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  • This laboratory manual has evolved over the years to meet the needs of students taking microbiology at the Catonsville Campus of The Community College of Baltimore County. The intention is to provide the student with an organized, user-friendly tool to better enable him or her to understand laboratory aspects of microbiology as well as to hopefully make learning laboratory material and preparing for lab quizzes a bit easier.

    Each lab exercise is set up as a complete module that demonstrates some microbiological principle or technique. Each exercise begins with a detailed Discussion that provides all the information needed to understand that lab and has key words and phrases presented in boldface. The discussion section is followed by a detailed step‑by‑step Procedure, again with key elements presented in boldface. The Results section of each exercise is where the student records important results and conclusions that will enable him or her to prepare for the practical portion of each lab quiz. There is also an online version of this manual which has the added advantage of providing students with a complete set of color photographs and photomicrographs of the results for each laboratory exercise to use in reviewing and studying for quizzes, as well as concept maps and self quizzes for each laboratory exercise. The URL for the online lab manual is

    Finally, each lab exercise ends with a set of Performance Objectives that tells the student exactly what he or she is responsible for on lab quizzes.

    The lab exercises are designed to give the student "hands-on" laboratory experience to better reinforce certain topics discussed in lecture as well as to present a number of selected microbiological principles not covered in lecture. The first several labs enable the student to master techniques essential in working with and studying microorganisms. A number of labs deal with the laboratory isolation and identification of common opportunistic and pathogenic microorganisms as well as other techniques used in the diagnosis of infectious diseases; several of these labs revolve around a problem-solving case study. Two of the labs pertain to the control of microorganisms. Near the end of the course there is a final problem-solving group project that revolves around a case study and applies knowledge and lab procedures learned during the course.

    I hope you enjoy this laboratory manual and also hope it makes your study of microbiology a bit easier. Keep in mind that the labs are meant to be informal and your instructor is more than willing to answer any questions on either lab or lecture topics.


    I would like to extend my deepest thanks to my co‑worker and treasured friend Dr. David R. Jeffrey, for his many comments, suggestions, and support during the various editions of this manual, and for the many hours he has spent in editing. Also special thanks for encouraging me over these many years I have known him to maintain some degree of sanity in this sometimes crazy world.

    Continuous thanks to another friend and co‑worker Mr. Robert L. Hudson whose efforts and ability assure that the microbiology labs always run smoothly and whose friendship and daily conversations help me to usually run smoothly.

    I would like to thank my past, current, and future students in my microbiology classes. You always seem to make coming to work each day a pleasure.

    Also, my complete love and heartfelt thanks is given to my wonderful wife and colleague Dr. Sonja Schmitz. You are my dream-maker!

    Finally, thanks to microorganisms everywhere ‑-‑ for without their existence, I'd be out of a job and forced to join the "real world."

    Gary Kaiser

    Copyright © Gary E. Kaiser 1979, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013