The discipline of veterinary microbiology and epidemiology is responsible for the teaching in veterinary bacteriology, virology, mycology, immunology and epidemiology. This education provides prospective veterinarians with the required professional skills in infectious diseases in animals, host-microbe interactions and microbial diagnostics. The studies also include being acquainted with the legal duties of veterinarians in preventing infectious diseases in animals.
Microbiology and immunology
Teaching in veterinary microbiology and immunology is given during the second year of studies as part of the Disease Causes, Consequences and Prevention study module, which belongs to the intermediate studies of the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree. The module includes an introduction to bacteriology, virology, mycology and immunology, and examines the basic characteristics of microbes, infectious pathogens relevant to veterinary medicine and the principles of related diagnostics, antimicrobial drugs and resistance to antibiotics, defence mechanisms of the body, as well as factors related to host-microbe interaction.
Teaching in epidemiology is given during the third year of studies in two courses: infection epidemiology, which is part of the Disease Causes, Consequences and Prevention module, and evidence-based veterinary medicine, which is part of the basic studies in veterinary medicine.
Infection epidemiology examines the principles concerning the transmission, spread and adherence of animal infections and zoonoses, as well as Finnish legislation on veterinary medicine as regards diseases. The main focus is on disease prevention. Teaching in evidence-based veterinary medicine consists of the core ideas of the subject, analytical epidemiology and biostatistics related to disease contagion in populations, and the exploration of, for example, disease outbreaks. The EBVM course provides students with a solid foundation for reading articles critically, drafting research plans and avoiding research illusions, as well as analysing and interpreting research results. The course is beneficial to those writing a Licentiate thesis and researchers for planning their research. The two courses support each other and offer a preview of the work of veterinarians in public healthcare. Their material is available through the Moodle learning platform.