Marie-Josée Gagné, M.Sc.

Image Marie-Josée Gagné
Research Assistante in Food Virology

Develop methods to detect viruses that cause foodborne illness in different food matrixes, but also to find a way to control them to prevent Canadian consumers from getting sick. Among other things, to determine the origin of these human pathogenic viruses with zoonotic potential in horticultural, animal and food chain production and to study their persistence and survival in these environments..

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.

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 

Professional activities / interests

  • Laboratory expertise in bacteriology and virology.
  • Food safety field.
  • Specilized in cell culture, molecular biology, high-throughput sequencing and metagenomic data analysis.

Education and awards

Academic qualifications

B. Sc. Biological Sciences, opt. Microbiology,  Université de Montréal, 1997

Certificate courses in Food Science and Quality, Université Laval, 1999

M.Sc. Veterinary sciences, opt. Microbiology, Université de Montréal, 2002



Bourse de la Fondation des Gouverneurs  (2001)


Key publications

Leblanc D., Gagné M.J., Poitras E., Brassard J. Persistence of murine norovirus, bovine rotavirus and hepatitis A virus on stainless steel surfaces, in bottled water and on blueberries. Food Microbiol. (2019) 84:103257

Auffret M.D., Brassard J., Jones T.H., Gagnon N., Gagné MJ, Muehlhauser V., Masse L., Topp E., Talbot G. Impact of seasonal temperature transition, alkalinity and other abiotic factors on the persistence of viruses in swine and dairy manures. Sci. Total Environ. (2019) 659:640-648

Brassard J., Gagné M.J. An efficient recovery method for enteric viral particules from agricultural soils. J. Virol Methods (2018) 261:1-5

Brassard J., Gagné M.J., Leblanc D., Poitras É., Houde A., Boras V.F., Inglis G.D. Association of age and gender with Torque teno virus detection in stools from diarrheic and non-diarrheic people.  Clin Virol. (2015) 72:55-9

Gagné M.J., Barrette J., Savard T., Brassard J. Evaluation of survival of murine norovirus-1 during sauerkraut fermentation and storage under standard and low-sodium conditions. Food Microbiol. (2015) 52:119-23

Wilhelm B, Leblanc D, Houde A, Brassard J, Gagné MJ, Plante D, Bellon-Gagnon P, Jones TH, Muehlhauser V, Janecko N, Avery B, Rajić A, McEwen SA. Survey of Canadian retail pork chops and pork livers for detection of hepatitis E virus, norovirus, and rotavirus using real time RT-PCR. Int J Food Microbiol. (2014) 185:33-40

Béland K, Dore-Nguyen M, Gagné MJ, Patey N, Brassard J, Alvarez F, Halac U. Torque Teno virus load as a biomarker of immunosuppression? New hopes and insights. J Infect Dis. (2014) 210(4):668-70

Leblanc D., Houde A., Gagné M.-J., Plante D., Bellon-Gagnon P., Jones T., Muelhauser V., Wilhelm B., Avery B., Janecko N., Brassard J. Presence, viral load and characterization of Torque teno sus viruses in liver and pork chop samples at retail. Int. J. Food Microbiol. (2014) 178:60-4

Béland K., Dore-Nguyen, Gagné M.-J., Ward P., Patey N., Brassard J., Alvarez F., Halac U., Torque teno virus in children with orthotopic liver transplantation : new insights about a common pathogen. J Infect. Dis. (2014) 209(2): 247-54

Brassard J., Gagné M.-J., Leblanc D., Real-time PCR study of the infection dynamics of Torque teno sus viruses in naturally infected pigs from nursery to slaughterhouse. Vet. J. (2013) 197 (2):506-8

Brassard J. Gagné M-J., Généreux M., Côté C. Detection of human foodborne and zoonotic viruses on irrigated, field-grown strawberries. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2012) 78(10):3763-6.

Brassard J., Guévremont E., Gagné M-J, Lamoureux L. Simultaneous recovery of bacteria and viruses from contaminated water and spinach by a filtration method. Int. J. of food microbiology. (2011) 144(3):565-8

Brassard J., Gagné M-J., Houde A., Poitras E., Ward P. Development of real-time TaqMan PCR assay for the detection of porcine and bovine Torque teno virus. J. of applied microbiology. 108 (2010) 2191-2198

L’Homme Y., Brassard J., Ouardani M., Gagné M-J. Characterization of novel porcine sapoviruses. Arch. Viro. (2010) 155: 839-846

Leblanc D., Poitras E., Gagné M-J., Ward P., Houde A. Hepatitis E virus load in swine organs and tissues at slaughterhouse determined by real time PCR. Int. J. of food microbiology. 139 (2010) 206-209

Jones T.H., Brassard J., Johns M.W., Gagné M-J. The effect of pre-treatment and sonication of centrifugal ultrafiltration devices on virus recovery. J. of virological methods. 161 (2009) 199-204

Mattison K., Brassard J., Gagné M-J., Ward P., Houde A., Lessard L., Simard C., Shukla A. Pagotto F., Jones T.H., Trottier Y-L. The feline calicivirus as a sample process control  for the detection of food and waterborn RNA viruses. Int. J. of food microbiology. 132 (2009) 73-77

Brassard J., Lamoureux L., Gagné M-J., Poitras E., Trottier Y-L., Houde A. Comparison of commercial viral genomic extraction kits for the molecular detection of foodborne viruses. Can. J. of microbiology. 55 (2009) 1016-1019

Brassard J., Gagné M-J., Lamoureux L., Inglis G.D., Leblanc L., Houde A. Molecular detection of bovine and porcine Torque teno virus in plasma and feces. Vet. Micro.  2008. 126(1-3):271-6.

Leblanc D., Ward. P., Gagné M-J., Poitras E., Müller P., Trottier Y-L., Simard C., Houde A. presence of hepatitis E virus herd from nursery to slaughter. Int. J. of food microbiology. 2007. 117(2):160-6.



Research facility

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