VIRO3001/3901

Virology

Course Information

These course outlines are a guide only. They are provided for the information of prospective students. Although every effort is made to ensure the most up to date information is provided, timetables often change each semester due to the availability of rooms and resources. Content (including lecture/practical topics, assessment and textbooks) is also regularly reviewed to ensure relevance and effective learning.

Unit of Study Overview

Viruses are some of the simplest biological machinery known, being completely dependent on hosts for their replication, yet they are also the etiological agents for some of the most important diseases in humans. New technologies that have revolutionised the discovery of new viruses are also revealing a hitherto unappreciated abundance and diversity in the ecosphere, and a wider role in human health and disease. Developing 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 then progresses to examine host-virus interactions, pathogenesis, cell injury, the immune response and the prevention and control of infection. 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, ELISA and immunoblot and is designed to enhance the students' practical skills and complement the lecture series. Tutorials and case studies cover a range of topical issues and provide a forum for students to develop their communication skills. Students are very strongly advised to complete VIRO (3001 or 3901) before enrolling in VIRO3002 Medical and Applied Virology in Session 2.

Course Coordinator Contact Details

Dr Timothy Newsome

Room: 562

Telephone: 9351 2907

FAX: 9351 4571

E-mail: tim.newsome@sydney.edu.au

Prerequisites

IMPORTANTLY NOTE that assumed knowledge for enrolment in VIRO (3001 and 3901) is MICR (2021 or 2921 or 2022 or 2922).

For VIRO3001
Qualification for this Unit of Study requires at least 6 credit points in Intermediate MICR or BCHM or BIOL or IMMU or PCOL or PHSI or PLNT units.

For VIRO3901
Qualification for this Unit of Study requires at least 6 credit points including at least one Distinction in Intermediate MICR or BCHM or BIOL or IMMU or PCOL or PHSI or PLNT units.

There is no quota for these options, but students considering these units should have performed well in Intermediate MICR (2021 or 2921 or 2022 or 2922).

For BMedSc students
For BMedSci: 18 credit points of BMED units including (BMED2401 and 2404) or (BMED2801 and BMED2802 and BMED2807)

For VIRO3901
For BMedSci: 18 credit points of BMED units including (BMED2401 and Distinction in BMED2804) or (BMED2801 and BMED2802 and Distinction in BMED2807).

There is no quota for these options, but students considering these units should have performed well in Year 2 in BMED2802 Molecular Basis of Medical Sciences, BMED2807 Microbes & Body Defences and BMED2808 Disease in Society.

Timetable

1st Lecture: Thursday 10:00am Carslaw Lecture Theatre 373
2nd Lecture: Friday 10:00am Carslaw Lecture Theatre 373

Advanced Lecture (VIRO3901 Only): Monday 10:00am (wk 3, 9-13) New Law School SR 340

Practicals: Thursday or Friday 1:00pm – 5:00pm Biochem/Microbiol 300/542 Lab

Tutorials: Thursday or Friday 1:00pm – 3:00pm TBC

Textbooks

See Faculty of Science Handbook or Unit of Study outline.

Lecture Outlines

Lecture Topics in VIRO3001/3901

Virus structure & classification
Viral molecular biology
Viral infection
Host-pathogen interactions

Advanced Lecture Topics in VIRO3901 only

Current topics in virology research (Dr Tim Newsome)

Practical Course

Practical sessions involve hands-on experiments and case studies with direct application in diagnostic and research virology.

The practical sessions involve hands-on experiments using diverse viral cultural and molecular techniques that have direct application in diagnostic and research virology:

Cell culture
Cytopathic effects on cell lines
Immunofluorescence microscopy
Serology
ELISA
Western Blot
PCR

Assessment

Theory 60%
Practical 40%
One 2.5 hour exam, practical work, group presentations