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 lect.

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

The epidemiology course looks at the health triad “animal – environment – human” from an animal and human health perspective. The eradication of diseases at animal group or herd level shall be based on adequate information on animal health status, management and disease risk, focusing on the collection, analysis, and interpretation of quantitative data. Epidemiology shall offer practical methods to be used by a veterinarian so that, when organizing measures to combat and prevent diseases, a specialist is able to assess the objective situation and correctly subordinate his or her decisions and actions.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

The knowledge of the general link between the causes of the disease, contributing, predisposing factors, and the spread of the disease in the animal population, understanding of the epidemic process, principles for combating infectious diseases and prevention methods - 3 quizzes;
The skills to carry out disinfection and to perform the control of the disinfection effectiveness, to analyse the level of spreading of the disease, by calculating the disease frequency indicators from available data, to cooperate professionally with colleagues and statisticians in carrying out epidemiological study, and the prevent an outbreak - practical work assignments;
The competence to assess the health status in the animal group, analyze the dynamics of its changes, participate in the development of epidemiological or clinical studies, and to refer to a scientific publication which includes the infectious disease model - the development and defence of KEGA work.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Introduction. Definition of epidemiology, historical background. Infection. Types of infection. Immunization – 1 h lecture 2 h practical work;
2. Epidemic process. The source of infection, reservoir. Allergic diagnostic. Application of needle-free 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. Bacteriological testing of the disinfection quality (performance) – 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. Animal 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. Economic 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) work is developed on the spread of the given infectious disease in the animal group with a view to developing student`s skills and competence to analyze the epidemic process (outbreak of infectious disease) using for communication epidemiology terms, 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 (or vaccinated) animals should be predicted by means of stochastic SIR model. The student shall formulate conclusions on the progress of the epidemic process, evaluate the impact of preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention (outbreak of the disease, endemia, cyclic outbreaks, self-limiting process). A student shall find modelling parameters independently in a given scientific publication (English) or in a scientific publication chosen on his/her own initiative. Modelling the epidemic process and submitting the work shall be performed by the student in an e-study environment using the spreadsheet template „KEGAepi_Gillespie_algoritms_[matrikula#]” before week 10 of the semester. KEGA work defence is organized for each two students simultaneously at the time specified by the faculty.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Three colloquia (quizzes) during the semester. It is necessary to obtain at least 6 points (10 point grading system) for the crediting of the colloquium. Students have to take part in 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.