Courses Catalogue

Advanced Virology

COURSE CODE: MCB 7104
COURSE CREDIT UNIT: 4
ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Microbiology, M.Sc
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: Faculty of Biomedical Sciences
STATUS: Core
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

Prerequisite: Students are expected to have prior knowledge in Basic microbiology and Virology.

Purpose of the course

Viruses have ever increasing importance in life with respect to disease. But they have been found to be useful in modern scientific applications where they are useful in movement of genetic material into cells. This has been successfully used in genetic studies in animal disease and plant breeding. Thus viruses are of importance in research in control of human, animal and plant diseases and their control as well as technologies in breeding. The course is intended to equip the student with the detailed knowledge and skills needed to respond to disease outbreaks in terms of diagnosis, prevention and control with respect to viral diseases as well as usefully apply use of viruses as vectors of targeted genes in disease studies and breeding experiments.

Course Description:  

Advanced laboratory studies of viruses and virus diseases with emphasis upon the application of procedures to investigation. May be elected more than once. It includes lectures on a diverse collection of viruses, with emphasis on molecular biology and pathogenesis. This course investigates advanced concepts and experimental systems in virology, including recent basic and applied research that has led to major scientific innovations in medicine, agriculture and nanotechnology.

 Course Aim

The aim of this course is to provide you with an understanding of and expertise in microbiology, with a particular focus on virology. It will help learners develop an understanding of the scientific basis of established and novel medical virology concepts, as well as the specialist knowledge, practical skills and critical awareness required to pursue a career in research and medical virology.

Course Objective

At the end of the course the students should be able to:

Describe the structure and replication strategies of the individual viruses discussed, including the processes of entry into cells, control of gene transcription and where relevant translation and gene product stability, control of and mechanism(s) of genome replication, virion assembly and egress from the cell. 

Define the process of virus latency and describe in molecular terms control of the process and activation of viral genomes during reactivation.

Describe the general principles governing virus structure and multiplication

Explain the differing strategies employed by viruses to enable their replication in host cells.

Discuss the means by which viruses cause cellular damage and disease.

Describe the various types of existing virus vaccines and the methodologies for producing them. Explain the basic pathways and mechanisms used by cells to defend themselves against virus infections. 

Discuss the mechanisms of existing antiviral drugs and future development.

Integrate experimental strategies learned in the context of individual viral systems into the design of experiments involving other systems.

Interpret data from experiments that utilize methodologies described and draw appropriate   conclusions from the data.