Martin Lessard, PhD

Image Martin LESSARD, PhD
Research scientist

Conceive and develop research program aiming to improve animal health through the potential of feeding strategies and vaccines to enhance immune defenses of piglets and to reduce the use of antibiotics in porcine production.

Current research and/or projects

Dr Lessard leads a research program on the development of feeding strategies aiming to improve gut health and to reduce the use of antibiotics as growth promoter or in a prophylactic usage. He realized several projects on the potential of probiotics to modulate intestinal immune response and microbiota in weaned piglets. He also elaborated new feeding strategies which are based not only on probiotics but also on feed additives with antimicrobial, prebiotics and immune functional properties. In these research activities, new concepts of immunology, nutrigenomic and microbiology are under investigation in order to better understand host-microbiota interactions and the development of the immune system.

Dr Lessard, as expert in swine immunology and nutrition, also collaborates on projects aiming to study the influence of mycotoxins (fumonisin B1 and DON) on intestinal immunity.  He also worked on new vaccine strategies aiming to improve resistance against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and enterotoxigenic E. coli.

Research and/or project statements

  • Neonatal nutritional interventions with bovine colostrum, and/or vitamin D and copper (Cu) and their programming effects on oxidative status, maturation of the immune system and establishment of intestinal microbial populations in piglets – AAFC and Swine Cluster II

  • Determine the efficiency of a commercial Cheddar cheese to modulate inflammatory status and gut microbiota in pigs fed high fat diet – AAFC and Dairy Cluster II.

  • Understanding gut microbiota and host immune responses to probiotics and colostrum for improving pig gut health – AAC A-Base

  • Bactériothérapie chez le porcelet: preuve de concept. AAC et Programme de subvention « Nouvelle Initiative » du CRIPA

  • Innovative micronutrient strategies for maximizing piglet’s robustness and performance during the pre- and post-weaning periods – AAFC and Swine Cluster III

  • Towards a new feeding approach of neonatal and weanling piglet for optimizing nutritional status, immunity and microbiota and minimizing the use of antibiotics – AAFC and Swine Cluster III.

Professional activities / interests

  • Member of committee à des comités de révision d’organismes subventionnaire
  • Supervision of graduate students and post-doctorates
  • Editor of the journal "ANIMALS"  
  • Member of the Swine and poultry infectious diseases research centre 
  • Regular member of the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF)

Education and awards

Diplome                 Year                 Discipline                                            University

Bachelor                1980                Agronomy (animal science)                Laval, Québec

Master                   1983                Animal Science                                   Laval, Québec

Doctorate              1988                Nutrition et immunologie                     Laval, Québec

International experience and/or work

Work transfer in France for one year at the Unité Mixte de Recherches sur le Veau et le Porc, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

Key publications

  1. Talbot, G., Lessard, M., Yergeau, E., Gagnon, N., Lo Verso, L., Lapointe, J., Bissonnette, N., Bueno Dalto, D., Ouattara, B., Guay, F., and Matte, J.J. (2016). "Microbiota of the small intestine of piglets affected by perinatal administration of copper and vitamins A and D.", 18th International Conference on Microbiota Buenos Engineering, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 27-28 October, 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  2. Matte, J.J., Audet, I., Ouattara, B., Bissonnette, N., and Lessard, M. (2016). "Sources and routes of administration of copper and vitamins A and D on metabolic status of these micronutrients in suckling piglets.", Journal of Animal Science, 94(Supp. 2), pp. 116. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  3. Lo Verso, L., Matte, J.J., Talbot, G., Bissonnette, N., Lapointe, J., Gagnon, N., Ouattara, B., Guay, F., and Lessard, M. (2016). "Effects of different sources and routes of administration of copper and vitamins A and D on gut volatile fatty acids and gene expression involved in regulation of innate and acquired immunity in piglets.", Journal of Animal Science, 94(Supp. 2). (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  4. Talbot, G., Lessard, M., Yergeau, E., Gagnon, N., Lo Verso, L., Lapointe, J., Bissonnette, N., Bueno Dalto, D., Ouattara, B., Guay, F., and Matte, J.J. (2016). "Effects of different sources and routes of administration of copper and vitamins A and D on piglets gut microbiota.", Journal of Animal Science, 94(Supp. 2). (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  5. Topp, E., Irwin, R., McAllister, T.A., Lessard, M., Joensuu, J.J., Kolotilin, I., Conrad, U., Stöger, E., Mor, T., Warzecha, H., Hall, J.C., McLean, M.D, Cox, E., Devriendt, B., Potter, A., Depicker, A., Virdi, V., Holbrook, L., Doshi, K., Dussault, M., Friendship, R.M., Yarosh, O., Yoo, H.S., MacDonald, J.D., and Menassa, R. (2016). "The case for plant-made veterinary immunotherapeutics.", Biotechnology Advances. doi : 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2016.02.007

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Bissonnette, N., Jiang, X-R., Matte, J.J., Talbot, G., Guay, F., Gong, J., Wang, Q., Bontempo, V., and Lessard, M. (2015). "Effect of a post-weanling diet supplemented with gut health-enhancing feed additives on ileum transcriptome activity and serum cytokines in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharides (LPS).", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(Suppl. 2), pp. 659. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  7. Lessard, M. (2015). "La santé intestinale : Interactions entre l’alimentation, le microbiote et le système immunitaire.", Intégrer des ingrédients novateurs en alimentation porcine et avicole, Centre Québécois de valorisation des biotechnologies et Centre de développement du porc du Québec.

