PATH 477 (3 cr): Basic Epidemiology for Infection Control

This course is delivered online in a Problem-Based Learning format.

Student Profile

Jacquie Sarna, Access Studies student

“[I learned] a lot and thoroughly enjoyed this and the other online courses.”

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Prerequisite: Pathology 427 or instructor permission required.

Course Description

This course explores fundamental concepts in epidemiology, biostatistics for epidemiology, study design and analysis and outbreak investigation as it applies to institutional infection control. Surveillance techniques, data collection and management and critical review of the literature will be covered.

Intended Student

This course will be of interest to people who wish to pursue a career in infection prevention and control within the health sector.  The course may be taken as an elective course towards a Masters in Epidemiology with the permission of the individual’s University Department.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, the student will:

  • have a basic understanding of epidemiological and biostatistical principles;
  • be able to apply this knowledge to analysis of common infection control problems;
  • be able to communicate their ideas in a written format;
  • become adept at retrieving and assimilating information from a variety of electronic and text sources;
  • learn to solve problems as a group.

Course Outline

Case 1 Introduction to Epidemiologic Thinking and Measurement
Case 2 Statistical Language for Surveillance and Outbreak Investigation
Case 3 Surveillance of Sentinel Events
Case 4 Outbreak Investigation and Causation
Case 5 Study Designs
Case 6 Critical Evaluation of the Medical Literature
Case 7 Infection Control Continuum: Acute Care to the Community

Course Evaluation:

Assessment will be accomplished at the end of each on-line lesson by an evaluation of the quality of the answers presented to the instructors and the level of participation by the student.  The course grade is based on participation in the group discussion of the lesson material and the case assignments.

  • In-group discussion / participation = 40%
  • Case assignments = 60%


Gordis, L. Epidemiology (with Student Consult Online Access). 5th ed., Saunders, 2013. ISBN:


Heymann, D. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 20th Ed. ISBN: 9780875530185

PATH477 Textbook Order Form


Dr. Monika Naus: Dr. Naus holds an MD, Masters of Health Science, FACPM and FRCPC (Community Medicine)

For information on the Certificate in Infection Prevention and Control please visit: