Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Infectious diseases have long been a scourge of animals and people causing extreme animal suffering and serious economic loss in food production.

Existing strategies to control infectious disease include animal management programs, vaccination, targeted antimicrobial use, and food hygiene. The present revolution in the molecular biology of disease opens new approaches to understanding, identifying and controlling infectious diseases.

Research on infectious disease at the Ontario Veterinary College addresses the pathogen, the host, and especially the host-pathogen interface. The research spans an enormous range of activities focused broadly in three areas:

Understanding infectious diseases by investigating the genetic and molecular basis of how pathogens cause disease, the innate and acquired immune responses for control of infectious diseases, and the epidemiology and ecology of infectious diseases in animal populations.

Identifying infectious diseases by creating biomarkers and diagnostic tests to identify animals with disease or those at increased risk

Controlling infectious diseases by developing genetic improvement of disease resistance, improved interventions to stimulate or modify immune responses, effective vaccines, antimicrobial resistance, refined strategies for appropriate antibiotic use 



Dr. Patrick Boerlin: Associate Professor

  • Epidemiology of infectious diseases; Molecular epidemiology; Evolution of infectious agents

Dr. Heather Murphy: Canada Research Chair in One Health; Associate Professor

  • Microbial quality of water and public health in developed and developing countries

Dr. Nicole Ricker: Assistant Professor

  • Application of big data analysis techniques to disease informatics; Integration of microbial sequencing data into precision agriculture applications; Comparative genomics and metagenomics; Antimicrobial resistance; Role of microbiome in disease progression/immune development; Plasmid dynamics; One Health approaches to AMR and antibiotic alternatives; Shotgun metagenomics for analysis of functional changes in the swine microbiome

Dr. Scott Weese: Professor; Diplomate, ACVIM

  • Bacterial infections in animals and humans, methicillin-resistant staphylococcal infections, Clostridium difficile, antimicrobial resistance, emerging infectious diseases, infection control


Dr. Luis Arroyo: Associate Professor; Diplomate, ACVIM

  • Equine and Bovine gastroenterology; Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea; Equine undifferentiated diarrhea; Equine vascular pathologies; Arterial calcification; Biomechanical properties of the pulmonary artery

Dr. Diego Gomez: Assistant Professor, Diplomate, ACVIM

  • Colitis in Horses; Neonatal Calf Diarrhea; Acid-Base Disorders and Fluid Therapy in Critically ill Patients; Microbiota assessment in mammals


Dr. Byram Bridle: Associate Professor

  • Development of novel, highly targeted biotherapies for the treatment of cancers; host responses to viruses

Dr. Bonnie Mallard: Professor

  • Genetic regulation of the immune system and implications to disease resistance; preventive methods to improve disease resistance of livestock; xenotransplantation; peripartum immune responses

Dr. Shayan Sharif: Professor

  • Immune response to Marek's disease virus in chickens; Immunology of avian influenza virus infection in chickens; Interactions between commensal bacteria in the intestine and the chicken immune system


Dr. John Barta: Professor

  • Interactions between parasites of the Phylum Apicomplexa (Plasmodium, Eimeria, Isospora, Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium and related organisms) and their vertebrate and invertebrate hosts at the historical, organismal, and molecular levels

Dr. Andrew Peregrine: Associate Professor; Diplomate, EVCP; Diplomate, ACVM

  • Epidemiology and impact of parasitic infections; Development of parasite control programs that minimize the rate of development of drug resistance


Dr. Leonardo Susta: Associate Professor; Diplomate, ACVP

  • Avian virology; Diseases and diagnostic pathology of poultry; Diseases and diagnostic pathology of pet birds; Use of avian viruses as oncolytic agents

Dr. Sarah Wootton: Associate Professor

  • Gene therapy; Vectored immunoprophylaxis (VIP); Oncolytic virotherapy; Viral vectored vaccines; Viral pathogenesis

Dr. Samuel Workenhe: Assistant Professor

  • Programmed cell death and immunity in cancer and viral infections

Wildlife Ecology:

Dr. Katie Clow: Assistant Professor

  • Vector-borne zoonoses; Disease ecology; Surveillance; Knowledge translation; EcoHealth; One Health

Dr. Claire Jardine: Associate Professor

  • Wildlife and ecosystem health; Ecology of diseases in wild animal populations; Rodent and vector borne zoonotic diseases

Dr. Jane Parmley: Associate Professor

  • One Health; Ecohealth; Surveillance; Antimicrobial Resistance; Wildlife Health; Zoonoses

Dr. Mauricio Seguel: Assistant Professor

  • Ecology, immunology and pathology of wildlife infectious diseases


Research Groups

Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses 

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