Infectious Disease

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
  • 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 

    Our extensive, multidisciplinary approach to infectious disease research provides fertile ground for graduate student training. Investigations are supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure: well-designed laboratory spaces, laboratory equipment, isolation and on-farm facilities, and strong links with the resources of the Animal Health Laboratory. Together, these create an environment in which graduate students develop expertise and skills while making important discoveries in infectious disease research.