Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. This discipline includes fundamental research on the biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, ecology, evolution and clinical aspects of microorganisms, including the host response to these agents.
The microbes and the branch of microbiology are the most studied due to their great importance to medicine.
Identification of an infectious agent for a minor illness can be as simple as clinical presentation; such as gastrointestinal and skin infections. In order to make an educated estimate as to which microbe could be causing the disease, epidemiological factors need to be considered; such as the patient's likelihood of exposure to the suspected organism and the presence and prevalence of a microbial strain in a community.
Diagnosis of infectious disease is nearly always initiated by consulting the patient's medical history and conducting a physical examination. More detailed identification techniques involve microbial culture, microscopy, biochemical tests and genetic studies.