Molecular Virology

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
VET/03 VET/05
Learning objectives
Provide deep knowledge in the field of veterinary virology, driving the students to understand the mechanisms of virus replication, the interaction with cells in which they replicate, the diagnosis, the pathogenesis and the strategies to control viral diseases, including zoonosis. Laboratory practices aim to grow, isolate and characterize animal viruses, and to to identify and measure the abundance of Interferon Stimulated Genes in white blood cells infected by inactivated virus.
Expected learning outcomes
The student is expected to reach the following results:
     Theoretical learning:
basic veterinary molecular virology
background of the main viral diseases transmitted to human from animals, and molecular and biochemical changes related to these pathologies
main techniques applied in laboratories of virology and molecular diagnostics
    Practical learning:
application of in vitro methods to grow and isolate viruses
assessment of cytopathic effects due to different vituses on tissue culture
purification of viruses
application of molecular biology techniques to assess major biochemical and molecular modifications associated to viral diseases,
measurement of mRNA abundance expression and make judgements on its relationship with the effect of virus infection
assessment of the quality of a blood smear, and provide an interpretation of the results of a quantitative PCR base molecular assay.
understand and communicate using the proper terms related to Veterinary Virology and Viral Pathology  
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Classes will be given "in presence". For the students that will not be able to attend the classes, the lesson will be
a) recorded and uploaded on the ARIEL platform
b) we will try to set a live broadcast using the TEAMS platform
c) printout will be uploaded to the ARIEL platform before the beginning of the teaching period
Course syllabus
Unit 'H52-48-A' - Molecular Basis of Virology.
Structure and composition of animal viruses
In vitro and in vivo characteristics of viral infections
Methods to study and to purify viruses
Diagnostic virology
How to grow viruses: animals, embryonated eggs and cell cultures
Anti-viral immune response
Anti-viral therapy
Viruses in gene therapy
Viruses in anti-bacterial therapy

In vitro culture and splitting of a cell line
Cell count and procedure to freeze cell lines
In vitro infection
Cytopathic effects of different viruses on cell lines
Virus purification

Unit 'H52-48-B' - Molecular Pathogenesis of Viral Diseases.
Lecture nr 1 - General concepts in the pathogenesis of viral diseases
Lecture nr 2 - The Immune response to viral infection
Lecture nr 3 - Emerging viral zoonosis
Lecture nr 4 - Coronavirus-related diseases: SARS and COVID-19
Lecture nr 5 - Filovirus related diseases: Ebola and Marburg
Lecture nr 6 - Animal and human immunodeficiency viruses
Lecture nr 7 - Influenza viruses
Lecture nr 8 - Virus and cancer

- Purification of Mononuclear cells from bovine blood and Infection of Mononuclear cells with inactivated IBR virus.
- Measurement of the abundance with quantitative PCR of mRNA of ISG related to IBR infection.
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Classes "in presence"
Practices "in presence"
Printouts and recorded lectures uploaded into the ARIEL platform
Teaching Resources
Printouts of the slides uploaded into the ARIEL platform
Assessment methods and Criteria
The obtainment of the expected learning outcomes by the student are assessed by a written examination based on questions with open answer and questions with closed answer, which include also the description of the practical activity.
The evaluation parameters include correctness of the answers, comprehension of the topics, ability to connect them and propriety of language.
The grade is expressed in thirtieths and it is communicated to the student by e-mail within a couple of days from the end of the written exam.
The exam of the Teaching Unit of Molecular Bases of Virology, which is normally written, in case of emergency phase, will be transformed into an oral exam carried out remotely according to the instructions of the Rector of the University of Milan, using the platform Microsoft Teams. All the questions will be about the material provided on the Ariel system.
Following the suggestions of the Rector of the University of Milan, the Teaching Unit of Molecular Pathogenesis of Viral Diseases will foster the learning process of the student using the instrument of intermediate tests. The Teaching Unit will be divided into three slots, and an intermediate test of 30 MCQ will be taken at the end of each slot. The test is not compulsory, and the student will also have the option to take the exam as usual at the end of the course, starting from January 2021. The exams will be taken online using the platform Microsoft Forms as long as the COVID emergency will last.
Unit: Molecular Basis of Virology
Practicals: 24 hours
Lessons: 18 hours
Professor: Turin Lauretta
Unit: Molecular pathogenesis of viral diseases
Practicals: 12 hours
Lessons: 12 hours
Professor: Ceciliani Fabrizio
After scheduling via mail
Department of Veterinary Medicine - Room 172
Monday 9:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Polo Lodi