Viruses are some of the simplest biological machinery known yet they are also the etiological agents for some of the most important human diseases. New technologies that have revolutionised the discovery of viruses are also revealing a hitherto unappreciated abundance and diversity in the ecosphere, and a wider role in human health and disease. Developing new gene technologies have enabled the use of viruses as therapeutic agents, in novel vaccine approaches, gene delivery and in the treatment of cancer. This unit of study is designed to introduce students who have a basic understanding of molecular biology to the rapidly evolving field of virology. Viral infection in plant and animal cells and bacteria is covered by an examination of virus structure, genomes, gene expression and replication. Building upon these foundations, this unit progresses to examine host-virus interactions, pathogenesis, cell injury, the immune response and the prevention and control of infection and outbreaks. The structure and replication of sub-viral agents: viroids and prions, and their role in disease are also covered. The practical component provides hands-on experience in current diagnostic and research techniques such as molecular biology, cell culture, serological techniques, immunofluorescence and immunoblot analyses and is designed to enhance the students' practical skills and complement the lecture series. In these practical sessions experience will be gained handling live, potentially pathogenic microbes. Tutorials cover a range of topical issues and provide a forum for students to develop their communication and critical thinking skills. The unit will be taught by the Discipline of Microbiology within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences with the involvement of the Discipline of Infectious Diseases and Immunology within the Sydney Medical School.
26 1-hour lectures, seven 4-hour practical classes, one 2-hour tutorial
Pre-class assessment for practical classes: (5 x 1%), continuous assessment for practical classes: (3 x 2%), project assessment for practical classes: (7%), presentation on virology-themed research literature: (7%), theory of practical exam: (15%) (30 minutes), theory exam (60%) (120 minutes).
Knipe and Howley. Fields Virology. 6th edition 2013. Available freely as an electronic resource from the University of Sydney library.
Students are strongly advised to complete VIRO3001 or VIRO3901 before enrolling in VIRO3002 or VIRO3902. BMedSc degree students: You must have successfully completed BMED2401 and an additional 12cp from BMED240X before enrolling in this unit.
Fundamental concepts of microorganisms, biomolecules and ecosystems