Samir Mechai

Image Sarah London
Research Scientist

Research focuses on Epidemiology, Systematics (Taxonomy), Entomology and Parasitology

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Mechai has an excellent knowledge on molecular laboratory work, sequence manipulation, bioinformatics analyses, and phylogenetic analyses. His background in applied entomology and bioinformatics gives him a relevant multidisciplinary skill set: field entomological skills, taxonomic skills in entomology, statistical analysis skills, and geomatics skills.

Research and/or project statements

  • Works at a multidisciplinary crossroads with multiple expertise (genomics, geomatics and spatial modelling) needed to develop new ideas on the application of the epidemiological surveillance in the context of climate change.
  • Uses next-generation sequencing technology to investigate the whole accessory genome of the bacterium causing Lyme disease in Canada
  • Developing and optimizing the protocol of identification of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne viruses in the frame of GRDI-Ecobiomics project using NGS and metagenomics tools
  • Innovates ways to improve surveillance systems for tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases

Professional activities / interests

Public health research among a multidisciplinary team

Education and awards

Ph.D. Epidemiology, University of Montreal, 2017

M.Sc. Bioinformatics, University of Nantes, France, 2012

M.Sc. Infectious agents, interactions with their hosts and the environment, University Versailles Saint-Quentin and AgroParisTech institute, France, 2011

M.Sc. in applied entomology, Higher National Agronomic School, Algeria, 2009

Key publications

Hannah J. Munro, Nicholas H. Ogden, Samir Mechai, L. Robbin Lindsay, Gregory J. Robertson, Hugh Whitney, Arew S. Lang: Genetic diversity of Borrelia garinii from Ixodes uriae collected in seabird colonies of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 06/2019; 10(6).

Salima Gasmi, Nicholas H. Ogden, Marion Ripoche, (…), Samir Mechai, Serge-Olivier Kotchi, Jules K. Koffi: Detection of municipalities at-risk of Lyme disease using passive surveillance of Ixodes scapularis as an early signal: A province-specific indicator in Canada. PLoS ONE 02/2019; 14(2):e0212637.

Shaun Tyler, Shari Tyson, Antonia Dibernardo, (…), Samir Mechai, Gary Van Domselaar, Harry A. Thorpe, Nick H. Ogden: Whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of strains of the agent of Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi from Canadian emergence zones. Scientific Reports 12/2018; 8(1).

Samir Mechai, Gabriele Margos, Edward J. Feil, L. Robbin Lindsay, Pascal Michel, Serge Olivier Kotchi, Nick H. Ogden: Evidence for an effect of landscape connectivity on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto dispersion in a zone of range expansion. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 07/2018; 9(6).

Nicholas H. Ogden, Julie Arsenault, Todd F. Hatchette, Samir Mechai, L. Robbin Lindsay: Antibody responses to Borrelia burgdorferi detected by western blot vary geographically in Canada. PLoS ONE 02/2017; 12(2):e0171731.,

Samir Mechai, Gabriele Margos, Edward J. Feil, Nicole Barairo, L. Robbin Lindsay, Pascal Michel, Nicholas H. Ogden: Evidence for Host-Genotype Associations of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto. PLoS ONE 02/2016; 11(2):e0149345.,

Nicholas H Ogden, Edward J Feil, Patrick Leighton, Leslie Robbin Lindsay, Gabriele Margos, Sam Mechai, Pascal Michel, Tara J Moriarty: Evolutionary aspects of an emerging Lyme Disease in Canada. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 08/2015; 81(21).

S Mechai, G Margos, E J Feil, L R Lindsay, N H Ogden: Complex Population Structure of Borrelia burgdorferi in Southeastern and South Central Canada as Revealed by Phylogeographic Analysis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 12/2014; 81(4).

Nick H Ogden, Samir Mechai, Gabriele Margos: Changing geographic ranges of ticks and tick-borne pathogens: Drivers, mechanisms and consequences for pathogen diversity. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 08/2013; 3:46.

S Mechai, E J Feil, T D Gariepy, T R Gregory, L R Lindsay, V Millien, N H Ogden: Investigation of the Population Structure of the Tick Vector of Lyme Disease Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Canada Using Mitochondrial Cytochrome C Oxidase Subunit I Gene Sequences. Journal of Medical Entomology 05/2013; 50(3):560-70.


Research facility

3200 rue Sicotte, C.P. 5000
St. Hyacinthe, QC J2S 2M2