Veterinary Epidemiology - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780750614962, 9781483161907

Veterinary Epidemiology

1st Edition

Authors: Michael Thrusfield
eBook ISBN: 9781483161907
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 1st January 1986
Page Count: 288
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Veterinary Epidemiology is an introductory text to the general concepts and fundamental principles of veterinary epidemiology. This book is composed of 20 chapters that consider the vital role of statistics in the field.

The introductory chapters review the historical development of veterinary medicine, some general epidemiological concepts, and disease occurrence. The subsequent chapters deal with the transmission of infection and the ecology, patterns, and nature of veterinary diseases. These topics are followed by discussions of the importance of basic statistics and computer knowledge in the recording and analysis of epidemiological data. Other chapters consider the assays and modeling of serological epidemiology. The final chapters look into the economics and control of epidemiological diseases.

This book will prove useful to veterinarians and undergraduate and graduate veterinary students.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Development of Veterinary Medicine

Historical Perspective

Domestication of Animals and Early Methods of Healing

Changing Concepts of the Cause of Disease

Impetus for Change

Contemporary Veterinary Medicine

Current and Emerging Problems: New Crises

The Fifth Period

Emerging Trends

Chapter 2: The Scope of Epidemiology

Definition of Epidemiology

The uses of Epidemiology

Types of Epidemiological Investigation

Components of Epidemiology

Qualitative Investigations

Quantitative Investigations

Is Epidemiology a Science?

