Education of the Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology Group

The chair of QVE is involved in all 3 levels of education: BSc, MSc and PhD. It is possible to perform a Thesis or Internship at our group.

Visit the Study Handbook website for more detailed information about the courses offered by our group.

Course Overview

  • QVE-20306 Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics
  • QVE-30306 Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology
  • QVE-30806 Management of Infections and Diseases in Animal Populations


QVE participates in the MSc-specialisations C-Global and Sustainable Production and D-Adaptation, Health and Welfare. At average 10-15 students annually perform their MSc thesis within the chair of QVE. For information on QVE MSc theses and internships please contact Bart van den Borne.

Some examples of subjects covered in recent years:


  • Together with the chair group of EZO, QVE organises a WIAS PhD course on mathematical modelling.

    Please visit the WIAS website for a schedule of all courses.

    • Estimation of Reproduction ratio of neighbourhood spread of bTB in Irish cattle herds
    • Effect of antimicrobial treatment of recently acquired subclinical mastitis on occurrence of clinical mastitis in Dutch dairy cows
    • Effect of antimicrobial treatment of recently acquired subclinical mastitis during lactation on milk yield and culling
    • The effect of animal movement and Bovine Tuberculosis history of the herd on the risk of a positive test outcome
    • Risk factors for insect bite hypersensitivity in Friesian horses and Shetland ponies in The Netherlands
    • Longitudinal study on lameness in calves and dairy cows
    • Q-fever in goat farms: prevalence and risk factors
    • Q-fever in veterinarians: prevalence and risk factors
    • Q-fever in sheep farms: prevalence and risk factors
    • Uterine torsion in horses: effect of several correction methods
    • Effect of vaccination against Porcine Circo Virus in pigs
    • Clinical trial to investigate the effect of Digiderm+ on Digital Dermatitis prevention in dairy cattle
    • Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for meat-borne Toxoplasma gondii infection in The Netherlands.
    • Risk-based strategy to detect antibiotic residues in pork

Ongoing Projects

Analysis of existing Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis data from the Dutch dairy goat population
In this project, a close cooperation between WUR and Royal GD, we are evaluating the quality of the existing prevalence data of Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE) data that is present in the databases of Royal GD. Data are first evaluated for completeness and precision. Based on the quality of the data, epidemiological analyses of the data will be performed. Our ultimate goal is the evaluate the relationship between herd size and the infection prevalence of CAE. This projects includes extensive collaboration with infectious disease experts at Royal GD, herd visits to dairy goat herds to get an understanding of data recording systems on farm and extensive analyses of existing data bases.

New Projects

The impact of pegylated bovine granulocyte stimulating factor (B-GCSF) on metabolic and infectious diseases in dairy cows
This project is part of a larger field study on the efficacy of B-GCSF on metabolic and infectious diseases in grazing dairy cows in Uruguay. The field study consisted of a randomized controlled trial in approximately 2500 dairy cows in four farms in Uruguay. In a subset of these cows and intensive trial was done to obtain precise data on metabolic and immune fitness of the cows. The aim of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of B-GCSF on health of dairy cows using the data from the intensive trial within the large field trial. The student will be working with the research team in the Netherlands and Uruguay to analyse the existing data. The student will work with extensively with field data and obtain experience in the statistical analyses of such data collected under real life conditions. Depending on the interest of the student and the availability of the supervisors, a part of the research will be conducted in the laboratory of the Uruguayan supervisors.

Monitoring animal health in rural populations in Sierra Leone
The project is part of a larger field study on animal health in rural villages in Sierra Leone. In this rural population, animal disease data is being collected by village health specialists. The data is entered into a large database and available for further analyses.
The objective of this project is to first assess the quality of the obtained data, and then based on the quality of the data perform epidemiological analyses of the database. Since data is available from all villages in a defined area, disease dynamics within and between villages will be evaluated.
The student will work in a large team of researchers at WUR, work extensively with the collected data and depending on the interest of the student and the availability of local supervisors in Sierra Leone perform a part of the research in the field.

Mammary microbiome: prevention of intramammary infections with udder pathogens
This project is part of a larger PhD program that is a close collaboration between WUR and industry partners. Extensive data collection of mammary microbiome data will be done to better understand the impact of the mammary microbiome on the risk of new infections with mammary pathogens. The student will participate in data collection at the Dairy Campus and in dairy farms throughout the Netherlands. The collected data will be analyzed in a close collaboration between microbiologists, geneticists and veterinary epidemiologists. The student will be expected to perform field work in the Netherlands and subsequently analyse data using statistical techniques.

Within-farm epidemiology for insect growers
Growing insects for food, or for feed, has become an increasingly interesting activity the last couple of years. Changes in legislation have recently admitted feeding of insect meal to insects, and the same is expected to happen in the near future for the use of insects as feed for chickens and pigs. In addition to the economic interest, insects have a large potential in circular agriculture, where they can be grown on organic waste streams.
Growing insects on a large scale also creates risks. At high densities pathogens will spread fast, with large impacts for the insects themselves, the (domestic) animals that are fed with insects or the human end consumer.
In this project we will identify different pathways for pathogen introduction and spread. You can think about food-borne, air-borne and transmission through direct contacts. The student will work on transmission models for a robotised insect farmer. The model should identify the high-risk routes for each of the pathways, giving the insect grower insights on how to best organize monitoring and control efforts. The student will work on analysing data from insect farms, building and parameterizing models, formulating recommendations and communicating these to the insect farmers.