Microbiology is the study of microorganisms which can infect the human body. Such organisms include:
Bacteria (such as streptococcus and e-coli)
Viruses (such as HIV and Influenza)
Fungi (candida yeast and aspergillus)
Parasites (such as pinworm and filaria)
Protozoans (such as malaria and babezia)
Prions (such as the causative substance in Mad Cow Disease)
An electron micrograph of virus particles on the surface of a cell.
Almost all areas of the body can be accessed to sample for culture or other microscopic examination looking for these causative organisms of disease.
Technology today not only employs classical culture methods using various agar based gels to grow and then identify the organisms, but also the newer DNA based technologies for rapidly isolating and identifying the organisms.
Dr. Craig VanUitert is the Medical Director of the Microbiology department at the University Medical Center at Princeton