Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

Course Number: 
EPI 520
Course Type: 
Currently Offered: 
Instructor (non-MCB Faculty): 
Lisa E. Manhart
Course Description: 

This introductory course in infectious disease epidemiology is designed for graduate students in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and is intended to complement other courses in infectious diseases offered by the School. The course will provide an introduction to epidemiological methods (design, measurement, analysis and intervention) used in investigations of infectious diseases. It will focus on the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases in populations, as well as provide an overview of several infectious diseases of public health importance in the developed and developing world.

Learning Objectives: 


Describe the various stages of the host-agent relationship and their importance in transmission dynamics.

Calculate and interpret measures of disease frequency and association specific to infectious disease epidemiology, including attack rates, secondary attack rates, case fatality ratios, vaccine efficacy, and the basic reproductive number, among others.

Identify typical points of intervention to reduce transmission of infectious diseases (in non-outbreak settings) or halt transmission (in outbreak settings).

Compare and contrast the various types of mathematical models used to explore the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases.

List the strengths and limitations of various methods for diagnosing infectious diseases and confirming infection with an outbreak strain and interpret results of epidemiologic studies in light of these strengths and weaknesses.

Analytically critique published studies of infectious disease epidemiology in terms of the appropriateness of the study design, study population, measurement of exposures and outcomes, and measures of disease frequency and association.

recommended EPI 511, or EPI 512, or the equivalent.
Course requirements, examinations and grading: 


Four assignments will be based on published articles of epidemiologic studies of infectious diseases relevant to an in-class topic. One additional assignment will take the form of a concept paper for the final project. The final project will be a 10-15 page review paper on an infectious disease of interest.

Fifty percent of the grade will be based on the four assignments and the concept paper. Forty percent of the grade will be based on the review paper and 10% will be based on classroom participation.

Areas of Interest: 
Microbiology, Infection & Immunity
Elective Area: 
Microbiology, Infection & Immunity