Principles of Molecular Virology, 5th Edition

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


Academic Press




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


The fifth edition of the highly successful Principles of Molecular Virology takes on a molecular approach to the explanation of virology, presenting basic in a clear, concise and student-friendly manner. This fully updated undergraduate text explores and explains the fundamental aspects of virology, including structure of virus particles and genome, replication, gene expression, infection, pathogenesis and subviral agents. A website with self-assessment questions and other resources aids in student understanding.


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, U.K.

Principles of Molecular Virology, 5th Edition

Chapter 1 Introduction

Viruses are Distinct from Living Organisms

The History of Virology

Living Host Systems

Cell Culture Methods

Serological/Immunological Methods

Ultrastructural Studies

‘Molecular Biology’

Further Reading

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


Further Reading

Chapter 3 Genomes

The Structure and Complexity of Virus Genomes

Molecular Genetics

Virus Genetics

Virus Mutants

Types of mutant virus


Genetic Interactions between Viruses

Non-genetic Interactions between Viruses

‘Large’ DNA Genomes

‘Small’ DNA Genomes

Positive-Strand RNA Viruses

Negative-Strand RNA Viruses

Segmented and Multipartite Virus Genomes

Reverse Transcription and Transposition

Evolution and Epidemiology


Further Reading

Chapter 4 Replication

Overview of Virus Replication

Investigation of Virus Replication

The Replication Cycle


Further Reading

Chapter 5 Expression

Expression of Genetic Information

Control of Prokaryote Gene Expression

Control of Expression in Bacteriophage ë

Control of Eukaryote Gene Expression

Genome Coding Strategies

Transcriptional Control of Expression

Post-Transcriptional Control of Expression


Further Reading

Chapter 6 Infection

Virus Infections of Plants

Immune Responses to Virus Infections in Animals

Virus-Host Interactions

The Course of Virus Infections

Prevention and Therapy of Virus Infection

Virus Vectors and Gene Therapy

Chemotherapy of Virus Infections


Further Reading

Chapter 7 Pathogenesis

Mechanisms of Cellular Injury

Viruses and Immunodeficiency

Virus-Related Diseases

Bacteriophages and Human Disease

Cell Transformation by Viruses

Viruses and Cancer

New and Emergent Viruses




Further Reading

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

Satellites and Viroids



Further Reading

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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