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This subject describes how medically important viruses interact with their hosts to cause infection.
The subject will cover the strategies that different groups of viruses employ to replicate in host cells, and their mechanisms for manipulating cellular biochemistry for their own ends. The different outcomes possible for both the virus and the host cell, including clearance, persistence, carcinogenesis, and immunodeficiency, will be discussed. Also covered will be how viruses may be transmitted and detected, and the pathogenic process. The host immune response to infection and the various mechanisms used by viruses to evade the host’s defences will also be explored. Chemotherapeutic and vaccine strategies to control viral infection, as wel as the exploitation of viruses as vectors for vaccine and gene therapy applications, will also be examined. These topics will be further illustrated by discussing the features of a range of medically important viruses.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- understand fundamental concepts of viral replication, pathogenesis and transmission
- understand how viruses interact with host target cells and with host defence mechanisms
- apply relevant knowledge of replication, pathogenesis, immunity and epidemiology of viruses to the determination of appropriate control strategies
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- the ability to interpret scientific literature and interpret data from electronic databases.
- the capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
- the ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer.
Last updated: 25 January 2020