This concise textbook covers the essential aspects of virology included in biomedical science courses. It takes a conceptual approach and examines common themes that emerge from studying the full range of viruses.
The first chapters introduce the reader to the structure and nature of viruses, including their classification, evolution, and replication. The viral replication chapter in the text follows the course of the replication cycle from attachment and entry to release of new viruses. Individual replication strategies are given in a separate section at the end of the text, which is organized by virus and also gives characteristic information for that virus including an electron micrograph and 3D structure.
Viruses cause widespread and serious disease so the next chapters explain how they interact with the immune system and the different ways we try to defeat them: vaccines, antiviral drugs, and immunotherapy. There is also coverage of laboratory methods for viral detection and laboratory diagnosis. While viruses do cause disease, many do not and indeed their special biology means they can have beneficial uses and this aspect of viruses is not neglected. One of the most interesting areas in virology, and one given extensive coverage here, is how new viruses emerge and establish themselves.