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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ronald F. Di Giacomo
EPI 568
Seattle Campus

Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

Application of molecular typing techniques to study of microbial pathogens to increase understanding of epidemiology of infectious diseases. Brief review of molecular biology. Evaluation of methods used in outbreaks and epidemics reported in literature. Prerequisite: EPI 511 or EPI 512 or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with ENV H 568/PABIO 568. Offered: W.

Class description

The course is intended to provide instruction in the application of molecular methods to the study of infectious diseases in populations.

Objective: The overall objective of the course is to provide conceptual knowledge of the methods used in the molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases, particularly for outbreaks and epidemics. This will allow students to read published articles and evaluate whether the appropriate methods were used and if the data was analyzed correctly.

Student learning goals

Define molecular epidemiology and explain how it complements traditional infectious disease epidemiology

Identify and describe phenotypic and genotypic techniques of molecular subtyping.

List the types of microbes that can be typed by phenotypic and/or genotypic assays.

Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the various typing techniques.

Evaluate a published article and recognize the method(s) used.

Determine if the method(s) used were appropriate to the question(s) being addressed.

Evaluate if the authors’ interpreted the results correctly with the methods used.

Explain if you would have used additional or alternative methods to answer the question(s)

General method of instruction

A website (http://courses.washington.edu/pabio568/) will be available which will list the syllabus, schedule of lectures, reading assignments, handouts provided in class and homework assignments. The reading assignments should be read prior to class. Assignments will be given each week (7 or 8 assignments) and will be due the following week and will be discussed at the end of the following class. These will consist of problems that are meant to familiarize the student with the methods and how to interpret data generated using the methods.

Recommended preparation

This course is intended primarily for graduate and senior undergraduate students in the Health Sciences. Students may find that a basic course in Epidemiology (Epi 511, 512, 513 or 520) is helpful but not required.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments will represent 20%, the midterm 40% and the final 40% of the grade (in-class midterm and a take-home final exam). Both will be closed book and closed notes. The exams will be essay questions. The take home-exam should be typed and pages numbered.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Angelica M. Buck
Date: 06/26/2008