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Welcome to CPHAZ

The 2016 CPHAZ Annual Report is now available. The feature this year is research in One Health. From the many highlights that we include in our annual report, we have pulled out research highlights that can fit under the One Health appraoch and compiled them into a dedicated few pages. The OVC Bulletin is also highlighting OVC's strong One Health partnerships this week, you can read more about that here. We hope that you take a minute to look through the CPHAZ annual report. Researchers all across the University of Guelph are particating in exciting and wonderful public health and zoonotic disease research and here we bring you snippets of as many as can for 2016. 



HOLD the DATE: the 2017 CPHAZ Symposium will be Tuesday, May 23, 2017. More information to be announced soon! 

CPHAZ is celebrated a One Health focus during CVMA's Animal Health Week!

Thank you for participating in our week long celebration of CVMA’s Animal Health focusing on One Health! It has been a wonderful and thought-provoking week with 2 case studies, one on pigs, poverty and epilepsy in Kenya and the other on caribou, Inuit and climate change and a public health mentor lunch with graduate student members and public health professional from the community. All week we have been highlighting One Health research by our members and these are posted on our website, and some can be found throughout the OVC social media outlets.

November 3, 2016 is Global One Health Day and CPHAZ will be celebrating with a One Health Poster display in the Summerlee Science complex. Everyone is encouraged to participate by submitting a poster or joining on the day of the event! Email for more details on submitting a poster.

This word tree was developed using descriptions from students at the mentor lunch on what they think is the definition of One Health. 



Looking at Lyme disease from an environmental perspective! 
White biohazard suit. Duct taped wrists and ankles. A white flannel blanket. That’s been the fashion choice for Dr. Katie Clow and her field team for the past three summers. And although they’ve gotten some strange looks, this gear has been used for some important research - field sampling for blacklegged ticks, the vector for Lyme disease.

Katie, a Veterinarian and PhD candidate in the Department of Pathobiology, with advisor Claire Jardine, is conducting research on the ecology of Lyme disease in Ontario. Specifically, examining the abiotic and biotic factors of significance for the invasion and establishment of the blacklegged tick in the province. “We know that climate change is one factor that has contributed to the emergence of Lyme disease in the province. However, the ecology of the disease is quite complex and we are examining a number of other potential contributing factors,” says Clow. Katie hopes their research will enhance the current understanding of the emergence of this vector-borne disease in the province, and contribute to targeted public health interventions for Lyme disease.


Vet students keeping pets healthy and people safe in the community

The OVC Community Outreach Club is a veterinary student run organization that partners with communities in need, providing veterinary support and education to keep pets healthy and people safe. The club consists of five committees.

The First Nations committee is dedicated to providing education and veterinary service through wellness clinics in First Nations communities. The Urban Outreach committee exposes students to aspects of shelter medicine, and support for people with pets in need. The Children Education committee teaches elementary children pet wellness and safety. The Communications committee and the Fundraising and Promotions committee provide support for the main outreach activities of the club, such as the OVC/Purina Dog House Challenge Event.

Student involvement in the club has doubled in the last year, due to the amazing hands on experiences students gain practicing learned skills and client communication techniques. However, what draws students to the club the most, is the overwhelming sense of pride and satisfaction they come away with, knowing they were able to give back to the community and help animals and people alike. The club’s goal inspire students to continue giving back to their communities after they graduate and begin their professional careers.


Healthy Pigs, Healthy People!

Dr. Vahab Farzan and Dr Robert Friendship are working hard in the CPHAZ labs and in the field looking at ways antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic pathogens in pigs that may impact human health in the future.  Flavophospholipol is an antibiotic with no analog in human medicine and it might, in fact, reduce antimicrobial resistance. This study is aiming to investigate whether in-feed use of flavophospholipol can control Salmonella shedding and reduce antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella and commensal E. coli in pigs. (Investigators: Vahab Farzan and Robert Friendship; Students: Saranya Nair and Jane Newman)

Streptococcus suis is a common bacterial inhabitant of the respiratory tract of healthy pigs, but infection with some serotypes is the cause of one of the most important diseases in pigs. S. suis has also been reported to be an emerging zoonotic pathogen with the greatest risk for people who have close contact with pigs or unprocessed pork, such as pig farmers, meat inspectors and swine veterinarians. The objective of this study is to investigate the serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistance of Streptococcus suis isolates recovered from healthy and diseased pigs on Ontario farms. (Investigators: Vahab Farzan and Robert Friendship; Student: Emily Arndt)


Echinococcus multilocularis: an emerging issue in Ontario?

Echinococcus multilocularis is a small, zoonotic, tapeworm with a high case fatality rate in people when untreated. Historically, the parasite was only found in a few areas in Canada, with coyotes and foxes as definitive hosts and rodents as intermediate hosts. However, since 2012, alveolar echinococcosis (disease due the intermediate stage of the parasite) has been reported in 5 dogs and two in non-human primates in southern Ontario. Six of the seven animals had not traveled outside southern Ontario and therefore must have acquired the infection in this area. As such, it appears that E. multilocularis is an emerging health issue in Ontario. To learn more about the source of the canine and non-human primate infections, a research project by Andrew Peregrine aims to determine the prevalence, geographic distribution and risk factors for infection with E. multilocularis in coyotes and foxes across southern Ontario. The project also aims to identify high risk areas or “hot spots” of E. multilocularis infection in coyotes and foxes in this region.

