Credits: 3

Terms Offered: Spring, every other year

Instructor: Cynthia Denbow, Sally Paulsen

Prerequisites: B.S. required with emphasis in microbiology OR two years experience in agricultural production, industry or policy. A cell and molecular biology course is highly recommended.

Principles and techniques used in disease detection and early warning of animal and plant pathogens. Course objectives are to present tools used in early detection, management, and containment of animal and plant diseases. Emphasis will be on regulatory agencies and guidelines used to ensure the biosafety and biosecurity of our nation's food supply from accidental introductions and potential bioterrorism. Online course.

Lecture Topics

  • Overview of plant and animal pathogens
  • Potential for weaponization
  • Overview of agencies involved in animal and plant disease detection
  • Methods of containment of plant and animal disease organisms used in research
  • Animal health monitoring
  • Early detection and diagnosis and rapid response tools
  • Confirmation of a biosecurity event and early response
  • Containment options
  • Protection/prevention options
  • Select agents and case studies
  • Detection of plant pathogens
  • Plant disease forecasting
  • First responders to plant disease outbreaks
  • Case studies of emerging select plant pathogens
  • Overview of the National Plant Diagnostic Network
  • Regulations and permit procedures for plants, plant pests and pathogens including transgenics
  • Transgenic plants in the laboratory, greenhouse, and field


  • Numerous readings of scientific/government articles from various journals/websites/texts will be incorporated into the course.