Released to the public in August, 2004, cpnDB is a curated database of chaperonin sequences. The cpn60 barcode sequence can be amplified with universal primers and the sequence provides better resolution of bacterial species than 16S rRNA sequences. The cpn60 barcode provides a robust target for detection, identification and quantification of bacteria, and has been applied in diagnostic investigations and in microbiome studies. 

Microbial ecology in reproductive health and disease

Disturbances in the balance of the vaginal microbiome is associated with troubling symptoms that affect quality of life of women. These changes can also be associated with reproductive health issues that affect women and their families. We use cpn60 barcode sequencing to study microbiome composition, and also culture isolates in the lab for detailed studies of their biology.

Ecology of Brachyspira-related colitis in pigs

Diarrhea in grow‐finish pigs is a highly prevalent and significant condition on commercial farms. It reduces performance and economic competitiveness, affecting daily gain, feed conversion, morbidity, mortality, variation, and medication costs. Brachyspira hyodysenteriae and B. hampsonii are both agents of concern causing diarrhea in western Canadian pigs. We are using a combination of clinical investigation, epidemiology, pathology, molecular microbiology and metagenomic approaches to investigate these diseases and determine possible risk factors for their (re)emergence.

Infectious disease diagnostics

One great thing about working at a veterinary college is that we never lack for interesting diagnostic questions! Whether it's wildlife, companion animals or livestock, we are always up for a challenge and often develop new tools and approaches to address infectious disease questions with our clinical colleagues. We are particularly interested in application of high throughput sequencing techniques to pathogen detection.