Collaborators on the project include Jonathon Kotwa (MSc student), OVC faculty Andrew Peregrine, Claire Jardine, David Pearl and Olaf Berke, Dr. Nicola Mercer (Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health), and Mats Isaksson and Eva Osterman-Lind (National Veterinary Institute, Sweden). Funding for the project has been obtained from Bayer Animal Health Canada, the Ontario Animal Health Network, OMAFRA, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology, USA.


Human -  Animal bond in the DVM program! 
In the summer of 2015 OVC Phase IV students had their first opportunity to enrol in a new elective rotation in Outreach Medicine. Course co-ordinators, Shane Bateman and Carolyn Kerr, envisioned a new opportunity for students to be involved in new and unique experiences to expose them to the issues and challenges of vulnerable animals, people, and the bonds between them. Students enrolled in the elective participate in spay/neuter procedures at OVC for 3 days of the rotation, supporting local humane societies and advancing their surgical skills at that same time. For the remainder of the rotation, students must identify 2 additional volunteer experiences in one of 3 themed areas: Cat Overpopulation, Animal Health in Marginalized Communities, Shelter Medicine, or a combination of these. Students are required to explore the important challenges facing both animals and people in their chosen experiences and answer an important question they’ve uncovered in their experiences in their final report.


How do infectious disease agents move between animals, people, and the environment in the Arctic?  Do these sources contribute to gastrointestinal illness in humans? These are the questions being posed by the PAWs project, undertaken by Drs. Sherilee Harper, Jan Sargeant, Scott Weese, Karen Shapiro and Rebecca Guy, project manager Anna Bunce, and graduate students Danielle Julien, Anna Manore, and Stephanie Masina.  The project uses an EcoHealth and One Health approach to investigate pathogens such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium, which can cause gastrointestinal illness in humans.  Working closely with collaborators at the Nunavut Research Institute, the students have been sampling dogs, clams, and surface water in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Molecular typing will be undertaken on positive samples to determine whether the pathogens from different sample types are from the same source. The PAWs team hopes that their work will provide new understanding of the sources of enteric illness in Iqaluit and inform potential future public health interventions.  (Photo L-R CW: Stephanie Masina and Anna Manore collect water samples; Danielle Julien with a sled dog after collecting poop samples; PAWS graduate students Stephanie Masina, Anna Manore, Anna Bunce, and Danielle Julien with water management specialist Jean Allen. Photos provided by Danielle Julien) 



The research of Dr. Nicole Nemeth and her lab focuses on vector-borne diseases in wildlife, with the goal of increasing the understanding of the distribution and transmission ecology of numerous pathogens of zoonotic and livestock interest in Ontario. This information will help assess risk of human and animal infections, and contribute toward understanding of the effects of global climate change on the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in Ontario. Her and her graduate students collaborate with the National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC),  to assess tick and wildlife samples for evidence of tick-borne pathogens, including primarily Powassan virus, among others. Powassan virus naturally cycles between small wild mammals and Ixodes spp. ticks. In addition, we recently initiated collaborative research into the risk of the incursion and establishment of livestock orbiviruses (i.e., bluetongue and epizootic hemorrhagic disease viruses) in Ontario. These midge-transmitted viruses can cause high mortality in livestock (e.g., sheep) and wildlife (e.g., white-tailed deer).  (Photo L-R: Paul Oesterle holding a squirrel; groundhog in anesthesia chamber; Graduate student Kathryn Smith and Post-doc Paul Oesterle restrain a squirrel to look for ticks and blood collection. Photos provided by Nicole Nemeth).


Join us and discuss these One Health case studies!

CPHAZ is hosting two One Health themed case studies. Everyone is welcome to join us for some fun and fabulous discussionson these one health problems. 

The first will involve Pigs, poverty and epilepsy in Kenya. This case study will be held over two days: Monday, October 3rd (PAHL 1812) and Thursday, October 6th (JA Small Animal Clinic - Main long hallway 1438) from 12:30 - 1:30pm.  

The second will present discussions around Caribou, Inuit and climate change.  This session will be held Friday, October 7th in the LLC 1715, 12:30 - 1:30pm

Everyone is welcome, no experience required, just an interest in the topics and a willingness to learn and discuss the problems presented. Pizza lunch will be provided. You can join one or both sessions of the first case study and one or both case studies. 

 This is flexible, but you must register to attend. To register, please send an email to with your name, program, and department. Also check out the CPHAZ website regularly next week to see some more details and events happening in one health here at Guelph. 

 Check back next week for more one health celebrations!




At the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses (CPHAZ), we define 'one health' as an integration of multiple disciplines that focus on attaining optimal health for people, animals and the ecosystem. We are looking to learn more about the research happening at the University of Guelph that occurs at the intersect of animal, human and ecosystem health. We know this is a strength at Guelph, and are asking for your help by letting us know about your research in this field. If you are a faculty member, and are involved in related work, please consider filling in this quick survey by clicking the button above


MacNabb House, home of CPHAZ


The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) has a tradition of excellence in research and education in public health at the human-animal-environmental interface. Researchers at OVC enjoy close collaborations in public health research and teaching with other faculty at the University of Guelph, as well as colleagues from other universities and animal health and public health organizations.

The Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses (CPHAZ) was established in 2006, to coordinate existing public health research and promote new collaborative research activities designed to enhance our capacity to solve problems and implement solutions in public health at the human-animal-environmental interface and to expand the pool of educated personnel able to address the public health needs of the population.



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