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Virology  -  BIOS 5340

Winter, 0000

Department of Biological Sciences

Western Michigan University






Instructor:                         Dr. K. Essani,  Professor

                                             Office: Wood Hall, Room 3931;  Laboratory: Haenicke Hall, Room 2007

                                             Phone: 387-2661; Fax: 387-5609; Internet:


Office Hours:                  Mondays 2:00-4:00 pm and Tuesdays 2:30-4:30 pm or by appointment


Prerequisite:                    BIOS 3120, Biochemistry recommended


Time and Place:              Tuesdays and Thursdays,  6:00-7:20 pm

                                             1728 Wood Hall


Credit Hours:                   3.0



This course is intended to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to recent concepts in the biology and biochemistry of animal viruses. There is no required text book. However, it is highly recommended that students make extensive use of a number of virology texts and journals available in the university library. There are also a number of web sites and data banks accessible on the internet (see attached handout). The purpose of these readings is to provide students with some conceptual background to help comprehend lectures and readings. Most virology text books and web sites contain a number of factual errors and omissions. Emphasis should, therefore, be placed on lectures and suggested readings. Lectures will cover recent progress made in animal virology. A general knowledge of protein and nucleic acid biochemistry, at least at the present high school level, will be essential to understand lectures and suggested readings. Some basic questions in biochemistry may be included in any or all exams.


Exams and Scoring:       A total of 100 points with five scoring opportunities as follows:



First Exam

10 points

Second Exam

25 points

Third Exam

25 points

Review Paper

10 points

Final Exam

30 points  [April  17, ' 01; 7:15 p.m.]



The FINAL  [COMPREHENSIVE] EXAM will be constructed as follows:  10 points from lectures covered in three previous exams [some questions may be from previous exams], and 20 points from lectures since third exam.  Any conflict in the final exam schedule must be resolved during first two weeks of classes.


Total numerical grade obtained by summing all scoring opportunities will translate into letter grade as follows:


                              90-100 = A,         85-89 = BA,        79-84 = B,            72-78 = CB.

                              65-71 = C,           57-64 = DC,        50-56 = D,           0-49 = E.




Review Paper: 


Every student will be required to write a review article (not more than 20 double spaced typed pages) on a specific animal virus. Each student will be assigned a different virus. Students are required to use their own language. Not a single sentence should be plagiarized from any other author. All facts must be referenced by number in the text and a detailed bibliography must be included at the end of the review.

Each review must be subdivided into following heads: classification, virion structure, virus genome including any sequence data available (do not copy the nucleotide sequences, instead refer it to the databank and access number), viral proteins (both structural and non-structural and their functions), viral stability in environment (pH, temperature and lipid solvents), replication cycle (including susceptible cell lines and/or animals, cellular receptors and attachment protein(s), site of virus replication within the cell, comprehensive biochemistry of virus replication, assembly and release, and detailed clinical picture including the description of disease in animals and/or humans, route of entry, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, vaccination and references. Figures and tables (maximum two each) can be included in the review. These must be referenced, if not original. Figures and tables must be incorporated in the text using any word processing software. Do not use separate pages. Do not avoid any of these subheadings. If information is not yet available, say so under that heading. The review will be due any time before the 3rd. exam, and may be submitted as early as possible for necessary comments and corrections prior to final submission. Students are encouraged to read such reviews in several scientific peer reviewed journals before writing their own. First page must name the virus, student name, course title and number and social security number.


Make-up Exams:            


Any make-up exam will be by special arrangements only, and will require written documentation for an excused absence. Exams are to be made up immediately after return to class and only approved excused absences are eligible for a make-up exam. There will be no make-up review papers.


Academic Honesty:


Academic ethical standards regarding cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, facilitating academic dishonesty and consequences of these actions are all described in the WMU Undergraduate Catalog. Students sometimes do not understand the definitions of academic standards (e.g. plagiarism) and unwittingly are party to improper conduct. Thus it is important to familiarize yourself with this part of the written definitions described above. Reading these regulations is strongly recommended.


                              Lecture #                                          Topic



1.                                                         Overview of Virology


2.                                                         Analytical Technology in Virus Research


3.                                                         Structure and Classification of Viruses


4.                                                         Viral Replication


5.                                                         Viral Genetics


6.                                                         Review and Discussion I


7.                                                         First Exam    


8.                                                         Pathogenesis and Immunology of Virus Infections


9.                                                         Laboratory Diagnosis of Viral Infections


10.                                                       Persistent Viral Infections


11.                                                       Tumor Virology I


12.                                                       Tumor Virology II


13.                                                       Review and Discussion II


14.                                                       Second Exam 


15.                                                       Anti-Viral Chemotherapy


16.                                                       Plus-Strand RNA Viruses without Envelopes


17.                                                       Plus-Strand RNA Viruses with Envelopes


18.                                                       Minus-Strand RNA Viruses


19.                                                       Double-Stranded RNA Viruses


20.                                                       Review and Discussion III


21.                                                       Third Exam  [ also Last Day for Review Submission]


22.                                                       Small and Medium DNA Viruses


23.                                                       Large DNA Viruses


24.                                                       Viruses, Prions and Viroids        


25.                                                       Virology and Chemotherapy of AIDS


26.                                                       Review and Discussion IV


27.                                                       Final Exam        7:15 p.m.

               Any conflicts in the final exam must be resolved during the first two weeks of classes.