Molecular virology

A.Y. 2021/2022
6
Max ECTS
48
Overall hours
SSD
BIO/19 MED/07
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The objective of this course is to help the student learn molecular virology by general principles as opposed to describing each virus family. The rules for viral replication that all viruses follow are illustrated and discussed: while pointing out to the specific features of each virus, the course aims to reveal unity in the virus world rather than diversity. Host-pathogen interactions and examples of viral diseases will be discussed, with particular emphasis on the main principles of vaccine and antiviral drug development.
Expected learning outcomes
After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- Describe the diversity of virus structures and the various molecular strategies viruses use to infect and replicate in the host cell;
- Explain the molecular details of the life cycle of selected pathogenic virus and identify the implications for human disease;
- Comprehend the nature of the antiviral immune response;
- Understand the mechanism of action of antiviral vaccines and drugs;
- Describe the biotechnological importance of viruses, in particular their usage in gene therapy;
- Read, analyse and critically evaluate scientific papers in the field of virology.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months based on the evolution of the public health situation. Lessons will follow the canonical timetable of the course published on the website. Teaching material will be deposited in the ARIEL platform.
The exam is written and consists of 3 open questions. The time available to complete the test is 45 minutes.
The exams, whenever possible, will be held face to face. In case face to face mode is not possible because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the exam will be written and held using Exam.net.
Course syllabus
A - WHAT IS A VIRUS?
1- Introduction to Virology
2- Laboratory methods to study the infectious cycle
3- Viral Genomics and Genetics
B - LIFE-CYCLE OF VIRUSES
4- Virus Structure
5- Attachment and Entry
6- DNA virus transcription
7- Viral DNA replication
8- Viral RNA replication
9- Retroviral Genome Replication
10- Replication of Gapped dsDNA viruses (Hepadnaviruses)
11- Virus Assembly and Egress
C - VIRUS-HOST INTERACTION
12- The infected cell
13- Innate immune response to viral infections
14- Adaptive immune response to viral infections
15- Vaccines against viral infections
D- VIRAL DISEASES AND ANTIVIRAL DRUGS
16- AIDS: HIV
17- Viral Hepatitis: HBV/HDV/HCV
18- Herpes Viruses
19- Influenza Virus
E- VACCINE-PREVENTABLE VIRAL DISEASE
20- Other Respiratory/Air-borne Transmission (RSV, Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
21- Fecal/Oral Transmission: Poliovirus, HAV, HEV, Rotavirus
22- Vector-borne and Emergent Infections (Rabies virus, Flaviviruses; Chikungunya; Ebola, Coronavirus)
23- Sexual Transmission: HPV
D- BIOTECHNOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS
24- Viral vectors for gene therapy
Prerequisites for admission
Good knowledge of General Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology.
Teaching methods
Lectures and discussion of scientific papers.
Teaching Resources
ISBN-13 : 978-1683672845

Nigel J. Dimmock, Andrew J. Easton, Keith N. Leppard
Introduction to Modern Virology - 7th Edition
ISBN-13: 978-1405136457

Lecture slides and note and review papers. Links to selected microbiology and/or virology WEB sites and papers will be provided.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is written and consists of 3 open questions. Maximal score related to complexity of questions. Final score is the sum of scores obtained in the different sections of the exam. The time available to complete the test is 45 minutes.
The exams, whenever possible, will be held face to face. In case face to face mode is not possible because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the exam will be written and held using Exam.net and Safe Exam Browser.

The exam will evaluate
- The ability of the student to reach course objectives in terms of knowledge and understanding
- The ability of the student to apply knowledge and understanding
- The ability of the student to use the correct terminology in the field of virology and to discuss the different topics in a clear and rational way.
The exam consists of a written test (max duration 45 minutes), with 3 open-ended questions aimed at evaluating the understanding and personal synthesis of what was presented during lectures.
BIO/19 - MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 0
MED/07 - MICROBIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
Upon request
INGM, via Francesco Sforza 35, or DiSFeB, via Balzaretti 9, Milano