Human Virology

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

1.) Pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnostics and prevention of the illnesses caused by the human picornaviruses (poliomyelitis, serous meningitis, Bornholm disease, conjunctivitis, myocarditis, immunocomplex diseases, gastroenteral infections, epidemic hepatitis)

2.) Non-cultivable hepatitis virus infections (hepatitis B, C, D, E, G and TTV). Do they directly impaire liver cells? Role of the immun system in the survival and pathogenesis of hepatitis viruses. Interferons and therapy. Importance of the symptomless virus carrier state. Evolutionary connection between plant and mammals.

3.) Endogeneous and exogeneous human retroviruses (HIV/AIDS, HTLV-1/2, prostatic cancer). Evolutionary origin of retroviruses. The diploid genome. Their role in the evolution of the human genome. Prevention, therapy. The laboratory follow up of the treatment. Perspectives of vaccination – present state of the art.

4.) Human herpesviruses I. (Herpes simplex, Varicella-zoster, infectious mononucleoses, Herpesviruses 6 and 7, Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus). Latent virus infections. Escape activities of the immune system. Pre-formed mRNA molecules in viruses. Recently recognised steps of the virus infection (adherence, post adherence events, docking, co-receptors, membrane fusion and transfer to the cell nucleus).

5.) Human herpesviruses II. Epidemiology of herpesvirus infections, antiviral drugs, perspectives of vaccination. Rolling circle model of DNA replication. Latent state in the minichromosome stage. Stolen host cell genes in herpesviruses. Recognised steps of the malignant tumour formation associated with herpesviruses.

6.) Adenoviruses, - prokaryote foot steps in eucaryotic viruses. Unique DNA replication mechanism. How they circumvent the formation of Okazaki fragments? Immunomodulation. Encapsidation as the regulation of the virus replication. Evolution from the fish to the man. Degrees and genetis basis of the mechanisms of oncogenesis. Satellite Parvoviruses.

7.) Viruses with one single RNA genome of negative polarity (measles, mumps, Filoviruses, Hendra, Nipah, parainfluenza and respiratory Syncytial viruses). Evolutionary origin, pathogenic properties. Calssical and molecular epidemiology. Live vaccines. Killers of the American aboriginals.

9.) Viruses with segmented RNA genomes (influenza, Arenaviruses, Birna- and Bunyaviruses). Enzymes within the virus particles. Role of genomic rearrangements in the evolution ov viruses and in the emergence of pandemic influenza viruses. Role of bats, fruit bats, fishes and birds in the development of human virology.

10.) Papova- and Papillomaviruses, who are stealing histons from the host cell. Minichromosomes in the cells. Role of covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA in nature. Replication of DNA viruses is only possible in the „S” phase of the cells. Cell differentiation as the prerequisit of virus assembly. Role of genotypes in the organ specificity of viruses. Recombinant preventive and therapeutical virus vaccines.

11.) Viral zoonoses.

12.) Co-operation of viruses in the promotion of life threatening bacterial infections.

13.) Virus infections during pregnancy. Viruses threatening the fetus. Mechanisms of vertical virus transmission.

14.) Emerging virus infections (poxviruses, ebola, haemorrhagic fevers). Antibody mediated pinocytosis and enhancement of pathogenicity.

  • Brooks G. F.-Butel J. S.- Morse S. A. (eds.): Medical Microbiology. Appleton & Lange, Stanford, 1998