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date_range Starts on October 19, 2018
event_note Ends on June 28, 2019
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assignment Level : Intermediate
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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About the content

As you know mastitis is a very costly disease on dairies. It is a complex, multi-factorial health problem and, all around the world, a large number of scientists, and their graduate students, are conducting research on this disease.

For that reason, experts from more than 20 countries have decided to work together to produce this series of three MOOC, designed for graduate students, to give them the knowledge they need to initiate their research program. Of course, these MOOCs will also be useful for dairy practitioners, teachers, and for individuals that already have a solid scientific background, and are interested in learning about bovine mastitis.

This second MOOC (of a duration of 18 hours), titled "Mastitis Epidemiology and Diagnostic" will discuss risk factors as well as measuring the prevalence and incidence of clinical and subclinical mastitis. This MOOC will also present the main pathogens causing the disease, their transmission modalities (contagious or environmental), the conventional diagnostic methods and the newest molecular avenues to identify them accurately.

This series will be followed by a third MOOC that will focus on the control of mastitis.

We hope this series will answer all your questions and will be useful for your professional development. Welcome to the "Mastitis epidemiology and diagnostic" MOOC!

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This course is designed primarily for graduate students conducting a master or doctoral project on udder health. The objective is to equip them with the knowledge they will need to conduct their research.

This course could also be useful for veterinarians, as they provide an opportunity to deepen the basics and access to cutting-edge knowledge for continuing education. The same applies to teachers in agriculture and animal health. Similarly, anyone with a scientific background and an interest in udder health will find high-level notions within the course.



Module 1: The Mastitis Glossary
Module 2: Mastitis General Epidemiology

  • General epidemiology;
  • Heifer mastitis.

Module 3: Important Pathogens

  • Contagious pathogens;
  • Environmental pathogens;
  • Non-aureus staphylococci.

Module 4: Diagnostic Methods

  • Milk culture;
  • PCR;
  • SCC and other markers of inflammation;
  • On-farm culture methods;
  • Molecular diagnostic methods.


Simon Dufour, DMV, Ph.D
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, Canada
Scientific Director, Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network

Simon Dufour is the scientific director of the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network and epidemiology professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Université de Montréal, Canada. Simon holds a DVM and a Ph.D. from University of Montreal. Before engaging in research he has worked with Canadian dairy producers for 10 years as veterinary practitioner, an experience that helped him developed an excellent understanding of the dairy industry. His consuming interests are the epidemiology of mastitis pathogens, the development of tools for monitoring mastitis, and the development of novel practices for controlling mastitis.

Scientific Expertise
Anneleen De Visscher, DVM, PhD
Ghent University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Belgium

In 2010, Anneleen De Visscher graduated with great distinction as a veterinarian at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Ghent University, Belgium). She received the price for “Best Master Thesis Ruminants”.

She immediately started a PhD research at the M-teamUGent of the Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics, and Herd Health (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium). Since 2012, her research was financed by a PhD grant by the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT Vlaanderen). As she followed several specialist courses, Anneleen also received the certificate of the Doctoral Schools of Live Science and Medicine. In 2016, she successfully defended her PhD entitled “Ecology and Epidemiology of Bovine-Related Coagulase-Negative Staphylococcus Species”. Nowadays, Anneleen works as a postdoctoral research fellow at an Anihwa ERA-Net project and at the M-teamUGent.

Meanwhile, Anneleen was involved as a veterinarian in the M-teamUGent herd consultancy. She gave also several lectures on mastitis, milk quality and microbiology for dairy farmers, veterinarians and students.

Lawrence K. Fox, DVM, PhD
Washington State University, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Surgery
Department of Animal Sciences, USA

Dr. Larry Fox obtained is B.S. degree in 1977 at Cornell University (NY), his M.Sc at Virginia Tech in 1980, and finally his Ph.D at University of Wisconsin in 1983. He is a professor at Washington State University, in Department of Animal Sciences and Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Surgery since 1985. Dr. Fox research efforts examine new methods of control of contagious mastitis, principally directed at control of Staphylococcus aureus and Mycoplasma sp. mastitis by utilization of biotechnologies to “Fingerprint”, and trace the two pathogens. He also studies the effectiveness of standard milking procedures to reduce mastitis and improve milk quality. Dr Fox was president of National Mastitis Council in 2008.

