 et al, CID.

About mdjkf

Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician
This entry was posted in Module-basic microbiology and AMR and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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