Dr. Sharon Clouthier

Image Clouthier, Sharon
Research scientist

Lead of research and development program investigating aquatic animal viruses and their disease ecology using genomic tools to advance aquatic animal health, recovery of species at risk and control of invasive species.

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Clouthier’s laboratory specializes in the innovation of molecular tools for the study of aquatic viral diseases and in the study of viral disease ecology for aquatic species at risk such as Lake Sturgeon and Northern Dolly Varden and aquatic invasive species such as Common Carp.

Research and/or project statements

  1. Technology development and validation – Her laboratory creates molecular, serological and virological diagnostic tests and validates their performance for detection of aquatic viruses of regulatory concern to Canada.  The tests support diagnostic testing conducted by the National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory System of Canada’s National Aquatic Animal Health Program.
  2. Virus discovery and characterization – Dr. Clouthier specializes in viral disease ecology of sturgeon.  Her laboratory has discovered new viruses, established the biological causal link between lethal disease epidemics and these viruses, elucidated their taxonomy and evolutionary history and determined their ecology in wild Lake Sturgeon populations of central Canada.  The research provides insight into the impact of viruses on the overall health of this ancient species which is being considered for listing under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.
  3. Health of Dolly Varden in Canada’s western Arctic – Her work in the Arctic focuses on viral diseases of Dolly Varden, a species listed as Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act.  She has expanded this work to include vagrant Pacific salmon which are experiencing changes to their biogeography through climate-driven range expansion into the Canadian Arctic.  She has partnered with DFO, CFIA and ECCC scientists and northern Indigenous groups to test theories regarding the risk of disease transmission from vagrant salmon and the ecology of an existing virus in the region in the context of a changing climate.
  4. Virus diseases of invasive carp in Canada – Dr. Clouthier collaborated with Ducks Unlimited Canada to study the ecology of CyHV-3 in Manitoba Common Carp, an invasive species that has damaged the Lake Manitoba Delta Marsh ecosystem.  This virus causes a disease that is reportable in Canada and globally.  Her work has established that the virus is endemic in the watershed and that carp themselves act as a reservoir for intergenerational transmission of CyHV-3 in the ecosystem.  The research advances the scientific advice provided by DFO to Canada’s regulatory aquatic animal health science program.

Professional activities / interests

  • National reference laboratory expert for viruses of regulatory concern to Canada’s National Aquatic Animal Health Program including IPNV, CyHV-3, SVCV and sturgeon mimiviruses.

Education and awards

Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Victoria, 1995

B.Sc., Biochemistry, University of Victoria, 1990

Key publications


  1. Clouthier SC, McClure C, Schroeder T, Anderson ED (2021) Bayesian latent class model estimates of diagnostic accuracy for three test methods designed to detect spring viremia of carp virus. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 190:105338.
  2. Clouthier SC, McClure C, Schroeder T, Aldous S, Allen J, Collette-Belliveau C, Li S, Lindsay M, Anderson ED (2021) Measures of diagnostic precision (repeatability and reproducibility) for three test methods designed to detect spring viremia of carp virus. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 188:105288.
  3. Clouthier SC, Schroeder T, Bueren EK, Anderson ED, Emmenegger E (2021) Analytical validation of two RT-qPCR tests and detection of spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) in persistently infected koi Cyprinus carpio. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 143:169-188.
  4. Clouthier SC, Caskenette A, Van Walleghem EV, Schroeder T, Macdonald D, Anderson ED (2020) Molecular phylogeny of sturgeon mimiviruses and Bayesian hierarchical modeling of their effect on wild Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) in Central Canada. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 84:104491.
  5. Clouthier SC, Anderson ED, Kurath G, Breyta R (2018) Molecular systematics of sturgeon nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 128:26-37.
  6. Clouthier SC, McClure C, Schroeder T, Desai M, Hawley L, Khatkar S, Lindsay M, Lowe G, Richard J, Anderson ED (2017) Diagnostic validation of three test methods for detection of cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 123:101-122.
  7. Clouthier SC, VanWalleghem E, Anderson ED (2015) Sturgeon nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA virus phylogeny and PCR tests. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 117:93-106.
  8. Clouthier SC, VanWalleghem E, Copeland S, Klassen C, Hobbs G, Nielsen O, Anderson ED (2013) A new species of nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) associated with mortalities in Manitoba Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 102:195-209.
  9. Anderson, E.D., S.C. Clouthier, W. Shewmaker, A. Weighall and S. LaPatra (2008) Inactivated infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) vaccines. Journal of Fish Disease 31:729-745.
  10. Clouthier S, Rector T, Brown N, Anderson ED (2002) Genomic organization of infectious salmon anemia virus. Journal of General Virology 83:421-428.
  11. Crump E, Perry MB,   Clouthier SC, Kay WW (2001) Antigenic characterization of the fish pathogen, Flavobacterium psychrophilum. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 67:750-759.
  12. White AP, Collinson SK, Burian J, Clouthier SC, Banser PA, KayWW (1999) High efficiency gene replacement in Salmonella enteritidis: chimeric fimbrins containing a T-cell epitope from Leishmania major. Vaccine 17:2150-2161.
  13. Clouthier SC, Collinson SK, Lippert D, Ausio J, White AP, Kay WW (1998) Periplasmic and fimbrial SefA from Salmonella enteritidis. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1387:355-368.
  14. Clouthier SC, Collinson SK, White AP, Banser PA, KayWW (1998) tRNAarg (fimU) and expression of SEF14 and SEF21 in Salmonella enteritidis. Journal of Bacteriology 180:840-845.
  15. Clouthier SC, Gunning DJ, Olafson RW, Kay WW (1997) Antigenic characterization of Henneguya salminicola. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 90:543-548.
  16. Doran JL, Collinson SK, Clouthier SC, Cebula TA, Koch WH,  Burian J, Banser PA, Todd ECD, Kay WW (1996) Diagnostic potential of sefA DNA probes to Salmonella enteritidis and certain other O-serogroup D1 Salmonella serovars. Molecular and Cellular Probes 10:233-246.
  17. Collinson SK, Liu S-L,Clouthier SC, Banser PA, Doran JL, Sanderson KE, Kay WW (1996) The location of four fimbrin- encoding genes, agfA, fimA, sefA and sefD on the Salmonella enteritidis and/or Salmonella typhimurium XbaI-BlnI genomic restriction maps. Gene 169:75-80.
  18. Collinson SK, Clouthier SC, Doran JL, Banser PA, Kay WW (1996) Salmonella enteritidis agfBAC operon encoding thin, aggregative fimbriae. Journal of Bacteriology 178:662-667.
  19. Clouthier SC, Collinson SK, Kay WW (1994) Unique fimbriae-like structures encoded by sefD of the SEF14 fimbrial gene cluster of Salmonella enteritidis. Molecular Microbiology 12:893-903.
  20. Clouthier SC, Müller K-H, Doran JL, Collinson SK, Kay WW (1993)  Characterization of three fimbrial genes, sefABC, of Salmonella enteritidis. Journal of Bacteriology 175:2523-2533.
  21. Collinson SK, Doig PC, Doran JL, Clouthier SC, Trust TJ, Kay WW (1993)  Thin, aggregative fimbriae mediate binding of Salmonella enteritidis to fibronectin. Journal of Bacteriology 175:12-18.


Research facility

501 University Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N6


  1. Centers of Expertise: Center for Aquatic Animal Health Research and Development (CAAHRD)
  2. American Society for Virology
  3. American Fisheries Society – Fish Health Section
  4. North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society