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Research

We are an academic laboratory. Our mandate includes:

  • A high quality teaching program (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • Productive research initiatives

Major research interests include:

  • Understanding the epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant organisms in hospitals
    • We are nationally and internationally renowned for our leadership in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of antibiotic resistant organisms including MRSA and other healthcare-acquired infections.
  • Investigations of hospital-acquired infections and effective infection control practices in hospitals and long-term care facilities
  • Development and application of molecular microbiology techniques (PCR-based assays) for the rapid and accurate diagnosis and management of infectious diseases
    • Our laboratory has developed and validated newer molecular diagnostic tests for antibiotic-resistant organisms including: 
      • MRSA
      • VRE
      • invasive group A Streptococcus (‘flesh-eating' disease)
      • bacterial meningitis
      • influenza
      • other respiratory infections

Publications

  • W Brown K, Valenta K, Fisman D, Simor AE, Daneman N. Hospital ward antibiotic prescribing and the risks of Clostridium difficile infection. JAMA Intern Med 2015; 175: 626-33.
  • Lee C, Walker SAN, Daneman N, Elligsen M, Palmay L, Coburn B, Simor AE. Point-prevalence survey of antimicrobial utilization in a Canadian tertiary-care teaching hospital. J Epidemiol Global Health 2015; 143-50.
  • Boyd D, Taylor G, Fuller J, Bryce E, Gravel D, Katz K, Kibsey P, Mataseje L, Roscoe D, Simor AE, Turgeon N, Mulvey M. Complete sequence of four multidrug-resistant MOBQ1 plasmids harbouring bla GES-5 isolated from Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens persisting in a hospital in Canada. Microb Drug Resist 2015; 21: 253-60.
  • Williams V, Simor AE, Kiss A, McGeer A, Hirji A, Larios O, Moore C, Weiss K. Is the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant organisms changing in Canadian hospitals? Comparison of point-prevalence survey results in 2010 and 2012. Clin Microbol Infect 2015; 21:553-9.
  • Chen Y, Porter V, Mubareka S, Kotowich L, Simor AE. Rapid identification of bacteria directly from positive blood cultures by use of a serum separator tube, smudge plate preparation, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. J Clin Microbiol 2015; 53:3349-52.
  • Leis JA, Corpus C, Catt B, Wong B, Callery S, Simor AE, Vearncombe M. Indwelling urinary catheter surveillance using a Task-oriented nurse acuity system. Am J Infect Control 2015; 43:1112-3.
  • Kwee F, Walker SAN, Elligsen M, Palmay L, Simor AE, Daneman N. Outcomes in documented Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteremia treated with intermittent IV Infusion of ceftazidime, meropenem, or piperacillin-tazobactam: A retrospective study. Can J Hosp Pharm 2015; 68: 386-94.
  • Kong LY, Jean A, Wong H, Semret M, Frenette C, Simor AE, Fenn S, Loo VG. Bacteremia caused by a mecA-positive oxacillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strain with inducible resistance. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2015; 83:377-8.
  • Chakra A, McGeer A, Labbé AC, Simor AE, Gold WL, Muller MP, Powis J, Katz K, Pépin J, Cadarette SM, Valiquette L. Factors associated with complications of Clostridium difficile infection in a multicenter prospective cohort. Clin Infect Dis 2015; 61: 1781-8.
  • Wu LDY, Walker SAN, Elligsen M, Palmay L, Simor AE, Daneman N. Antibiotic use and need for antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care. Can J Hosp Pharm 2015; 68: 445-9.
  • Maslikowska JA, Walker SAN, Elligsen M, Mittmann N, Palmay L, Daneman N, Simor AE. Impact of infection with extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli or Klebsiella species on outcome and hospitalization costs. J Hosp Infect 2016; 92:33-41.
  • Wanis M, Walker SAN, Daneman N, Elligsen M, Palmay L, Simor AE, Cartotto R. Impact of hospital length of stay on the distribution of Gram-negative bacteria, and likelihood of isolating a resistant organism in a Canadian burn center. Burns 2016; pii: SO305-4179(15)00209-0.doi:10.1016 (Epub ahead of print)
  • S. Mubareka, A. Granados, U. Naik, I. Darwish, T. Cutts, G. Astrakianakis, J. Gubbay, A. Peci, J. Scott. (2015). Influenza virus emitted by naturally-infected hosts in a healthcare setting. Journal of Clinical Virology.
  • Hatchette TF, Drews SJ, Grudeski E, Booth T, Martineau C, Dust K, Garceau R, Gubbay J, Karnauchow T, Krajden M, Levett PN, Mazzulli T, McDonald RR, McNabb A, Mubareka S, Needle R, Petrich A, Richardson S, Rutherford C, Smieja M, Tellier R, Tipples G, LeBlanc JJ.(2015). Detection of enterovirus D68 in Canadian laboratories. J Clin Micro. 53(5): 1748-51.

Recent Abstracts presented at national and international scientific meetings:

  • Wang X, Walker SAN, Elligsen M, Palmay L, Daneman N, Simor AE, Leis JA. Trends of antibiotic use in the inpatient acute care setting: Is there evidence of seasonality? 46th Annual Professional Practice Conference, Toronto, ON, Feb 1-3, 2015 (P3)
  • Kwee F, Walker SAN, Elligsen M, Palmay L, Simor AE, Daneman N. Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteremia treated with intermittent infusion of intravenous ceftazidime, meropenem, or piperacillin/tazobactam. 46th Annual Professional Practice Conference, Toronto, ON, Feb 1-3, 2015 (P5)
  • Masilikowska J, Walker SAN, Elligsen M, Mittman N, Palmay L, Daneman N, Simor AE. Impact of infection with extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) – producing E. coli or Klebsiella species on outcome and costs. 46th Annual Professional Practice Conference, Toronto, ON, Feb 1-3, 2015 (P6)
  • Wanis M, Walker SAN, Daneman N, Elligsen M, Palmay L, Simor AE, Cartotto R. Impact of length of stay on the distribution of Gram-negative organisms in a Canadian burn centre. 46th Annual Professional Practice Conference, Toronto, ON, Feb 1-3, 2015 (P22)
  • Corpus C, Catt B, Callery S, Wong B, Simor AE, Vearncombe M, Leis J. Nursing advanced directive to remove urinary catheters among general internal medicine patients: a controlled before-after study. Annual AMMI Canada-CACMID Conference, Charlottetown, PEI, April 16-18, 2015. (Abstr. E01)
  • Chen Y, Porter V, Mubareka S, Kotowich L, Simor AE. Rapid identification of bacteria in positive blood cultures using smudge plate preparation and MALDI-TOF MS system. Annual AMMI Canada-CACMID Conference, Charlottetown, PEI, April 16-18, 2015. (Abstr. SP24)
  • Golding G, Du T, Hizon R, Katz K, McGeer A, Simor AE, Taylor G, Frenette C, Evans G, Wong A, Gravel D, Mulvey M. Molecular and epidemiological characterization of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infections, Canada, 2007-2013. 5th International Clostridium difficile Symposium, Bled, Slovenia, May 19-21, 2015.
  • Kosowon T, Golding G, Du T, Hizon R, Katz K, McGeer A, Moore D, Simor AE, Taylor G, Frenette C, Evans G, Wong A, Gravel D, Mulvey M. Emergence and molecular characterization of NAP4 Clostridium difficile healthcare-associated infections in Canada. Annual Meeting, Canadian Society of Microbiology, Regina, SK, June 15-18, 2015.
  • Bhatia D, Gubbay J, Karnauchow T, Ko D, McGeer A, Richardson S, Simor AE, Smieja M, Kwong J. Influenza vaccine effectiveness in older adults with cardiovascular disease. Can Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics Conference, Mississauga ON, June 1-4, 2015.
  • Mataseje LF, Bryce E, Roscoe D, Boyd D, Katz K, Kibsey P, Simor AE, Taylor G, Langley J, Gravel D, Mulvey M. Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacilli in Canada: results from the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, 2010-2014. Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, San Diego CA, Sept 17-21, 2015 (Abstr. C179).
  • Kandel C, Daneman N, Demczuk W, Gold W, Green K, Rudnick W, Schwartz B, Simor AE, Valiquette L, McGeer A. Invasive group A streptococcal infections in Ontario, Canada: 1992-2013. 2015 ID Week, San Diego CA, Oct 7-10, 2015 (Abstr. 314).
  • Chakra CN, McGeer A, Labbé A-C, Simor AE, Gold W, Muller M, Powis J, Katz K, Pépin J, Valiquette L. Independent risk factors for recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection: Canadian multicenter prospective cohort. 2015 ID Week, San Diego CA, Oct 7-10, 2015. (Abstr. 917)
  • Ng W, Willey B, Faheem A,McGeer A, Muller M, Porter V, Simor AE, Katz K. Colonization patterns of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus in households where methicillin-resistant S. aureus is present. 2015 ID Week, San Diego CA, Oct 7-10, 2015. (Abstr. 110)
  • Chan T, Hota S, Katz K, Muller M, Powis J, Ricciuto D, Sarabia A, Simor AE, Vearncombe M, McGeer A. Re-evaluation of admission screening protocols for the control of transmission of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. 2015 ID Week, San Diego CA, Oct. 7-10, 2015 (Abstr. 1808)
  • Volling C, McGeer A, Coleman B, Katz K, Simor AE, Muller M, Powis J, McElhaney J. Immunogenicity and reactogenicity of high versus standard dose trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine on healthcare workers. 2015 ID Week, San Diego CA, Oct 7-10, 2015 (Abstr. 1911)
  • Daniel Verreault, Caroline Duchaine, Solange Lévesques, Samira Mubareka. (2015). A novel bioaerosol sampler for the preservation of viral infectivity. American Association for Aerosol Research, Minneapolis, United States, 2015-10-13.
  • S. Mubareka, A. Granados, U. Naik, T. Cutts, J. Scott, J. Gubbay. (2015). Recovery of influenza virus RNA from air emitted by patientswith laboratory-confirmed infection. XVII International Symposium on Respiratory Viral Infections, , 2015-02-06

Recent/current research grants

Title: Risk factors for influenza infection in hospital-based healthcare workers.

  • Source: Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Amount: $1.17 M (2011-2014)
  • Co-investigator: A Simor

Title: Analysis of investigations, treatment, and outcomes associated with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia in Toronto.

  • Source: Physicians Services Incorporated (PSI) Foundation
  • Amount: $19,500.00 (2011)
  • Principal Investigator: A Simor and resident supervisor for resident’s award (D. Ricciutto)

Title: The epidemiology of the emergence of carbapenemase resistance in Enterobacteriaceae in southern

  • Source: Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Amount: $291,738.00 (2014-2015)
  • Co-investigator: A Simor

Title: Reducing hospital and long-term care facility C. difficile infection rates by understanding the sources of infection, measuring environmental burden, and quantifying inter-institutional patient movement.

  • Source: Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Amount: $390,000 (2015-2017)
  • Co-investigator: A Simor

Title: Bioaerosol sampling from Triage units for Ebola in Sierra Leone, Grant

  • Sources: Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease (CREOD); University of Toronto/St. Michael's Hospital; ON Ministry of Labour-supported pilot projects
  • Amount: $ 8,019 (2014/9 - 2015/8)
  • Principal Applicant: S Mubareka

Title: Characterization and mitigation of experimental and natural viral bioaerosols, Grant

  • Sources: NSERC/CIHR Collaborative Health Research Projects
  • Amount: $506,064 (2015/4 - 2018/3)
  • Principal Applicant: S Mubareka