Microbiology is the study of all living organisms that are too small to be visible with the naked eye. This includes bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, prions, protozoa and algae, collectively known as 'microbes'. These microbes play key roles in nutrient cycling, biodegradation/biodeterioration, climate change, food spoilage, the cause and control of disease, and biotechnology. Thanks to their versatility, microbes can be put to work in many ways: making life-saving drugs, the manufacture of biofuels, cleaning up pollution, and producing/processing food and drink.
Branches of Microbiology includes:
Bacteriology: the study of bacteria.
Immunology: the study of the immune system.
Mycology: the study of fungi, such as yeasts and molds.
Nematology: the study of nematodes (roundworms).
Parasitology: the study of parasites.
Phycology: the study of algae.
Virology: The study of viruses and virus-like agents, including, but not limited to, their taxonomy, disease-producing properties, cultivation, and genetics.
Protozoology: The study of protozoa, the "animal-like" (i.e., motile and heterotrophic) protists. This term has become dated as understanding of the evolutionary relationships of the eukaryotes has improved.
There is vast scope in the field of microbiology due to the advancement in the field of science and technology. The scope in this field is immense due to the involvement of microbiology in many fields like medicine, pharmacy, diary, industry, clinical research, water industry, agriculture, chemical technology and nanotechnology.
Microbiologists can work in the area of:
1.Food: Food microbiologists research micro-organisms in food and are tasked primarily with preventing food-borne diseases. They study food poisoning, spoilage, and preservation, as well as participating in food legislation establishment and enforcement.
- Pharmacy: Pharmaceutical microbiologists focus fundamentally on quality control to ensure a supply of life-saving drugs and vaccines that are free from microbial contamination.
Microbiologists can also work in the areas such as: agrochemistry biotechnology, biorefinery, environment, pollution control and bioremediation.
In the field of agriculture, microbiologists act as environmental and health specialists to study the role of microbes in plant disease, pest control, nutrition and soil fertility.
In the field of medicine and health care, the work is usually associated with diagnosis, prevention and treatment of illnesses associated with microbes.
Universities and colleges employ microbiologists as researchers and teachers.