Julie Brassard

Image Julie Brassard
Research scientist

Dr. Julie Brassard has been a research scientist in food virology for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada since 2004. She has multi-disciplinary expertise in biochemistry, microbiology and virology, among others. Her area of expertise is the study of viruses that cause food-borne illnesses and, in particular, determining the source of human pathogenic viruses and viruses with zoonotic potential in horticultural and animal production and in the food chain; and developing and applying concentration methods, molecular tools and model/substitute viruses to detect and study virus persistence/survival and develop farm-to-table control strategies; virome studies and improve the gut health. 

Current research and/or projects

Enteric infections affecting both human and animal intestinal health are recognized as having negative impacts on the agri-food sector and animal production due to the economic losses they generate each year. Pathogenic and zoonotic enteric viruses represent a threat to the value chain as they are present in the food chain and in the Canadian livestock causing disease in animals and some of these viral agents can be transmitted to humans through Agri-food products and some agricultural practices. J. Brassard has expertise in veterinary microbiology and food virology, which gives her unique expertise in the field. She participates in integrated approaches in order to face the challenges and issues in animal health and food safety through her various collaborative projects.

Research and/or project statements

  • Determining the source of human pathogenic viruses and viruses with zoonotic potential in horticultural and animal production and in the food chain
  • Developing and applying concentration methods, molecular tools and model/substitute viruses to detect and study virus persistence/survival and develop farm-to-table control strategies
  • Virome studies and improve the gut health
  • Intestinal health gut improving by the use probiotics against enteric viruses 

Fields of Science

Learn more about my research and how it impacts you by visiting Fields of Science, a campaign featuring 11 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists from coast to coast.

Professional activities / interests

  • Lead and collaborate on research projects
  • Supervision of graduate students
  • Ad hoc reviewer for several scientific journals
  • Member of the local biosafety and biosecurity committee of the Saint-Hyacinthe RDC  

Education and awards

Academic qualifications

B. Sc. Biochemistry,  Université Laval, 1997

Ph.D. Veterinary sciences, opt. Microbiology, Université de Montréal, 2003

Postdoctoral fellow, Food virology, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2003

 

Awards

Excellence in response to Covid-19 awards, given by Janice Charrette, Interim Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet to all members of Food Safety COVID-19 Working Group

Key publications

  1. Lachapelle, M., Lachapelle, V., Brassard, J., Letellier, A., Fravalo, P., and L’Homme, Y. (2014). "Molecular tracking of enteric viral indicators in a swine production network.", International Union of Microbiology Societies, Montréal, Québec, Canada, 29-31 juillet 2014, Oral presentation. (Poster)

    2014 - View publication details

  2. Gagné, M.-J., Brassard, J., Barrette, J., and Savard, T. (2014). "Risk Mitigation in Vegetables Fermentation with Sodium Reduction; A Viral Perspective.", Food Micro 2014, Nantes, France, September 1-4, 2014, Presentation. (Poster)

    2014 - View publication details

  3. Wilhelm, B., Leblanc, D., Houde, A., Brassard, J., Gagné, M.J., Plante, D., Bellon-Gagnon, P., Jones, T.H., Muehlhauser, V., Janecko, N., Avery, B., Rajić, A., McEwen, S.A. (2014). Survey of Canadian retail pork chops and pork livers for detection of hepatitis E virus, norovirus, and rotavirus using real time RT-PCR. International Journal of Food Microbiology, [online] 185 33-40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.05.006

    2014 - View publication details

  4. Béland, K., Doré-Nguyen, M., Gagné, M.-J., Patey, N., Brassard, J., Alvarez, F., and Halac, U. (2014). "Torque teno virus load as a biomarker of immunosuppression? new hopes and insights.", The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 210(4), pp. 668-670. doi : 10.1093/infdis/jiu210

    2014 - View publication details

  5. Leblanc, D., Houde, A., Gagné, M.J., Plante, D., Bellon-Gagnon, P., Jones, T.H., Muehlhauser, V., Wilhelm, B., Avery, B., Janecko, N., Brassard, J. (2014). Presence, viral load and characterization of Torque teno sus viruses in liver and pork chop samples at retail. International Journal of Food Microbiology, [online] 178 60-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.03.005

    2014 - View publication details

  6. Béland, K., Dore-Nguyen, M., Gagné, M.J., Patey, N., Brassard, J., Alvarez, F., Halac, U. (2014). Torque teno virus in children who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation: New insights about a common pathogen. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, [online] 209(2), 247-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jit423

    2014 - View publication details

  7. Lachapelle, V., Sohal, J.S., Lambert, M.C., Brassard, J., Fravalo, P., Letellier, A., L'Homme, Y. (2014). Genetic diversity of group A rotavirus in swine in Canada. Archives of Virology, [online] 159(7), 1771-1779. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-013-1951-9

    2014 - View publication details

  8. Wilkes, G., Brassard, J., Edge, T.A., Gannon, V., Gottschall, N., Jokinen, C.C., Jones, T.H., Khan, I.U.H., Marti, R., Sunohara, M.D., Topp, E., Lapen, D.R. (2014). Long-term monitoring of waterborne pathogens and microbial source tracking markers in paired agricultural watersheds under controlled and conventional tile drainage management. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, [online] 80(12), 3708-3720. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00254-14

    2014 - View publication details

  9. Wilkes, G.A., Brassard, J., Edge, T.A., Gannon, V.P.J., Jokinen, C.C., Jones, T.H., Neumann, N.F., Pintar, K.D.M., Ruecker, N.J., Schmidt, P.J., Sunohara, M., Topp, E., and Lapen, D.R. (2013). "Bacteria, viruses, and parasites in an intermittent stream protected from and exposed to pasturing cattle: prevalence, densities, and quantitative microbial risk assessment.", Water Research, 47(16), pp. 6244-6257.