The Interplay Between Epidemiology and Other Sciences

The Relationship Between Epidemiology and Other Diagnostic Disciplines

Chapter 3: Some General Epidemiological Concepts

Endemic, Epidemic, Pandemic and Sporadic Ocurrence of Disease

The Cause of Disease

Koch's Postulates

Evans' Postulates


Types of Association

Causal Models


Formulating a Causal Hypothesis

Chapter 4: Describing Disease Occurrence

The Structure of Animal Populations

Contiguous Populations

Separated Populations

Measures of Disease Occurrence



The Relationship Between Prevalence and Incidence

Application of Prevalence and Incidence Values

Ratios, Proportions and Rates

Life Tables

Displaying Morbidity and Mortality Values and Demographic Data


Geographic Base Maps

Demographic Base Maps

Chapter 5: Determinants of Disease

Classification of Determinants

Host Determinants



Species and Breed

Other Host Determinants

Agent Determinants

Virulence and Pathogenicity

Gradient of Infection

Outcome of Infection

Microbial Colonization of Hosts

Environmental Determinants






Biological Interaction

Statistical Interaction

The Cause of Cancer

Chapter 6: The Transmission and Maintenance of Infection

Horizontal Transmission

Types of Host and Vector

Factors Associated with the Spread of Infection

Routes of Infection

Methods of Transmission

Vertical Transmission

Types and Methods of Vertical Transmission

Immunological Status and Vertical Transmission

Transovarial and Trans-Stadial Transmission in Arthropods

Maintenance of Infection

Hazards to Infectious Agents

Maintenance Strategies

Chapter 7: The Ecology of Disease

Basic Ecological Concepts

The Distribution of Populations

Regulation of Population Size

The Niche

Some Examples of Niches Relating to Disease

The Relationships Between Different Types of Animals and Plants


Types of Ecosystem

Landscape Epidemiology


Objectives of Landscape Epidemiology

Chapter 8: Patterns of Disease

Basic Epidemic Theory

Epidemic Curves

Epidemic Waves

Trends in the Temporal Distribution of Disease

Short-Term Trends

Cyclical Trends

Long-Term (Secular) Trends

True and False Changes in Morbidity and Mortality

Detecting Temporal Trends: Time Series Analysis

Trends in the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Disease

Spatial Trends in Disease Occurrence

Time-Space Clustering

Chapter 9: The Nature of Data

Data Elements

Nomenclature and Classification of Disease

Diagnostic Criteria

Sensitivity and Specificity

Accuracy, Refinement, Precision, Reliability and Validity


Representation of Data: Coding

Code Structure

Numeric Codes

Alpha Codes

Alphanumeric Codes


Choosing a Code

Error Detection


Discrete Measurements

Continuous Measurements

Chapter 10: Sources of Data

Some General Considerations

Nature of Data




The Cost of Data Collection

Problems Unique to Developing Countries

Sources of Epidemiological Data

Government Veterinary Organizations

Veterinary Practices


Poultry Packing Plants

Knacker Yards

Serum Banks


Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Sales

Zoological Gardens

Agricultural Organizations

Commercial Livestock Enterprises

Non-Veterinary Government Departments

Farm Records

Veterinary Schools

Other Sources

Chapter 11: Data Storage and Retrieval

Data Base Models

Non-Computerized Recording Techniques

Longhand Recording Techniques

Punched Card Recording Techniques

Computerized Recording Techniques

Structure of Computers


Changing Approaches to Computing

Accessing Computerized Data

Veterinary Data Bases

Scales of Project Recording

Some Examples of Veterinary Data Bases

Chapter 12: Presenting Numerical Data

Some Basic Definitions

Some Descriptive Statistics

Measures of Position

Measures of Spread

Interval Estimation

Statistical Distributions

The Normal Distribution

The Binomial Distribution

The Poisson Distribution

Other Distributions


Normal Approximations to the Binomial and Poisson Distributions

Displaying Numerical Data

Chapter 13: Demonstrating Association

Some Basic Techniques

The Principle of a Significance Test

The Null Hypothesis

Errors of Inference

Student's t-Test

The x2-Test of Association

Estimation of Risk

Measuring Interaction


Non-Parametric Tests

Multivariate Analysis

Statistical Packages

Chapter 14: Surveys

Sampling: Some Basic Concepts

Types of Sampling


What Sample Size should be Selected?

Estimation of Disease Prevalence

Detecting the Presence of Disease

The Cost of Surveys

Collecting Information: Questionnaires

Structure of a Questionnaire

Designing a Questionnaire

Mailed and Self-Completed Questionnaires


Testing a Questionnaire

Criteria for Success of a Questionnaire

Chapter 15: Observational Studies

The Three Types of Observational Study

Nomenclature of Observational Studies

Measures of Association Used in Observational Studies

Interpreting Results

Bias in Observational Studies

Controlling Bias

Selection of Sample Size in Cohort and Case-Control Studies

Multivariate Techniques

Comparison of the Types of Observational Study

Chapter 16: Serological Epidemiology

Assaying Antibodies

Methods of Expressing Amounts of Antibody

Quantal Assay

Serological Estimations and Comparisons in Populations

Detecting the Presence of Antibody

Comparison of Antibody Levels

Interpreting Serological Tests



The Relationship Between Sensitivity and Specificity

The Predictive Value of Serological Tests

Antibody Prevalence

Serum Banks

Applications of Serum Banks

Sources of Serum

Collection and Storage of Serum

Chapter 17: Modeling

Types of Model

Forecasting Systems

Empirical Models

Explanatory Models

Deterministic Population Models

Deterministic Models Using Differential Calculus

Deterministic Matrix Models

Stochastic Population Models

Stochastic Models Using Differential Calculus

Stochastic Network Models

Further Veterinary Applications of Modeling

Chapter 18: The Economics of Disease

Production as an Economic Process

The Nature of Economic Decisions

The Economic Analysis of Animal Disease

The Need for Economic Assessment of Disease Control

Methods of Financial Evaluation

Assessing the Cost of Disease

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Disease Control

Principles of CBA

An example of CBA

Some Problems Associated with CBA

Chapter 19: Health and Productivity Schemes

The Development of Health and Productivity Schemes

Structure of Health and Productivity Schemes

Dairy Health and Productivity Schemes


Routine Visits

Pig Health and Productivity Schemes


Routine Visits

Sheep Health and Productivity Schemes


Routine Visits

Beef Health and Productivity Schemes


Routine Visits

Companion Animal Health Schemes

Chapter 20: The Control of Disease

Disease Control and Eradication

Definition of 'Control' and 'Eradication'

Strategies of Control and Eradication

Important Factors in Control and Eradication Programs

Veterinary Medicine Towards the End of this Century

Livestock Medicine

Companion Animal Medicine

General Reading


Appendix I: Glossary of Terms

Appendix II: Basic Mathematical Notation and Terms

Appendix III: Student's t-Distribution

Appendix IV: The x2-Distribution

Appendix V: The Correlation Coefficient

Appendix VI: Technique of Selecting a Simple Random Sample

Appendix VII: Sample Sizes

Appendix VIII: The Probability of Detecting a Small Number of Cases in a Population

Appendix IX: The Probability of Failure to Detect Cases in a Population

Appendix X: The Variance-Ratio (F) Distribution




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© Butterworth-Heinemann 1986
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Michael Thrusfield

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