Molecular Epidemiology


After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Apply epidemiological concepts, including, prevalence, incidence, risk, predictive values, sensitivity and specificity.
2. Describe the procedures for biomarkers’ validation.
3. Discuss good practices to obtain and analyse epidemiological data and samples.
4. Formulate hypotheses from descriptive studies.
5. Explain how to investigate outbreaks and epidemics, as well as vectorial transmission.
6. Apply criteria for identification of pathogenic organisms and variants.
7. Explain the principles of genetic epidemiology and its application in infectious diseases studies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maurício


Weekly - 4

Total - 44

Teaching language



Attendance of 2/3 of classes is mandatory


• Riley, L. W. (2004). Molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases: principles and practices. ASM Press.
• Schulte, P. A. and Perera, F. P. (1993). Molecular Epidemiology: principles and practices. Academic Press.
• Rothman, K. J. and Greenland, S. (1998). Modern Epidemiology. (2 ed.) Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Teaching method

Active method with short presentations on nuclear concepts followed by discussions.

Evaluation method

Assessment will be made through a written exam (80%) and class discussion of an article provided by the SU coordinator (20%).

Subject matter

I.Introduction to epidemiology and essential epidemiological concepts: prevalence, incidence, risk measures, study design, bias, confounder and effect modification.
II.Development, validation and integration of biomarkers.
III.Biobanks, BRCs and common practice.
IV.Questionnaires for epidemiological information.
V.Questions and methodologies in molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases: hypotheses formulation, outbreaks and epidemics, vectorial transmission, identification of pathogenic organisms and variants.
VI.Types of study and applications of genetic epidemiology to infectious diseases.


Programs where the course is taught: