Submitted by dasko2 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 11:42


Detecting and Describing Disease in Populations

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. James Lowe (

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Course Description

This is a self-paced online course that covers the incidence, prevalence, and case definitions todescribe the status of a herd. The course will allow learners to interpret different diagnostic test results by emphasizing sampling and testing strategies in livestock production systems to diagnose infectious disease.

Course Goals

Learners will possess the knowledge required to determine a herd current disease status applying sampling and testing strategies.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define the health status of your herd with confidence.
  • Determine the sample size for detecting the presence and prevalence of disease.
  • Understand how common diagnostic tests work best and how to account for sampling errors.

Course Topics

  • Defining the status of the herd in a systematic way
  • Applying an enhanced case definition to understanding herd status
  • Understanding common diagnostic tests to assess herd status
  • Strategies and interpretation of diagnostic tests
  • The philosophy of sampling approaches
  • Understanding prevalence and confidence to determine sample size
  • Practical considerations when using sampling to detect pathogens
  • Using sampling to detect homogeneous and heterogeneous pathogen distributions
  • Using the Sample Size Tool Box Spreadsheet

Mode of Teaching

After watching all video lectures, you will be prompted to complete 9 questions. They are all multiple choices. You will use a given tool (an Excel sheet) to get the correct answer. Be careful with your calculation. You will only be granted a certificate if you receive a score over 80%. After each of your answers is turned in, you will have the opportunity to watch a short video with the instructor explaining the answer  


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