VIR-30306 Molecular Virology


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work12
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. RJM Kormelink
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. RJM Kormelink
dr. ir. JWM van Lent
prof. dr. MM van Oers
Examiner(s)dr. ir. RJM Kormelink

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Continuation courses:

Thesis Virology; This course is compulsory for students MSc Biotechnology and Molecular Life Sciences to enter the MSc thesis/internship track at Virology.


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with VIR-30806 Fundamental and Applied Virology.

Note: This course is designed for students MBT and MML and has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. Students BBT and BML will only be allowed to participate if space is available while students from other programs (MPB, MPS and MBI) cannot join and will be directed to follow the course VIR30806.
See Academic Year.( -> Registration for Courses.
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 molecular control (anti-apoptosis, 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 molecular biology, molecular genetics, re-combinational 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:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- 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 PO case study will be judged based on a written report by each group of students.


A practical course manual will be handed out prior to the course.
The book from Nicholas H. Acheson, "Fundamentals of Molecular Virology" (2nd ed. Wiley. 500p. ISBN-0470900598), will be used as course book and can be purchased from the WUR book shop.

Verplicht voor: MBTBiotechnologyMScC: Spec. C - Medical Biotechnology2AF
Keuze voor: MBTBiotechnologyMScA: Spec. A - Cellular/Molecular Biotechnology2AF
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScA: Spec. A Biomedical Research2AF