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Introduction to Virology. Nature of Viruses. Viral genome is packaged in protein coat. Virus Genomes. Nature of Viruses. Viruses need a living cell to survive Viral genome is released inside the cytoplasm of the host cell Virus genomes are made of DNA or RNA Not both

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slide2

Nature of Viruses

Viral genome is packaged in protein coat

nature of viruses
Nature of Viruses
  • Viruses need a living cell to survive
  • Viral genome is released inside the cytoplasm of the host cell
  • Virus genomes are made of DNA or RNA
    • Not both
    • Single stranded (ss) OR double stranded (ds)
why study viruses1
Why Study Viruses
  • Viruses are capable of infecting all forms of life
    • Vertebrates, prokaryotes, fungi, algae
  • Most abundant form of life
    • Bacteriophages are extremely abundant
    • Estimated 1031 tailed bacteriophages
  • Excellent molecular biology tools
viruses and molecular biology
Viruses And Molecular Biology
  • Study of viruses small DNA viruses led to discovery of promoters for eukaryotic RNA polymerases
  • Study of cancer producing viruses led to discovery of many cellular oncogenes
  • RNA splicing in eukaryotic cells was discovered by studying mRNA from DNA viruses
  • Understanding of cellular DNA replication was facilitated by studying phages and DNA viral replication
slide11

Major Virology Milestones

  • “Phage” group made significant discoveries/contributions to the field of molecular biology
    • Bacteriophages hold promise as antibiotics
      • Particularly in antibiotic resistant bacteria
      • Immune reaction to phages remains a serious obstacle
  • Study of tumor viruses let to a clearer understanding of cancer
slide12

Viruses As Vectors

  • Viruses can be engineered to carry exogenous genes
  • The exogenous genes can be inserted in the host’s genome
  • When utilizing a virus to insert genes into a host, we refer to that virus as a Vector Virus
  • Vector virus hold promise as therapeutic agents
    • Immune response remains an issue
slide13

Detection And Measurement of Viruses

  • Plaque Forming Assay
  • Initially done with bacteriophages and bacteria
slide15

Detection And Measurement of Viruses

  • Hemagglutination Assay
  • Rapid and convenient