Introduction to Clinical Virology (SLS201)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with the knowledge and understanding of viruses and their role in disease, including the role of the clinical virology laboratory. In the work-based module they will be expected to apply this knowledge as they learn to perform basic techniques for detection and identification of viruses and gain experience in the interpretation of patient results in a variety of clinical settings.

1. Interpret routine requests for virology investigations in the correct clinical context and process the specimens that accompany those requests.
2. Perform the range of laboratory techniques used in the workplace to investigate important viral infections.
3. Apply the principles of internal quality control and external quality assessment and draw conclusions about assay performance.
4. Report the results of commonly performed investigations of viral infection.
5. Use laboratory IT systems for handling, processing and storage of patient data.

Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Interpret request forms and recommend the most appropriate investigation strategy to investigate virology samples.

2 1,5

Receive process and store common virology specimens, including blood, swabs, urine, faeces, CSF and respiratory samples.

3 2

Perform cell culture, interpret cell line and perform identification tests for commonly isolated viruses from a range of biological specimens.

4 2

Perform and critically evaluate the results from a range of assays used to investigate viral infection, including: immunoassay; agglutination; immunofluorescence; neutralisation; immunoblotting; electrophoresis; and gel diffusion.

5 3

Apply quality standards in the use of manual, semi-automated and automated equipment deployed in the virology laboratory.

6 3,4,5

Produce reports using validated results on common virology investigations.

7 5

Use laboratory and hospital information systems for virology applications and to identify and record patient demographics, clinical details and relevant laboratory results.

8 1,2

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

9 1,2

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with health and safety policies.

You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Receive a range of clinical samples, book them in to the appropriate IT system and select the appropriate investigations that are required DOPS
Perform the range of laboratory techniques used in the work base to investigate important viral infections. DOPS
Perform internal quality control on a chosen methodology DOPS
Interpret Q PCR data in an appropriate clinical setting DOPS
Use laboratory IT systems for handling, processing and storage of patient data DOPS
Perform and critically evaluate the results from a range of assays used to investigate viral infection DOPS
An appropriate activity agreed with your Training Officer OCE

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the disease process of important viral diseases.
2. Discuss and evaluate the range of clinical investigations used in the detection and management of important viral infections.
3. Describe the design, operation and performance of a range of techniques, including test selection, used in the identification of viruses causing infectious disease.
4. Discuss and evaluate the role of the clinical microbiology laboratory in the provision of information for management and treatment of viral infections.
5. Describe the relevant health and safety issues associated with viral detection and identification, including storage and disposal.
6. Discuss and evaluate the quality management systems within a clinical virology department.
7. Discuss the partnership between the clinical microbiology laboratory and other clinical specialisms in the investigation of viral infection and patient care.

Indicative Content

  • Viral replication and modes of transmission
  • Pathogenesis, epidemiology, clinical investigation and management of viral infection
  • Clinical impact of viral infection
  • Commonly encountered viruses and related infections
  • Test selection criteria
  • Diagnostic tools for detection and identification of viruses
  • Investigation and reporting of viruses
  • Microbiology health and safety legislation and its application within the laboratory
  • Current and new technological developments
  • Emerging and changing patterns of viral infections