    2015 - View publication details

  8. Bissonnette, N., Jiang, X-R., Matte, J.J., Talbot, G., Guay, F., Gong, J., Wang, Q., Bontempo, V., and Lessard, M. (2015). "Effect of a post-weanling diet supplemented with gut health-enhancing feed additives on ileum transcriptome activity and serum cytokines in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharides (LPS)", ADSA-ASAS JAM (Joint Annual Meeting) 2015, Orlando, Florida, USA, July 12-16, 2015, 2-15, Poster Session.

    2015 - View publication details

  9. Fomenky, B., Beaudoin, F., Chiquette, J., Talbot, G., Bissonnette, N., Chouinard, P.Y., Lessard, M., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2015). "Amélioration du développement immunitaire chez les veaux laitiers par les probiotiques.", Symposium sur les bovins laitiers 2015, Drummondville, QC, Canada, Octobre 29, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  10. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Beaudoin, F., Chiquette, J., Talbot, G., Bissonnette, N., and Lessard, M. (2015). "Probiotics administration enhances calves’ lymphoproliferation responses to vaccination during the early weeks of growth.", 2015 Conference of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the Canadian Meat Council, Ottawa, Canada, May 6-8, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  11. Brousseau, J.P., Talbot, G., Beaudoin, F., Lauzon, K., Roy, D., Lessard, M. (2015). Effects of probiotics Pediococcus acidilactici strain MA18/5M and Saccharomyces cerevisiae subsp. boulardii strain SB-CNCM I-1079 on fecal and intestinal microbiota of nursing and weanling piglets, 93(11), 5313-5326. http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas.2015-9190

    2015 - View publication details

  12. Roques, E., Lessard, M., Archambault, D. (2015). The Cholera Toxin B Subunit (CTB) Fused to the Porcine Arterivirus Matrix M and GP5 Envelope Proteins Fails to Enhance the GP5-Specific Antibody Response in Pigs Immunized with Adenovectors, 57(8), 701-708. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12033-015-9861-6

    2015 - View publication details

  13. Van Le Thanh, B., Lessard, M., Chorfi, Y., Guay, F. (2015). The efficacy of anti-mycotoxin feed additives in preventing the adverse effects of wheat naturally contaminated with fusarium mycotoxins on performance, intestinal barrier function and nutrient digestibility and retention in weanling pigs, 95(2), 197-209. http://dx.doi.org/10.4141/CJAS-2014-126

    2015 - View publication details

  14. Lessard, M., Savard, C., Deschene, K., Lauzon, K., Pinilla, V.A., Gagnon, C.A., Lapointe, J., Guay, F., Chorfi, Y. (2015). Impact of deoxynivalenol (DON) contaminated feed on intestinal integrity and immune response in swine, 80 7-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2015.02.013

    2015 - View publication details

  15. Blais, M., Fortier, M.-È., Pouliot, Y., Gauthier, S.F., Boutin, B., Asselin, C., and Lessard, M. (2014). "Colostrum whey downregulates early and late inflammatory response genes induced by Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica Typhimurium components in intestinal epithelial cells.", British Journal of Nutrition. doi : 10.1017/S0007114514003481

    2015 - View publication details

  16. Le Thanh, B.V., Lessard, M., Chorfi, Y., Guay, F. (2015). Short communication: Antioxidant capacity in the intestinal mucosa of weanling piglets fed diets containing Fusarium mycotoxins and the efficacy of commercial supplements sold as detoxifiers, 95(4), 569-575. http://dx.doi.org/10.4141/CJAS-2015-037

    2015 - View publication details

  17. Audet, I., Girard, C.L., Lessard, M., Lo Verso, L., Beaudoin, F., Matte, J.J. (2015). Homocysteine metabolism, growth performance, and immune responses in suckling and weanling piglets, 93(1), 147-157. http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas.2014-7872

    2015 - View publication details

  18. Le Thanh, B.V., Lessard, M., Chorfi, Y., and Guay, F. (2014). "Antioxidant activity of intestinal mucosa in piglets fed deoxynivalenol naturally contaminated diet.", ADSA-ASAS 2014 Joint Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MO, USA, July 20-24, 2014, Also published on J. Anim. Sci. 92 (E-Suppl. 2): 686.

    2014 - View publication details

  19. Lessard, M., Deschêne, K., Savard, C., Gagnon, A.-È., Lapointe, J., Pinilla, V.A., Guay, F., and Chorfi, Y. (2014). "Effect of deoxynivalenol (DON) ingestion on expression of genes involved in intestinal barrier and immune functions.", 7ième Symposium du CRIPA, Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada, 3-4 juin 2014, Présentation orale.

    2014 - View publication details

  20. Lessard, M., Bergeron, N., Deschêne, K., Matte, J.J., Guay, F., Bissonnette, N., Talbot, B.G., Gong, J., Wang, Q., Quessy, S., and Letellier, A. (2014). "Intestinal gene expression involved in innate and acquired immune responses of pigs is affected by Salmonella infection and diets supplemented with gut health-enhancing feed additives.", 23rd International Pig Veterinary Society Congress, Cancun, México, June 8-11, 2014, Abstract A1387. (Poster)

    2014 - View publication details

Research facility

2000 College Street
Sherbrooke, QC J1M 1Z3
Canada

Affiliations

  • Adjunct professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Université Laval

  • Adjunct professor, Département de pathologie et de microbiologie, University of Montréal

  • Adjunct professor, Department of Biology, University of Sherbrooke

  • Regular member of the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF), Laval University

  • Member of the Swine and poultry infectious diseases research centre (CRIPA), University of Montreal, Director of Line 3 « Prophylactic anti-infectious measures: vaccines and other alternatives to antibiotic use »

Language

English
French