216541b Laboratory Course

WiSe 21/22: Methods in Molecular Virology

Annette Mankertz

Information for students

The attendance of 216541 a is obligatory!

Additional information / Pre-requisites

At the briefing (04.11.2020, 16:00 h) lecture notes and topics for the presentations will be distrivuted. Students are advised to bring their vaccination record in order to check the immune status. IMPORTANT: record of 2x MMR vaccinations and an valid certificate of enrolment are obligatory! close


Both, the seminar and the lab course must be attended together. Presentation of a vaccination card with 2 documented MMR vaccinations is mandatory.

The participants of this course will learn examples of molecular techniques to investigate the interaction between viruses and their host cells plus globally used diagnostic tests to confirm acute virus infections and to determine the infectious agent.

The given examples are measles, mumps and rubella virus which induce vaccine-preventable diseases usually affecting children and adolescents. Vaccination leads to robust immunity that is exerted by the cellular immune system and neutralizing antibodies. The course participants are given the opportunity to determine the titer of IgG antibodies to MMR in their own blood samples and thus to receive a written document certifying their personal immunity. Measles, mumps and rubella viruses induce cytopathogenic effects which can be used to determine the number of biologically active virus particles in a stock solution. Participants will apply this classical method which makes viruses particles visible without employing the EM department.

Moreover, global elimination programs and the concept of molecular surveillance is discussed and currently circulating viruses will be sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. The participants will be able to identify notorious outbreak viruses that have been responsible for several thousand cases of disease.

The applied molecular methods will reflect the tests that are presently used to perform research in our working group and will include e.g.
  • co-immunoprecipitation to demonstrate interaction of viral and cellular proteins
  • immunofluorescence analysis to localize viral proteins in cellular compartments
  • flow cytometry to check for expression of viral proteins
  • promoter studies to investigate the influence of viral proteins on cellular gene expression
  • use of mutated viruses which have been generated by reverse genetic

This seminar includes one day with our RKI library experts who will give a skillful digest of advanced literature research. This extra bonus has always been highly esteemed by the participants and found very helpful with respect to writing a master thesis.

Prof. Dr. A. Mankertz: mankertza@rki.de close

Subjects A - Z