Heidi Hiitiö, DVM, PhD
University of Helsinki, Department of Production Animal Medicine, Finland

Heidi Hiitiö graduated in veterinary medicine from the University of Helsinki in 2011. She subsequently became a specialist in production animal medicine in 2017.

She works as a veterinarian for the private herd management firm Lehmälääkä, of which she is a co-founder and partner in Finland. Since 2012, she has been a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. Her project focuses on the diagnosis of mastitis by the PCR method. Dr. Hiitiö’s other research interests are in mammary gland health based on empirical methods and health planning of dairy herds.

John Middleton, BS, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM
University of Missouri, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, USA

Dr. John Middleton obtained his BS degree (1990), DVM (1993), and PhD (2001) at Washington State University. He has been a Diplomate of ACVIM-LAIM since 1999. Dr. Middleton is a tenured professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri and serves as an Assistant Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. He has clinical, teaching, administrative, and service responsibilities in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and the Dean’s Office. John’s research program is centered on mastitis and milk quality of dairy cattle and dairy goats. He was also president of National Mastitis Council in 2014.

Sofie Piepers, DVM, PhD
Ghent University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Belgium

In 2005, Sofie Piepers graduated as a veterinarian at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University in Belgium. She immediately started working at the Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health as PhD student. In 2010, Sofie Piepers successfully defended her PhD on intramammary infections. In the meantime, she was involved in services of the University cattle (ambulatory clinics) practice for 5 years and founded together with Dr. Sarne De Vliegher the M-team. Sofie Piepers is currently active as postdoctoral fellow worker of the M-team UGent. Sofie Piepers is also actively involved in the M-team UGent herd consultancy and gave several national and international lectures on mastitis and milk quality for dairy farmers as well as veterinarians and other advisors active in the dairy industry. In 2014, she organized together with Dr. Sarne De Vliegher the first ever National Mastitis Council regional meeting outside the USA. Sofie is also co-editor-in-chief of the M²-magazine, on udder health. Since 2015, Sofie Piepers is also cofounder and managing director of MEX™, a spin-off focussing on tools and concepts to make mastitis management easy.

Jean-Philippe Roy, DMV, MSc, Dipl. ECBHM
Université de Montréal, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Canada 
Researcher Member, Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network

Dr. Jean-Philippe Roy obtained his DMV at Université de Montréal in 1999. After working in private practice (1999-2001), he became a clinician at the Bovine Ambulatory Clinic of the Veterinary Hospital Center of Université de Montréal. In 2003, Jean-Philippe became a lecturer, and in 2005, he was appointed professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences of the Faculty. The same year, he completed a M.Sc. He is currently the Medical Chief of the Bovine Ambulatory Clinic. He is a member of several research groups in Quebec and Canada, including the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network. Dr. Roy has developed a large expertise in on-farm milk cultures used for mastitis diagnosis by his involvement in numerous applied research projects on the subject. Jean-Philippe is also a recognized trainer and speaker to his veterinary peers.


Content Designer

Université de Montréal

The Université de Montréal (UdeM) is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The francophone institution comprises thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools: the École Polytechnique (School of Engineering) and HEC Montréal (School of Business). It offers more than 650 undergraduate programmes and graduate programmes, including 71 doctoral programmes. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2014-2015 ranks the Université de Montréal at 113th place globally.

The university has Quebec's largest sponsored research income and the third largest in Canada, allocating close to $524.1 million to research conducted in more than 150 research centres as of 2011. It is also part of the U15 universities. More than 55,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, making it the second-largest university in Canada in terms of student enrolment.




EDUlib was launched by HEC Montreal in October 2012 with the aim of making it available to as many people a high quality university education in French in the field of management. EDUlib is now a joint initiative of the University of Montreal and its two affiliated schools, HEC Montreal and Ecole Polytechnique Montreal. The goal remains to offer the greatest number of people a high quality university education in French but in different areas of knowledge of the three partners. EDUlib courses are modeled on those offered-face. They are taught by the same faculty and academic knowledge is transmitted caliber. Course format and frequency change, of course, but not the quality of teaching.

EDUlib is a public education initiative that does not lead to obtaining a university degree. However, it is expected that a statement will crown the efforts of participants who pass quizzes or tests covered in the course. The courses have been designed to be widely accessible, in a concerted effort to spread knowledge.

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