The course will allow student to understand key aspects of virus biology and the pathogenesis of human viral infections. The course will familiarize students with knowledge of techniques relevant for the isolation, purification and molecular detection of viruses. These will include tissue culture and virus growth, as well as molecular aspects of diagnostics and study of viral genes and expressed proteins, and the application of virus vectors in biotechnology
Basic knowledge of molecular biology and biochemistry
The course covers different molecular aspects of the nature of viruses, their evolution, replication, applications in genetic engineering and gene therapy, detection and control by both vaccines and antiviral strategies.
Treated topics include analysis of biochemical and structural aspects of each virus, variability and genetics, pathogenesis and response to anti-viral treatment and generation/selection of resistance to drugs, vaccine availability/development.
All major viral pathogens for humans, including Herpes Viruses, Retroviruses with special focus on HIV-1, hepatitis A, B, C, E and Delta virus, Influenza viruses, Togaviruses, Measles virus and other Paramyxoviruses, Picornaviruses and Coronaviruses, Papovaviruses, Bocaviruses and Polyomaviruses, arboviruses and emergent viruses classified at the highest level of security (P4), including Ebola and Marburg, Lassa, SARS and MERS-Coronaviruses, Nipah and Hendra viruses will be studied. The murine leukemia virus, prions, phages and Baculovirus biology and bacterial antiviral defense mechanisms will also be included in the course with a deep focus on the biotechnological aspects related to their usage in research.
Particular attention will also be put on the interaction between viruses and the immune system. Some aspects of the different defense mechanisms to eliminate infection, including natural and adaptive immune response will be discussed.
Principles of Virology, 4th Edition, Flint J, Vincent R. Racaniello, volumes 1-2
Medical Microbiology, 26th Edition, Jawetz Melnick&Adelbergs
Fields Virology, Sixth Edition, by David M. Knipe and Peter Howley, 2013
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