Theme 2: Risk for Emergence & Spillover

The following research projects will use a One Health (OH) approach to identify contributing factors that influence emergence or re-emergence of pathogens of human and animal health importance, as well as direct and indirect pathways that lead to spillover events. We will also go beyond traditional modelling approaches and, through our objectives, identify conditions under which emergence has fewer negative health and/or socio-economic impacts.

Ecological Drivers of Spillover

Co-Project Investigators: Patrick Leighton (Université de Montréal), Javier Sanchez (University of Prince Edward Island) and Amy Greer (University of Guelph)

Zoonotic spillover requires a series of interconnected factors to align, including the ecological, epidemiological, socio-economic and behavioural determinants of pathogen exposure, and the within-host factors that affect susceptibility to infection. This project aims to explore the ecological drivers of pathogen spillover from one host species to another within an ecological community.

Livestock-Human Interface

Co-Project Investigator: Amy Greer (University of Guelph)

This project aims to explore the process of pathogen spillover at the livestock-human interface. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the biological and evolutionary mechanisms that can lead to disease emergence followed by either: 1) short stuttering chains of infection that are self-limiting, or 2) long, sustained transmission chains. We will focus on viruses with pandemic potential, such as influenza.

Geographic Spread / Vector-Borne Disease

Co-Project Investigators: Katie Clow (University of Guelph), Patrick Leighton (Université de Montréal), Amy Greer (University of Guelph)

This project aims to explore the drivers of the geographic spread of vector-borne pathogens from endemic areas to new regions, focusing on the emergence of tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases in southern Canada and the potential for the emergence of vector-borne diseases in the Arctic.

Modelling the transmission of antimicrobial resistance in livestock

Co-Project Investigators: Shannon Majowicz (University of Waterloo), Jane Parmley (University of Guelph) and Javier Sanchez (University of Prince Edward Island)

The projects will be looking at the movement of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) within and between livestock production systems (dairy, swine, and poultry) within a FoodNet sentinel site and when possible, it would be compared with ARG in the human population.