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MSci Genetics / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Introduction to Virology
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Virus infections can range from a brief, superficial interaction between the virus and its host to a lifelong infection from before birth. Many different tissues and organs may be affected. Although only a small minority of virus infections give rise to any disease symptoms, this minority is of major medical importance. This unit will provide you with an introduction to viral structure and function and explain how viruses subvert host cell function to generate viral factories. Details of the pathogenic mechanisms used by viruses to cause disease will be explained using examples such as the influenza virus and HIV. The design of viral vaccines will also be covered and their use in eradicating viral infections such as polio discussed.
The aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of viruses and viral disease. It will provide an introduction to viral structure and function and explain how viruses subvert host cell function to generate viral factories. Details of the pathogenic mechanisms used by viruses to cause disease will be explained using examples such as the influenza virus and HIV. The design of viral vaccines will also be covered and their use in eradicating viral infections such as polio discussed.
At the end of the course students will have an appreciation of:
- viral structure
- the interaction of virus and host
- the mechanisms of viral replication in host cells
- viral pathogenesis
- immune response to viral infections
- acute, chronic and latent viral infections
- viral vaccines and anti-viral drugs
- viral epidemiology
- • What is a virus?
• Viral structure
• Viral genomes and replication
• Viral interactions with the host
• Acute viral infections
• Latent and persistent viral infections
• Viruses and immunodeficiency
• Viral vaccines
• Anti-viral therapy
• Viral evolution
• Emerging viral infections
• Zoonotic viral diseases
HIV doesn’t cause AIDS – The Duesberg phenomenon. Students will be asked to address the nine points made by Duesberg and produce a rebuttal of his contention, made in his original Science article, that “HIV is not the cause of AIDS because it fails to meet the postulates of Koch and Henle, as well as six cardinal rules of virology.”
- Analytical skills
- The students have to think about Duesberg's comments and analyse what they mean to select the correct facts from the literature to demonstrate that Duesberg's comments about HIV are wrong.
- The student has to use text books and journals to respond to the points raised in the assignment.
- Written communication
- 1000 word assignment in which the students have to respond to the nine assertions by Duesberg in which he claims that HIV does not cause HIV.
1.5 hour (+ 15 min processing time) online, open book, written examination at the end of the unit. Exam format – 1 essay from a choice of 5 (70%); Duesberg E-learning assessment (20%); 2 x MCQ tests (10 %).
Feedback will be provided on the e-learning activity. Knowledge will also be assessed by weekly formative MCQ exams.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.3|
|Independent study hours|
|Nicola High||Unit coordinator|