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Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

How does influenza spread around the world? Should badgers be culled to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis? What were the origins of Ebola? Why do diseases such as Zika emerge and how best can we control them?

The Dynamics of Infectious Disease course is the only undergraduate course on the epidemiology of infectious diseases and is designed to cater for all NST and MVST students that are interested in the big picture of how infectious diseases affect animal and human populations, and wish to gain a comprehensive understanding of the transmission and control of infectious disease within populations.

The majority of infectious diseases in humans either originate, or are actively spread from animal populations. The One Health concept, which recognises that the health of humans is intrinsically connected to the health of animals and the environment - underpins the course.  The course also seeks to demystify the application of mathematics to understand biological systems. Students with a particular interest in maths may wish to explore this further through a computationally based project, whereas those without can focus on the concepts that lie behind mathematical models.

The program is organised and delivered by experts in infectious disease epidemiology working with the Disease Dynamics Unit at the Vet School, complemented by lectures on specific infections by invited external experts.


This should be prepared according to the specific details given by the Faculty Board.

Example Dissertation Titles:

  • What is the zoonotic potential of rotavirus? Discuss the implications for control of human disease.
  • Could transmissible cancers become a zoonotic infectious disease?
  • Discuss the global spread of Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus: the importance, the likelihood and strategies for global eradication.
  • Immunosenescence and infection: is increased pathogenicity a cause or effect of the aging process?
  • What determines the pathogenicity of influenza viruses?
  • What are the practical and ethical implications of vaccination and culling to control the spread of infectious disease in wildlife?
  • Should bovine tuberculosis be a candidate for eradication?