Animal Viruses: Their Transmission and the Diseases They Produce

FutureLearn Animal Viruses: Their Transmission and the Diseases They Produce

Universidad Complutense de Madrid
5 hours/week
6 weeks
Paid Certificate Available
Course Link
Understand what happens to animals when they are affected by viruses
In this free online course, you will learn about animal viruses that affect pets, birds, sheep, cattle, swine and horses, and produce important diseases. These animal diseases may cause huge economic losses to farmers and severe emotional distress to animal owners. They may even be transmitted to humans, posing important questions about their spread and control. The course has been developed by a team at Complutense University of Madrid, who are all experienced in teaching virology and infectious diseases at veterinary schools at Madrid and Alfort.

This course is designed for anyone with a keen interest in the science behind animal viruses and animal diseases. It will be particularly useful to veterinary and science students wishing to complement their studies and anyone working in animal health and welfare. A basic knowledge of biology is desirable, although not required. Though some aspects may be basic for specialists, such as veterinarians, the course will certainly complement their previous knowledge.

No specific hardware or other resources is required. A few steps will require padlet, which is freely available online.

Please note that the videos for this course are delivered in Spanish, with English subtitles and transcripts.

What topics will you cover?
  • Introduction to animal viruses, their form and structure (or morphology), and characteristics. Basic information to help understanding viral diseases in animals and humans.
  • Faecal-oral transmission: using parvoviruses and canine parvovirosis as an example.
  • Open wounds: focusing on rabies and other zoonotic viruses, which produce diseases in both humans and animals.
  • Arthropod transmission: viruses that are carried by insects and ticks, and introduced directly into the bloodstream.
  • Airborne transmission: such as influenza, which may be transmitted from birds and pigs to humans.
  • Other infections difficult to control because they are persistent: produced by viruses that remain in their host, including herpesvirus and retrovirus.

Taught by
Esperanza Gomez-Lucia
First release
Last update
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