Molecular Epidemiology


After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Apply general epidemiological concepts, namely, prevalence, incidence, risk, predictive values, sensitivity and specificity.
2. Describe biomarker validation procedures.
3. Discuss good practices for obtaining and processing epidemiological data and samples.
4. Describe good practices and usefulness of geographic studies to generate hypotheses.
5. Explain how to investigate outbreaks and epidemics and vector transmission.
6. Apply criteria for identifying disease-causing organisms and pathogenic variants.
7. Explain the principles of genetic epidemiology and their application in infectious disease 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.

Teaching method

Active method, comprising brief sessions of exposition of the subject followed by discussion and sessions of informal and evaluated discussion.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will be carried out through a written exam to the students (80%) and a discussion in class of an article given by the UC coordinator (20%).

Subject matter

I. Introduction to epidemiology and epidemiological concepts: prevalence, incidence, risk measures, study designs, error, bias, confounding and interaction.
II. Development, validation and integration of biomarkers.
III. Biobanks and their relevance in the management of biological samples: a case study of Biotropical Resources (GHTM-IHMT).
IV. Collection of epidemiological information: questionnaires.
V. Issues and methodologies in molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases: formulation of hypotheses, outbreaks and epidemics, vector transmission, identification of organisms and pathogenic variants.
VI. Types of study and applications of genetic epidemiology to infectious diseases.
VII. Discussion on molecular epidemiology of COVID-19: informal and article.


Programs where the course is taught: