The University of Guelph

Our research at the University of Guelph improves life. We explore, we innovate, we invent, we educate; we create new knowledge that crosses natural, artificial and social boundaries to produce solutions that both protect and enlighten the eco-system of sustainable living. From how we feed the world to how we prosper and co-exist abroad and here at home, we will challenge the status quo and improve upon it.

The University of Guelph Blogs

Latest from The University of Guelph

In human medicine, a needlestick is a big deal. That’s not surprising because of concerns about transmission of bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis B and HIV. In veterinary medicine…it’s largely considered a regular event that’s not a big deal. Most of the time it’s not. It might hurt, but consequences are rare. However, ‘rare’ and ‘non-existent’ aren’t the same (and if you’re the one that gets the ‘rare’ complication, it’s not good). While most needlesticks from…
Rabies is a disease that’s met with a mix of inherent fear and dismissiveness in most developed countries, where canine rabies has been eradicated. It’s also a disease that’s often poorly understood in areas where it causes large numbers of deaths. As an almost completely preventable disease (with proper post-exposure treatment) and one for which we have a highly effective vaccine (for people and animals), barriers to accessing these critical treatment and prevention tools need…
Here’s a quick update on some recent feline studies on SARS-CoV-2. Some come with the increasingly common disclaimer that they are pre-prints, meaning the studies haven’t yet undergone peer review by other scientists in the field. Cats in Hong Kong (Barrs et al. Emerg Infect Dis 2020) This study has undergone peer review, and provides a nice description of Hong Kong’s efforts early in the pandemic. They had the most comprehensive response to…
I’ve written before about COVID-19 scent-detection dogs. I get lots of questions about them, and there are now several groups working in this area. There’s been a mix of information to date, ranging from encouraging to some pretty bad preliminary studies released on pre-print websites and other places. A dog’s nose is a wonderful thing (except when my dog sticks his in places I don’t want it to go), and dogs have been shown…
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, is seeking volunteers to participate in their Veterinary and Zoonotic Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Other Coronaviruses Study.  Their goals are to assess potential exposures to SARS-CoV-2 and other zoonotic pathogens among veterinary and animal healthcare workers, as well as clinical symptoms, mental health, and attitudes and practices associated with the pandemic response. To be eligible to participate, you must work with or around animals,…
An abstract in the upcoming ECCVID Conference (ESCMID conference on coronavirus disease) has some of our very preliminary Canadian dog/cat surveillance data (Beinzle, Marom and Weese, SARS-CoV-2 infection in pets). A press release went out about it from the conference that’s been picked up by various news agencies, resulting in some articles about the study that are a bit alarmist.  As is typical with zoonotic diseases, we’re trying to walk the fine line between…
A group of us wrote a Letter to the Editor of Lancet in response to a recent One Health paper. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t published, but  we think it’s an important message, so here it is: A Call to Action for a One Health approach in COVID-19 and Beyond While we echo Amuasi and colleagues’ call for a One Health COVID-19 Research Coalition1, we urge the scientific community to genuinely embrace a cross-disciplinary…
A couple of months BC (before COVID-19), I was planning a live simulation exercise for our hospital. The goal was to see how well we could identify and handle a nasty, reportable zoonotic disease, and to look at our personal protective equipment training and needs (COVID-19 helped with that last one, at least). Here’s the test scenario we were going to use:  A cat is presented with fever, lethargy and cough, with rapid progression to…
The amount of money being spent developing a COVID-19 vaccine is astounding. (The amount being spent on ensuring people will actually get such a vaccine, not so much – but that’s a different story.) Beyond vaccine hesitancy, one potentially major issue with vaccination is inequity. Rich countries have greater ability to produce and/or buy vaccine. We’ve already seen how nationalism can impact COVID-19 control, such as US efforts to restrict companies from selling critically important
We all know that backyard chickens are becoming increasingly popular – despite some of their associated infectious disease hazards, which we’ve discussed many times before.  The latest “pandemic pastime” takes the trend to a whole new level, with scores of people fostering chicks or ducklings as a family activity, aka something to keep the kids engaged at home while so many other activities are still on hold.  While such an activity…