COVID-19 Update

Visit our COVID update page.

Viruses, Vaccines and Antiviral Therapy | BTEC.X413

Viruses, Vaccines and Antiviral Therapy | BTEC.X413

Not since the great Spanish flu pandemic at the end of World War I, estimated to have taken the lives of 50–100 million people, have humans experienced an infectious disease threat like the current coronavirus pandemic. In the last decade we have seen outbreaks of Zika and Ebola viruses, as well as an increased frequency in other dangerous viral infections.

In this comprehensive virology course, designed to prepare people for career advancement in both clinical and biopharmaceutical roles, students will have the opportunity to study coronavirus biology and learn about the status of drugs and vaccines being developed to target SARS-CoV-2. We will learn about past viral pandemics, such as influenza, smallpox, and polio and examine how viruses replicate in human hosts, spread in human populations, and alter human history.

Skills Needed

  • To be successful in this class all students should have working knowledge of Google’s G Suite or Microsoft Office, proper email etiquette, and essential understanding of Canvas.
  • Although some knowledge of molecular biology is desirable, a desire to appreciate the significance of viruses in real-world settings is sufficient for this course

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, you should be able to
  • Appreciate viruses as a part of our natural environment.
  • Obtain a sense of the complex dynamics between viruses and their hosts.
  • Recognize how viruses employ different strategies to multiply and spread from human to human.
  • Understand the impact of viral diseases on human health and society (i.e., how viral disease has impacted human history).
  • Learn what can be done to prevent and treat common viral infections and understand the benefits and risks associated with virus vaccines and antiviral drugs.
  • Have sufficient knowledge to contribute to current discussions about viruses affecting human populations today (e.g., COVID-19, Ebola, West Nile, Dengue, and Chikungunya viruses).

Topics Include

  • Recent developments in molecular biology and genetics that have been instrumental in developing viral vaccines and antiviral drugs.
  • How viruses cause disease (pathogenesis).
  • The relationship between viruses and cancer.
  • Host defense mechanisms.
  • The influence of climate change on emerging viral diseases.
  • The role viruses play in gene therapy and gene editing as well as treating cancer and bacterial infection.
  • The problem of antiviral drug resistance.
  • How to effectively use antiviral drugs to treat viral disease.
  • Emerging viruses.
  • The risks and benefits of viral vaccines.
  • The polio eradication campaign.
  • The epidemiology of influenza virus.
  • The challenges of developing an HIV-1 vaccine.


Professional Credit: CA BRN/LVN Credit--Provider #CEP13114, 15.0 hours

Course evaluation consists of a take home exam and an independent writing assignment. Some knowledge of molecular biology is useful, although a desire to appreciate the significance of viruses in real-world events is sufficient. This course will benefit individuals preparing for career advancement in both clinical and industry roles.
Have a question about this course?
Speak to a student services representative.
Call (408) 861-3860

Estimated Cost: TBD

Course Availability Notification

Please use this form to be notified when this course is open for enrollment.

Contact Us
Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860