Principles of Molecular Virology, 5th Edition

Principles of Molecular Virology, 5th Edition,Alan Cann,ISBN9780123849397


Academic Press

9780123849397 New edition



240 X 197

Provides an essential introduction to modern virology.

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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


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.


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

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

View additional works by Alan J. Cann

Principles of Molecular Virology, 5th Edition

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


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


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


Chapter 4 Replication

Overview of Virus Replication

Investigation of Virus Replication

The Replication Cycle




Genome replication and gene expression





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-stranded (+)sense RNA

Class V: Single-stranded (-)sense RNA

Class VI: Single-stranded (+)sense RNA with DNA intermediate

Class VII: Double-stranded DNA with RNA intermediate

Transcriptional Control of Expression

Posttranscriptional Control of Expression


Chapter 6 Infection

Virus Infections of Plants

Immune Responses to Virus Infections in Animals

Viruses and Apoptosis


Evasion of Immune Responses by Viruses

Inhibition of MHC-I-restricted antigen presentation

Inhibition of MHC-II-restricted antigen presentation

Inhibition of natural killer cell lysis

Interference with apoptosis

Inhibition of cytokine action

Evasion of humoral immunity

Evasion of the complement cascade

Virus-Host Interactions

The Course of Virus Infections

Abortive infection

Acute infection

Chronic infection

Persistent infection

Latent infection

Prevention and Therapy of Virus Infection

RNA Interference (RNAi)

Virus Vectors and Gene Therapy

Chemotherapy of Virus Infections


Chapter 7 Pathogenesis

Mechanisms of Cellular Injury

Viruses and Immunodeficiency

Virus-Related Diseases

Bacteriophages and Human Disease

Cell Transformation by Viruses

Cell Transformation by Retroviruses

Cell Transformation by DNA Viruses

Viruses and Cancer

New and Emergent Viruses




Chapter 8 Subviral Agents: Genomes without Viruses, Viruses without Genomes

Satellites and Viroids


Pathology of prion diseases

TSE in Animals


Transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME)

Feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE)

Chronic wasting disease (CWD)

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)

Human TSES

Molecular Biology of Prions


Appendix 1: Glossary and Abbreviations

Appendix 2: Classification of Subcellular Infectious Agents

Appendix 3: The History of Virology


Quotes and reviews

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

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