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Dynamics of Infectious Diseases


The Dynamics of Infectious Disease option, introduced in 2005, came about in response to an inquiry by the Royal Society that identified the need to have more vets working in infectious disease science. Although developed particularly for vets, to enhance their training in the area of infectious disease dynamics, the course is open to all NST and MVST students and is designed to appeal to anyone wishing to gain a comprehensive understanding the transmission and control of infectious disease within populations. Much of the programme is delivered by experts in infectious disease epidemiology working within the Disease Dynamics Unit at the Vet School, complemented by lectures on specific infections by invited external experts.

The Course

Lectures: The course focuses on the epidemiology and dynamics of infectious diseases, drawing on examples from animal diseases, emerging infections and zoonoses. The One Health concept underpins the course, emphasising the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment. The content complements material taught in the Immunology, Microbial & Parasitic Disease and Virology Options. It emphasises the importance of the dynamic nature of infectious disease processes and incorporates substantial elements of quantitative epidemiology. The course introduces key theoretical approaches in epidemiology, concentrating on dynamics and control of infectious diseases at the population level.

It is not intended to provide a comprehensive, systematic description of all the important pathogens of animals. Rather, a select group of key examples are chosen to illustrate the fundamental principles of disease dynamics. These include important infections of animals and humans, emerging infectious disease and zoonoses. Note that the lectures for this course will be held in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, West Cambridge Site, Madingley Road.

Research Projects:

Students will be offered research projects at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, which may be either laboratory or computer based with an emphasis on mathematical biology.

Examples of Current/Previous Projects

2013/2014 projects

  • Molecular Evolution of Rotavirus A
  • Modeling the Evolution of Recombinant Norovirus
  • The Dynamics of Syndromic Surveillance
  • An experimental approach to investigate the effects of social feeding on bacterial transmission in nematodes of Canorhabditis elegans
  • Localisation of murine norovirus infected cells in tissues
  • Modelling some aspects of the dynamics of Rift Valley Fever
  • Deep sequencing of MRSA isolates
  • Cross-species adaptation of influenza virus A
  • Comprehensive review of avian influenza virus studies
  • Determination of the age distribution of cases and the age-specific case:carrier ratio for meningococcal disease in the African meningitis belt.
  • Towards an invertebrate model of mammalian prion disease