Epidemiological Concepts

  • Alfred S. Evans


Epidemiology is the study of the determinants and distribution of health and disease in populations.115) It is a quantitative science concerned with the circumstances under which disease processes occur, the factors that affect their incidence and spread, and the use of this knowledge for prevention and control. (65) It includes the pathogenesis of disease in both the community and the individual. For infectious diseases, one must study the circumstances under which both infection and disease occur, for these may be different. Infection is the consequence of an encounter of a potentially pathogenic microorganism with a susceptible human host through an appropriate portal of entry. Exposure is the key factor, and the sources of infection lie mostly outside the individual human host, within the environment, or in other infected hosts. Disease represents one of the possible consequences of infection, and the factors important in its development are mostly intrinsic to the host, although the dosage and virulence of the infecting microbe play a role.


Acute Otitis Medium Lyme Disease Typhoid Fever Tetanus Toxoid Sexually Transmitted Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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16. Suggested Reading

  1. Benenson, A. S. (ed.), Control of Communicable Diseases in Man, 13th ed., American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1981.Google Scholar
  2. Evans, A. S. (ed.), Viral Infections of Humans: Epidemiology and Control, 3rd ed., Plenum Medical, New York, 1989.Google Scholar
  3. Feigin, R. D., and Cherry, J. D. (eds.), Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 2nd ed., Saunders, Philadelphia, 1987.Google Scholar
  4. Hennekens, C. H., and Buring, J. L., Epidemiology in Medicine, Little, Brown, Boston, 1987.Google Scholar
  5. Hoeprich, P. D., and Jordan, M. C. (eds.), Infectious Diseases, 4th ed., Harper & Row, New York, 1989.Google Scholar
  6. Jawetz, E., Melnick, J. L., and Adelberg, E. A., Review of Medical Microbiology, 17th ed., Lange, Los Altos, Calif. 1987.Google Scholar
  7. Kelsey, J., Thompson, W. D., and Evans, A. S., Methods in Observational Epidemiology, Oxford University Press, London, 1986.Google Scholar
  8. Mandell, G. L., Douglas, R. G. Jr., and Bennett, J. E. (eds.), Principles and Practice ofInfectious Diseases, Volumes 1 and 2, Wiley, New York, 2nd ed., 1985.Google Scholar
  9. Mims, C. A., The Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease, 3rd ed., Academic Press/Grune & Stratton, New York, 1987.Google Scholar
  10. Wehrle, P. F., and Top, F. H., Sr., Communicable and Infectious Diseases, 9th ed., Mosby, St. Louis, 1981.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred S. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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