MIB-11306 Microbiology for Nutrition and Health


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. EG Zoetendal
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering
dr. RA Notebaart
ing. GT Middendorp
MSc PGB Puylaert
dr. ir. EG Zoetendal
Examiner(s)dr. ir. EG Zoetendal
dr. RA Notebaart

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with MIB-10306 Microbiology & Biochemistry .

Genetic, physiological, morphological and ecological aspects of prokaryotes and primitive eukaryotes are addressed, with special attention for the microbiota of the gastro-intestinal tract.
Diversity of microorganisms is the central item, but also that the underlying biochemistry has many common features, including principles, in common with human metabolism.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the importance of the large diversity of microorganisms for development and sustainment of life on earth, including their effects on gastro-intestinal health, food safety and food quality;
- explain that structure and function of enzymes are a link between chemistry and the living cell that underlies biological diversity;
- explain the following basic principles of metabolism of (micro)organisms: manipulation of free energy by enzymes to direct metabolism, importance of oxidation-reduction reactions for extracting energy from organic and inorganic substrates, glycolysis, citric acid cycle and respiratory chain;
- compare the basal metabolism with glucose as a model substrate in (micro)organisms in the presence and absence of external electron acceptors;
- summarize a number of microbial interactions in specific ecosystems, with special emphasis on the human gastro-intestinal tract and food products;
- exemplify the influence of a number of environmental factors on microbial growth and activity in general, and on foodborne microorganisms, and the human intestinal microbiome specifically;
- perform simple microbial experiments with emphasis on aseptic techniques for transfer and handling of microorganisms;
- enrich and isolate microorganisms under defined environmental conditions;
- perform experiments to test the presence of specific pathogens and spoilage bacteria in a number of food products and on surfaces.


- attend lectures that are supported by 1 textbook;
- perform several laboratory experiments;
- fill in a lab journal, answer test questions about the practical course, and give a small presentation.


The final mark is based on:
A written exam that contains ten open and multiple choice questions (eight about the part microbiology and two about the part food microbiology). To pass the exam, the mark for each part should be at least 5.00. To pass the course, the combined mark should be at least 5.50. To pass the (food) microbiology practicals the combined mark (practical work (+ test questions/small presentation)) should be at least 5.50. This mark may help to increase the overall mark of the course to a 5.50 (exam 4/5 + practicals 1/5). For getting a grade 5.0 (related to the BSc-5 regulations) see the course guide.


Michael T. Madigan; Kelly S. Bender; Daniel H. Buckley; W. Matthew Sattley; David A. Stahl. (2018). Brock Biology of Microorganisms. 15th ed. ISBN 13: 9781292235103.
Textbook and practical course handbook are available at the WUR-shop in the Forum.

Verplicht voor: BVGNutrition and HealthBSc6AF