Ecology of Infectious Diseases (3) This course examines how ecological processes impact upon the epidemiology of infectious diseases.
BIOL 412 Ecology of Infectious Diseases (3)
The course will examine the population dynamics of disease and takes an ecological perspective on how pathogens and parasites flow through host populations to identify possible means of predicting and controlling pathogens.
The approach is one of population dynamics, examining changes in disease patterns in time and space. We construct mathematical models to capture the patterns observed, make predictions and identify the means of reducing disease spread. This is an ecological approach, applying the techniques of population biology to an understanding of Parasitology to develop a different prespective on epidemiology. At the same time, the course brings aspects of evolutionary biology into the course and will examine some of the current issues in disease biology including disease emergence, bioterrorism, agro-terrorism and the role of humans as disease reservoirs for wildlife etc.
Upon completion of this course, students will obtain insight into the dynamics of disease spread. They will understand how to construct models and how to apply generic models to specific disease systems and make predictions about controlling disease. They will grasp some major concepts in Parasitology and population dynamics including the role of the disease basic reproductive number (RO), when diseases show a density dependent patterns of transmission or a frequency dependent pattern, non-linear dynamics and the processes that generate heterogeneities in exposure and susceptibility. The course will provide an excellent course for pre-Med students, biologists and students interested in ecology.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.