Principles of Molecular Virology

5th Edition

Authors: Alan Cann
Paperback ISBN: 9780123849397
eBook ISBN: 9780123849403
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 2nd September 2011
Page Count: 320
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Principles of Molecular Virology, Fifth Edition, provides an introduction to modern virology. Viruses are submicroscopic, obligate intracellular parasites that are more diverse than all the bacterial, plant, and animal kingdoms combined. The book examines protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid, and protein-lipid interactions, which control the structure of virus particles; the ways in which viruses infect cells; how viruses replicate; and the effects of virus infection on host organisms. The book begins with a history of virology, tracing the development of knowledge and research on virology. The remaining seven chapters deal with the function and formation of virus particles; the structure and complexity of virus genomes; virus replication; gene expression; virus infections; the effects of virus infection on the body and the body’s response to infection; and subviral agents, such as satellites, viroids, and prions. The text concludes with three appendices that feature a glossary and abbreviations; a classification of subcellular infectious agents; and an outline of the history of virology.

Key Features

  • Completely rewritten and updated
  • Clear and easy to understand
  • Examples covering important ideas in virology
  • All new illustrations
  • Accompanying website with interactive resources and teaching material for instructors


Undergraduates and graduates in virology, molecular biology and microbiology; Medical students and infectious disease clinicians and immunologists; Those entering the virology research area, including plant virology and AIDS research

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fifth Edition Chapter 1 Introduction What Are Viruses? Are viruses alive? The History of Virology Living Host Systems Cell Culture Methods Serological/Immunological Methods Ultrastructural Studies Molecular Biology Summary Chapter 2 Particles The Function and Formation of Virus Particles Capsid symmetry and virus architecture Helical capsids Icosahedral (isometric) capsids Enveloped viruses Complex virus structures Protein-nucleic acid interactions and genome packaging Virus receptors: recognition and binding Other interactions of the virus capsid with the host cell Summary Chapter 3 Genomes The Structure and Complexity of Virus Genomes Molecular genetics Virus genetics Virus mutants Genetic interactions between viruses Nongenetic interactions between viruses Small DNA genomes Large DNA genomes Positive-strand RNA viruses Negative-strand RNA viruses Segmented and multipartite virus genomes Reverse transcription and transposition Evolution and epidemiology Summary Chapter 4 Replication Overview of Virus Replication Investigation of Virus Replication The Replication Cycle Attachment Penetration Uncoating Genome replication and gene expression Assembly Maturation Release Summary Chapter 5 Expression Expression of Genetic Information Control of Prokaryote Gene Expression Control of Expression in Bacteriophage ? Control of Eukaryote Gene Expression Genome Coding Strategies Class I: Double-stranded DNA Class II: Single-stranded DNA Class III: Double-stranded RNA Class IV: Single-stra


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© Academic Press 2011
Academic Press
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About the Author

Alan Cann

Dr. Alan J. Cann has worked in both the U.K. and U.S.A. teaching undergraduate, postgraduate, and medical students. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester where his research interests include pedagogic research and science communication.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, UK


Praise for previous editions:
“An excellent virological text for students. It is recommended in many university undergraduate courses for good reason. It is well written in an accessible style... well illustrated…I suspect the self assessment questions will be usefully plundered by those setting examinations.” - Trends in Genetics
“Excellent.. The writing flows easily with good practical examples... an attractive, up-to-date book and is an excellent buy that I can strongly recommend.” - Society for General Microbiology Quarterly
"More suitable for an undergraduate class than any other text I have recently seen... readable and undergraduate-friendly, and it fills a definite niche.” - American Society for Microbiology News
"Compact... and realistically priced... Present(s) molecular virology to an undergraduate audience is an easily digestible form.” - Trends in Microbiology