Animal infectious diseases (AID) cause very large but usually unquantified economic losses in countries worldwide, including Canada. Animal models play an essential role in fundamental research for the understanding of AID pathogenesis, disease progression, discovery of novel diagnostic biomarkers, as well as in the development of vaccine prototypes and therapeutic agents. However, classical approaches present ethical, scientific and economical limitations. In this context, we aim to create a unique in-its-class imaging platform for the non-invasive, in vivo visualization of biological and molecular processes in intact organisms over time, in order to create a holistic picture of infectious diseases.
This platform will allow to: understand pathogens’ infection dynamics in-vivo; discover and validate novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of infectious diseases; develop novel treatments against antimicrobial-resistant pathogens; and evaluate novel vaccine prototypes in unique models. This infrastructure will greatly impact Canadians by: leading to better trained and more competitive high qualified personnel (including students, technicians, etc.) and providing the Canadian animal industry, veterinarians, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, among others, with novel strategies for AID prevention and management, novel therapies and innovative vaccines, which will help the country remain competitive against foreign industries and further foster durable growth of Canadian productions.