    2013 - View publication details

  10. Wilhelm, B., Leblanc, D., Brassard, J., Gagné, M.-J., Plante, D., Bellon-Gagnon, P., Jones, T.H., Muehlhauser, V., Janecko, N., Avery, B., Friendship, R.M., McEwen, S.A., Rajic, A., and Houde, A. (2013). "Emerging viruses project: a survey of Canadian retail pork chops and liver for hepatitis E virus, Norovirus and Rotavirus.", Canadian Association of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (CAVEPM) and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) Conference (ACAVEPM 2013), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, May 27-28, 2013.

    2013 - View publication details

  11. Savard, T., Barrette, J., Brassard, J., and Gagné, M.-J. (2013). "Lactic Starter Ensure Safety in Low Sodium Fermented Vegetables.", Microbial Diversity 2013: Microbial Interactions in Complex Ecosystems, Turin, Italy, October 23-25, 2013, Oral Presentation, pp. 124-127.

    2013 - View publication details

  12. Brassard, J. (2013). "Virus et les toxi-infections alimentaires.", Journée des pathogènes émergents et antimicrobiens naturels organisée par L’INITIA, Sur invitation, dépenses assumées par l’organisme d’accueil (frais d’inscription et repas), Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada, June 6, 2013. (Presentation)

    2013 - View publication details

  13. Topp, E., Lanthier, M., Diarra, M.S., Delaquis, P.J., Bach, S.J., McAllister, T.A., Sharma, R., Inglis, G.D., Masse, D., Bezanson, G.S., Bittman, S., Talbot, G., Masse, L., Brassard, J., Houde, A., Jones, T.H., Lapen, D.R., van Bochove, É., Gannon, V.P.J., Pintar, K.D.M., Masson, L., Neumann, N.F., and Koning, W. (2013). Assessment and management of on-farm fate of microbial and chemical contaminants carried in human and animal wastes used as organic fertilizers. Final Report SAGES #1462. (Report)

    2013 - View publication details

  14. Wilhelm, B., Leblanc, D., Brassard, J., Gagné, M.-J., Plante, D., Bellon-Gagnon, P., Jones, T.H., Muehlhauser, V., Janecko, N., Avery, B., Friendship, R.M., McEwen, S.A., Rajic, A., and Houde, A. (2013). "A survey of prevalence and viral load of hepatitis E virus, Norovirus, and rotavirus on Canadian retail pork chops and pork livers.", Canadian Association of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (CAVEPM) and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) Conference (ACAVEPM 2013), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, May 27-28, 2013.

    2013 - View publication details

  15. Wilkes, G., Brassard, J., Edge, T.A., Gannon, V., Jokinen, C.C., Jones, T.H., Marti, R., Neumann, N.F., Ruecker, N.J., Sunohara, M., Topp, E., Lapen, D.R. (2013). Coherence among different microbial source tracking markers in a small agricultural stream with or without livestock exclusion practices. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, [online] 79(20), 6207-6219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01626-13

    2013 - View publication details

  16. Ward, P., Poitras, E., Leblanc, D., Gagnon, C.A., Brassard, J., Houde, A. (2013). Comparison of different RT-qPCR assays for the detection of human and bovine group A rotaviruses and characterization by sequences analysis of genes encoding VP4 and VP7 capsid proteins. Journal of Applied Microbiology, [online] 114(5), 1435-1448. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jam.12165

    2013 - View publication details

  17. Lachapelle, V., Brassard, J., Letellier, A., Fravalo, P., and L’Homme, Y. (2012). "Identification of vectors and viral contamination sources within a network of swine farms and a slaughterhouse", 5e Symposium Annuel du Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Porcine (CRIP), Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, May 16-17, 2012. (Poster)

    2012 - View publication details

  18. Doré-Nguyen, M., Béland, K., Gagné, M.-J., Patey, N., Houde, A., Brassard, J., Alvarez, F., and Halac, U. (2012). "Prevalence and impact of Torque teno virus infection in immunosuppressed children with orthopic liver transplantation.", Canadian Association for the Study of Liver, Montréal, QC, Canada, February 24-27 2012.

    2012 - View publication details

  19. Brassard, J. and Gagné, M.-J. (2012). "Development of an extraction and concentration procedure for the detection of enteric viruses in soil.", 101st Annual Meeting of the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP 2012), Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI, USA, July 22-25, 2012. (Poster)

    2012 - View publication details

  20. Brassard, J. (2012). "Virus dans la chaîne alimentaire : où sont-ils?", Conférence à Conférence internationale de l'industrie vétérinaire et agro-alimentaire organisée par Innovet, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada, October 17, 2012. (Poster)

    2012 - View publication details

Research facility

3600 Casavant Boulevard West
Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 8E3
Canada

Affiliations

Associate professor to the Pathology and microbiology department of the Veterinary medicine faculty of the University of Montréal

Member of the Editorial and revision Board of the Journal of Food Protection

Associate member to the Centre de recherche en infectiologie porcine et avicole (CRIPA).

Member of Groupe d'experts sur les zoonoses entériques de l'Institut de santé publique du Québec

Member of the Food Safety COVID-19 interdepartmental Working Group

Language

English
French