Molecular Tools and Infectious Disease Epidemiology

1st Edition

Authors: Betsy Foxman
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123741332
eBook ISBN: 9780080920849
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 31st January 2011
Page Count: 240
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The application of modern molecular genetic and biologic techniques to infectious disease epidemiology dramatically improves measurement of disease and putative risk factors, increasing our ability to detect and track outbreaks, identify risk factors and detect new infectious agents. However, integration of these techniques into epidemiologic studies also poses new challenges in the design, conduct, and analysis. We examine these opportunities and methodologic challenges giving specific examples. The book will be written for the reader with limited understanding of genetics, biology and epidemiology.

Key Features

  • Presents the key points of consideration when integrating molecular biology and epidemiology
  • Discusses how using molecular tools in epidemiologic research affects program design and conduct
  • Considers the ethical concerns that arise in molecular epidemiologic studies
  • Provides a context for understanding and interpreting scientific literature as a foundation for subsequent practical experience in the laboratory and in the field


Graduate and advanced undergraduate students studying infectious disease epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, the epidemiologist wishing to integrate molecular techniques into his or her studies

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction and Historical Perspective

1.1. Introduction to Molecular Epidemiology

1.2. Historical Perspectives

1.3. Landmark Molecular Epidemiologic Studies

1.4. What Makes Modern Molecular Tools Different?

1.5. How Modern Molecular Epidemiology Differs From Traditional Epidemiologic Studies Using Laboratory Methods

1.6. Overview of this Textbook

Chapter 2. How Molecular Tools Enhance Epidemiologic Studies

2.1. What is Misclassification Bias?

2.2. How Reducing Misclassification via Molecular Tools Enhances Epidemiologic Studies

2.3. Ways Molecular Tools Advance the Science of Epidemiology

Chapter 3. Applications of Molecular Tools to Infectious Disease Epidemiology

3.1. Outbreak Investigation

3.2. Surveillance

3.3. Transmission System

3.4. Increase Understanding of the Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

3.5. Identify Previously Unknown or Uncultivable Infectious Microbes

3.6. Provide Insight into Pathogen Gene Function and Host–Pathogen Interaction

Chapter 4. A Primer of Epidemiologic Study Designs

4.1. Experiment

4.2. Cohort Study

4.3. Cross-Sectional Study

4.4. Case–Control Study

4.5. Ecologic Study

4.6. Biases

Chapter 5. A Primer of Molecular Biology

5.1. Central Dogma and Some Caveats

5.2. Material Tested Using Molecular Tools

5.3. Gene Variants, SNPS, Insertions, Deletions, and Frameshift Mutations

5.4. Extrachromosomal Elements and Transposons

5.5. Recombination

5.6. Horizontal Gene Transfer

5.7. An Introduction to Common Molecular Methods

5.8. Sorting by Size, Charge, and Other Characteristics

5.9. Polymerase Chain Reaction

5.10. Sequencing

5.11. Hybridization/antigen


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© Academic Press 2011
Academic Press
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About the Author

Betsy Foxman

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health; Director, Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Ann Arbor, MI, USA