Vahab Farzan

Vahab Farzan head shot

Research Scientist | Associated Graduate Faculty | Adjunct Faculty

 Office: Pop Med Bldg. 213
 519-824-4120 Ext. 54472


Research Interests

I am interested in the epidemiology of foodborne pathogens and the prevention of infectious disease in animal populations using epidemiological and microbiological methods. My overarching research goal is to explore the relationship between microbial agents, environmental factors, and immune response in swine. This will in particular include the investigation of molecular characteristics of bacterial population (Ex.  Streptococcus suis and Salmonella), as well as the study of gut microbiome and its impact on animal health. My research also focuses on development and optimization of infection model for different bacteria (Ex.  ETEC, Salmonella, and Streptococcus suis), and evaluation of various interventions such as vaccines and probiotics to prevent bacterial infections in swine.  

Graduate Students

Former Graduate Students 


  • Maddison Arsenault MSc. 2020- 2022 (Co-supervised with Dr. Lillie) 
  • Maverick Aradanas, MSc. 2019- 2021 (Co-supervised with Dr. Ricker)
  • Jeremy Wong, MSc. 2017-2020 (Co-supervised with Dr. Lillie) 
  • Elana Raaphorst, MSc. 2017-2020 (Co-supervised with Dr. Lillie)
  • Corinne Schut, MSc. 2017-2019 (Co-supervised with Dr. Lillie)
  • Sarah Hill, MSc. 2017-2019 (Co-supervised with Dr. MacInnes and Dr. Ricker)
  • Margaret Ainslie, MSc. 2014-2016 (Co-supervised with Dr. Lillie)  

     Population Medicine

  • Michelle-Rose Goodman, MSc. 2019-2021 (Co-supervised with Dr. Friendship)
  • Saranya Nair, PhD. 2016-2020 (Co-supervised with Dr. Friendship)
  • Leann Denich, MSc. 2017-2019 (Co-supervised with Dr. Poljak)
  • ​Victoria Seip, MSc. 2014-2016 (Co-supervised with Dr. Friendship)
  • Saranya Nair, MSc. 2014-2016 (Co-supervised with Dr. Friendship)
  • Emily Arndt, MSc. 2014-2016 (Co-supervised with Dr. Friendship)

   Animal Bioscience

  • Heather Reinhardt, MSc. 2014-2016 (Co-supervised with Dr. de Lange and Dr. Shoveller)

Selected Publications

  • Niazy, M; Hill, S; Nadeem, K; Ricker, R; Farzan, A. Compositional analysis of the tonsil microbiota in relationship to Streptococcus suis disease in nursery pigs in Ontario. Animal Microbiome. 2022; 4(1)

