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Department of Natural Sciences

Virology (MSc)

fb05_bio_virology.jpg (DE)


Compulsory Course

  • in  MSc Biomedical Sciences, 2nd Semester
  • 6h/week (2L/2E/2P)
  • Credits: 8 ECTS



Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course, students have the following knowledge:

  • Taxonomy as well as structure and replication mechanisms of the most important human pathogenic viruses
  • Occurrence and dissemination of viral diseases
  • Adaption of the virus to the host: host change, zoonosis, “shift and drift”, evolution


  • The course focuses on the different viral families with respect to the following aspects: Worldwide infection, the different forms of hepatitis, childhood diseases, prion diseases, viruses and cancer, viruses and gene therapy, “emerging viruses”, viral zoonoses, bio terrorism.
  • Students are to develop an understanding of human and animal pathogenic viruses with respect to the following issues relevant to medicine and biology: taxonomy, history, morphology of virions, replication strategies (Baltimore classification), transmission, host and risk groups, symptoms, diagnostic methods, protection against the immune system, specific immune reactions, acute and chronic diseases, complications, medication.
  • The cosmopolitan and endemic occurrence of viral diseases is discussed with respect to the following aspects: climatic and social factors of dissemination, epidemiology, eradication measures, and prevention.


  • The students have to work on their own and present a current scientific paper representing a specific question from virology.
  • In the following discussion the student has to defend this paper and the group has to understand the relation of this paper in the context of the already gained knowledge.


Content of the Practical Course

  • Methods of detecting viral proteins and antibodies
  • Determination of antibody titers
  • Western Blot Technique
  • Hemagglutination Test (HAT)
  • Plaque Assays and Cytopathic Effects (CPE)
  • Viral Propagation in Mammalian Cell Culture


  • Enrolment in the 2. semester of the MSc Biomedical Sciences at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.
  • Successful attendance of the General Safety Instructions and the Special Safety Instructions (S1 and L2).


  • Previous knowledge in molecular genetics and cell culture from previous study courses


Successful participation in Written Exam, Seminar and in Practical Course.

Written exam: 70%

Exercises/Seminar: 15%

Practical Course: 15%


  • Fields Virology; D. M. Knipe and P. M. Howley; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Principles of Viruses Molecular Biology, Pathogenesis and Control; S.J. Flint, L.W. Enquist, R.M. Krug, V.R. Racaniello and A.M. Skalka; ASM Press
  • Lexikon der Infektionskrankheiten des Menschen; Erreger, Symptome, Diagnose, Therapie und Prophylaxe; G. Darai, M. Handermann, E. Hinz and H.-G. Sonntag; Springer