VIR-30306 Molecular Virology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical intensively supervised30
Problem-based learning12
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. JM Vlak
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. RJM Kormelink
prof. dr. JM Vlak
dr. ir. JWM van Lent
prof. dr. MM van Oers
Examiner(s)prof. dr. JM Vlak

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

Thesis Virology


Starting from the molecular structure of the virus particle, the genomic structure and genetic information of viruses, molecular processes leading to their multiplication will be discussed, including cell recognition, viral disassembly, genome expression and replication, specific viral gene functions for molcular control (anti-apoptose, host shut-off) of the infected cell, and virus translocation. A selected set of relevant human and animal viruses, differing in their genome structure (RNA versus DNA, circular versus linear, and divided versus undivided) and in their virion architecture will be discussed, the content of the course being specialised with respect to molecualr biology, molecular genetics, recombinational events, virus-host interactions and immunology. Furthermore antiviral strategies such as vaccines and chemotherapeutica will be discussed and considerable attention will be given to the biotechnological application of viruses, for instance as expression vectors.

Learning outcomes:

- comprehend the main molecular virological terminology and issues;
- understand the molecular biology of viruses;
- comprehend the molecular infection cycle of a selected set of human and animal viruses;
- recognise and judge the impact of virology in the context of molecular biology, pathology, immunology and biotechnology;
- comprehend the molecular interactions between viruses and their animal hosts;
- explain on molecular level how virus infections may lead to disease;
- comprehend antiviral strategies of the host;
- understand and interprete biotechnological approaches for virus control;
- carry out virus infection using insect and mammalian cell lines;
- analyse virus-infected cells using molecular and cytological tools;
- perform and interprete bio-assays using viruses;
- diagnose virus-infected cells using modern diagnostics;
- report on experiments performed, including interpretation of results and drawing conclusions.


The course contains three parts: - interactive lectures using a syllabus and questions to excersise (3 credits);
- intensive practicals using written protocols and background information, and where techniques in molecular virology will be learned, meanwhile strengthening the knowledge of the molecular processes involved (2 credits);
- problem-directed education (PGO), i.e. using an important/actual example within the area of molecular virology, a "case" will be worked out, supervised/supported by a tutor (1 credits).


An individual judgement based on a written examination of the content of both lecture course and practicals. The PGO case study will result in a written report by each group of students, to be presented to all other students following the same course.


A "study manual", syllabus and practical course text will be handed out prior to the course.

Compulsory for: MBTBiotechnologyMScC: Medical Biotechnology2AF
Restricted Optional for: MBTBiotechnologyMScA: Cellular/Molecular Biotechnology2AF
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScA: Biomedical Research2AF