Basic Veterinary Immunology and Principles of Vaccination

Course Content

This course provides an overview of veterinary immunology with an emphasis on infectious disease. It is now offered exclusively online. Block I of the Veterinary Biologics Training Program held in Ames, IA every May, which contained the same information, is no longer offered as a face to face course.

The lectures are divided into four major sections:
  • Overview and innate immunity and inflammation;
  • Adaptive immunity and stimulation of B cell and T cell responses to pathogens;
  • Effector functions of the immune system, how it eliminates pathogens, challenges associated with protection of mucosal surfaces, and complex issues associated with protection of the neonate. In addition, an overview of methods used to evaluate cell mediated immunity and comparative immunology, i.e. how avian and aquatic species immune systems compare to mammalian, are discussed.
  • Vaccine safety and efficacy and application of basic immunology to the science of vaccine use and production.

A detailed list of all lectures is available.

Target Audience

This course is intended for individuals who are interested in mechanisms of resistance to infectious diseases and vaccination, including veterinarians and professionals with biology backgrounds. Because immunology is a rapidly changing field, this course is designed for individuals who have not recently studied immunology or for those who have never studied immunology. The course provides a good foundation of immunology and vaccinology and the information necessary for a more in-depth study of immunology, if that is desired.

Course Delivery and Continuing Education Credit

The course is delivered in 34 video lectures. The lectures are accessed online (for 120 days) according to your schedule and at your own pace. In addition to the video lectures, printed copies of the slides and detailed outlines for each lecture are provided and can be used for note taking and review.

The course is offered by the Center for Food Security and Public Health and is RACE approved for up to 17.5 hours of Veterinary Continuing Education (veterinarians or veterinary technicians). The 17.5 hours are earned after the exam for each section is successfully completed:

  • Overview / Innate Immunity = 3.5 hours
  • Adaptive Immunity = 5 hours
  • Effector Functions / Analyzing the CMI Response = 4 hours
  • Vaccines = 5 hours

The Instructors

Course instructors include Drs. Jim Roth, Gayle Brown and Kevan Flaming. The online format allows for self-paced learning and eliminates travel time and expense for students. Dr. Roth delivers the lectures, Dr. Brown developed the presentations, lecture outlines and printed materials and Dr. Flaming handles issues related to course delivery through the Internet. Dr. Brown developed the tests and grades the exams.

Sample Study Materials (Lecture Outlines and PowerPoint slides)

Lesson Title Outline Slides
1. Overview: Principles of Immunology and Vaccination (10 min) Course Outline Sample PDF

Note: The Video, Outline, and Slides of the example do not match like they do in the course, but are examples of the content.

How to Enroll

Click here to register and pay online. If you have questions about the course, pricing, etc. email us at

Course Cost

The cost is $575. Enrollment provides users with 120 days of access to the online video lectures and two spiral bound books: one printed copy of the lecture slides and one copy of detailed outlines for each lecture. The books are shipped free within the United States. We accept payment by credit card, check or purchase order.

Related Courses

For a shorter introduction to the topics of immunology and vaccines, consider the online course "Introduction to Veterinary Immunology." This 4.5 hour course introduces individuals without science backgrounds to immunology and serves as a refresher for science professionals.
more info »

Individuals interested in a short course with emphasis on how veterinary vaccines work are encouraged to take "Introduction to Principles of Veterinary Vaccination". This course includes 3 hours of online video lectures.
more info »

This program 671-33743 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 17.50 CE Credits (17.50 max) being available to any one veterinarian: and/or 17.50 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (17.50 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter categorie(s) of: Category One: Scientific
using the delivery method(s) of: Non-Interactive-Distance. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements. Please contact the AAVSB RACE program if you have any comments/concerns regarding this program's validity or relevancy to the veterinary profession.