  • Aradanas, M; Poljak, Z; Fittipaldi, N; Ricker, N; Farzan, A. Serotypes, virulence associated factors, and antimicrobial resistance of Streptococcus suis isolates recovered from sick and healthy pigs determined by whole genome sequencing. Front. Vet. Sci., 02 Nov 2021.
  • Denich, LC; Farzan, A.; Friendship, R; Arndt, E; Gottschalk, M; Poljak, Z.  Study of the relationship between untypable and typable isolates of Streptococcus suis recovered from clinically ill and healthy nursery pigs. Vet Microbiol. 2021 Jun; 257:109064.
  • Raaphorst, E; Farzan, A.; Friendship, R; Lillie, B. Antibody responses to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, influenza A virus, and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae from weaning to the end of the finisher stage in fourteen groups of pigs in Ontario, Canada. BMC Vet Res.  2021;17(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s12917-021-02756-6
  • Nair, N.; Farzan, A.; Poljak, Z.; Friendship, R. Identifying Active Salmonella Infections in Swine Nurseries Using Serology and Bacterial Culture and Evaluating Associated Risk Factors. Animal (Basel). 2020;10(9):1517. doi: 10.3390/ani10091517
  • Nair, N.; Farzan, A.; Weese, J.S.; Poljak, Z.; Friendship, R. Effect of flavophospholipol on fecal microbiota in weaned pigs challenged with Salmonella Typhimurium. Porcine Health Manag. 2020;6(14). doi: 10.1186/s40813-020-00151-5
  • Schut, C; Farzan A; Fraser RS; Ainslie-Garcia MH; Friendship RM; Lillie BN. Identification of single-nucleotide variants associated with susceptibility to Salmonella in Pigs using a genome-wide association approach. BMC Vet Res. 2020;16(1):138. doi: 10.1186/s12917-020-02344-0
  • .Denich, LC; Farzan, A.; Friendship, RM; Arndt, E; Gottschalk, M; Poljak, Z.  A case-control study to investigate the serotypes of S. suis isolates by multiplex PCR in nursery pigs in Ontario, Canada. Pathogens. 2020;9(1):44. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9010044
  • .Seip, V; Friendship, R; Amezcua, R; Farzan, A. The relationship between hemoglobin levels at weaning and growth performance and antibody response in nursery pigs. Can Vet J. 2020;61(11):1170-1174
  • Nair, N.; Farzan, A.; O’Sullivan, T.; Friendship, R. Salmonella shedding and seropositivity and its association with in-feed flavophospholipol in nursery pigs. Can J Vet Res. 2019;83(3):177-180.
  • Reinhardt, H; Shoveller, AK; Farzan, A; McBride, B; Huber, LA; de Lange CFM. Effect of nursery feeding program on serum haptoglobin, growth performance, and carcass characteristics of pigs reared on commercial farms. Can J Vet Res. 2019;83(4):255-260
  • Arndt, E; Farzan A; MacInnes JI; Friendship RM. Antimicrobial resistance of Streptococcus suis isolates recovered from healthy pigs at different stages of production and clinically ill nursery pigs. Can Vet J. 2019; 60(5):519-522.
  • Schut, C; Farzan A; 8)   Ainslie-Garcia MH; Friendship RM; Lillie BN. Antibody responses to Salmonella in pigs from weaning up to marketing and presence of Salmonella at slaughter. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2019;16(3):187-194.
  • Hopkins, D.; Poljak, Z.; Farzan, A.; Friendship, R. Field studies evaluating the direct, indirect, total, and overall efficacy of Streptococcus suis autogenous vaccine in nursery pigs. Can Vet J. 2019;60(4):386-390.
  • Ainslie-Garcia MH, Farzan A, Newman JE, Friendship RM, Lillie BNLongitudinal Salmonella fecal shedding in pigs from birth to market and its association with the presence of Salmonella in palatine tonsils and submandibular lymph nodes at slaughter. Can J Vet Res. 2018; 82(4):249-255.
  • Emily A, Farzan A, Slavic D, MacInnes JI, Friendship RM. An epidemiological study of Streptococcus suis serotypes of pigs in Ontario determined by a multiplex PCR. Can Vet J. 2018;59(9):997-1000.
  • Hopkins, D.; Poljak, Z.; Farzan, A.; Friendship, R. Factors contributing to mortality during a Streptoccocus suis outbreak in nursery pigs. Can. Vet. J. 2018; 59(6):623-630.
  • Ainslie-Garcia MH, Farzan A, Jafarikia M, Lillie BNSingle nucleotide variants in innate immune genes associated with Salmonella shedding and colonization in swine on commercial farms. Vet Microbiol. 2018; 219:171-177.
  • Saranya N, Farzan A, O’Sullivan TL, Friendship RM.Time course of Salmonella shedding and antibody response in naturally-infected pigs during grower-finisher stage. Can J Vet Res. 2018; 82(2):139-145.
  • Saranya N, Farzan A, O’Sullivan TL, Friendship RM. A clinical trial investigating the impact of in-feed flavophospholipol on Salmonella shedding and antimicrobial resistance in pigs. Can Vet J. 2018; 59(1):59-65.
  • Yin F, Farzan A, Wang QC, Yu H, Yin Y, Hou Y, Friendship R, Gong J. Reduction of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium DT104 infection in experimentally challenged weaned pigs fed a lactobacillus-fermented feed. Foodborne Pathog. Dis. 2014;11(8):628-34.
  • Slifierz MJ, Friendship R, de Lange CF, Slavic D, Grgic H, Farzan A. Immunomodulatory factors and infectious agents associated with the hepatic gene expression of the IGF system in nursery pigs. Animal. 2014;8(5):844-51.
  • Chan G, Farzan A, Soltes G, Nicholson V, Pei Y,  Friendship R, Prescott F. The epidemiology of Clostridium perfringens on Ontario swine farms. BMC Vet Res. 2012, 4;8:156.  
  • Slifierz MJ, Friendship R, de Lange CF, Rudar M, Farzan A.  An epidemiological investigation into the association between biomarkers and growth performance in nursery pigs. BMC Vet Res. 2013;9:247
  • Farzan A, Kircanski J, DeLay J, Soltes G, Friendship R, Prescott J. An investigation into the association between cpb2-encoding C. perfringens type A and diarrhea in neonatal piglets. Can. J. Vet. Res. 2013, 77:45-51. 
  • Farzan A, Parrington L, Coklin T, Cook A,  Pintar K, Pollari F, Friendship R, Farber J,  Dixon B. Detection and characterization of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. on swine farms in Ontario, Canada. Foodborne Pathog. Dis. 2011, 8: 1207-13.
  • Farzan A, Friendship R, Cook A, Pollari F. Occurrence of SalmonellaCampylobacterYersinia enterocoliticaEscherchia coli O157, and Listeria monocytogenes in swine. Zoonoses and Public Health, 2010, 57: 388–396.
  • Farzan A, Friendship R, Dewey C, Poppe C, Funk J.  Evaluation of the risk factors for shedding Salmonella with or without antimicrobial resistance in swine using multinomial regression method. Zoonoses and Public Health, 2010;57 Suppl 1:85-93.
  • Farzan A & Friendship R. Evaluation of the efficacy of vaccination in controlling Salmonella infection and the association of Salmonella-shedding and weight gain in pigs. Can J Vet Res., 2010;74(4):258-63.

Search PubMed for additional publications by Dr. Farzan.