Course code Vete4045

Credit points 2


Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for laboratory classes24

Independent study hours40

Date of course confirmation20.03.2013

Responsible UnitInstitute of Food and Environmental Hygiene

Course developer

author Pārtikas un vides higiēnas institūts

Ivars Lūsis


Prior knowledge

Biol1014, Basics of Biometry

Vete2009, Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology I

Vete2024, Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology II

Vete3025, Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology III

Vete3008, Immunology

Vete4036, General Pathology I

Vete4037, General Pathology II

Vete6022, Physiology I

Vete6023, Physiology II

Course abstract

Epidemiology gives knowledge and understanding about health triad „animal – environment – men” from the point of view of animals and people health protection. Disease control at the animal group or herd level should be based on the adequate information about animal`s health status, farming conditions and estimation of disease risk to pay main attention for the quantitative data as well as proper analysis and interpretation of such data. Epidemiology offers methods necessary at the veterinary practice for the disease control, decision support and preventive measures according to estimation of current situation.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge about general interconnections among causing agents of animal disease, risk factors, predisposing factors and the level of disease throughout the animal population, understanding on epidemic process, principles and methods for infectious disease control or eradication – 3 tests;
Skills to perform disinfection and disinfection quality control, to assess prevalence and incidence of disease from available information, to work efficiently as a member of multidisciplinary team when epidemiologic study or investigation is carried out – practicals and calculation tasks;
Competency to draw conclusion about health status of group of animals, to take part as animal health specialist in epidemiologic or clinical research projects, to report on scientific paper devoted to modeling of infectious disease – KEGA work.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Introduction. Definition of epidemiology, historical background. Definition and scope of epidemiology. Infection. Types of infection. Immunization – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
2. Epidemic process. Source of infection, reservoir. Allergic diagnostic. Application of needleless injector – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
3. Infection transmission modes (ways). Factors of animal susceptibility to infection. Modelling of disease outbreak (SIR model). Guidelines for KEGA task – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
4. Disinfection for control of the epidemic process. Types of disinfection, tasks before disinfection at animal premises – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
5. Chemical disinfectants. Disinfection quality (performance) bacteriological testing – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
6. Measuring disease frequency – prevalence, incidence – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
7. Performance of diagnostic tests – sensitivity (SE) and specificity (SP) – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
8. Group testing. Screening methods. Parallel testing, serial testing – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
9. Population sample. Sampling methods – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
10. Sample size for disease presence. Concept about freedom of disease – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
11. Sample size for assessing of prevalence – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
12. Clinical trial, epidemiological aspects – control, randomization, masking – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
13. Observational studies. Risk factors of disease. Types of risk factors. Causality concept – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
14. Cohort studies. Cross-sectional studies. Relative risk, risk ratio, attributable risk, attributable fraction – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
15. Case-control studies. Odds ratio. Interpretation of confidence interval. Bias, recognition of confounding – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
16. Economical impact of therapeutic and prophylactic measures – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Simple pass.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Clinical and Epidemiological Case Report (KEGA) on spreading of given infection in the group of animals is targeted at developing student`s competence to analyze epidemic process (outbreak of infectious disease), to understand modelling concept and parameters (basic reproduction ratio R0, transmission parameter β, recovery parameter γ). The number or changes of (1) susceptible, (2) infectious and (3) recovered animals should be predicted by means of stochastic SIR model. Conclusions about the course of epidemic process, benefit of prophylactic, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention should be formulated (outbreak, endemia, periodic cycle, selflimited process). Model parameters should be obtained by student himself from given scientific publication. Model and conclusions should be uploaded to e-study platform using template file of spreadsheet „KEGAepi_Gillespie_algoritms_[matrikula#]” before week 10 of the semester. KEGA defense is organized for each two students simultaneously according to schedule.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Three tests during semester. Proportion of correct answers in each test at least 60%. Student have to attend all practical works. Simple pass of KEGA work.

Compulsory reading

1. Baltiņš M. Lietišķā epidemioloģija. Rīga: Zinātne, 2003. 354 lpp. 2. Dohoo I., Martin W., Stryhn H. Veterinary Epidemiologic Research. Charlottetown: VER Inc., 2009. 865 p. 3. Stevenson M. An Introduction to Veterinary Epidemiology. Palmerston North: EpiCentre IVABS, 2007. 100 p.

Further reading

1.Brila A. Infekcijas slimību epidemioloģija. Rīga: Nacionālais apgāds, 2009. 198 lpp. 2. Bonita R., Beaglehole R., Kjellström T. Basic epidemiology. 2nd edition. World health organization, 2006. 226 p.

Periodicals and other sources

Publiski pieejami epidemioloģisko aprēķinu kalkulatori internetā (tīklaprogrammas) FREECALC un OPENEPI:;


Compulsory course of the study programme Veterinary medicine.