Transmission electron microscopy laboratory

Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec
What the facility does

Study of the pathogeny of infectious diseases in animals

Area(s) of Expertise

The transmission electron microscopy laboratory provides services for virus identification and visualization of pathogenic microorganisms primarily affecting animals as well as some that are zoonotic, that is, that can also affect humans. In addition, our laboratory specializes in the study of co-infections and interactions that may exist between pathogens themselves (pathogen-pathogen interactions, for example, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae) and the effects that pathogens may have on the infected animal. Depending on the pathogen-pathogen interactions we identify, some interactions significantly increase the virulence of a pathogen (synergistic effect), while other interactions significantly decrease the virulence of a given pathogen (antagonistic effect). The transmission electron microscopy lab is also used to identify the structures that make up the surface of pathogenic bacteria in animals such as Streptococcus suis and Clostridium perfringens and pathogenic viruses in animals such as PRRSV and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).

Research Services

Electron microscopy is a technique used to visualize very small objects like viruses or cell compartments. An electron beam is transmitted through a very thin sample, which is deposited on a grid. The interactions between the electrons and the sample generate the image, the resolution of which can reach 0.08 nanometres.

Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Name of equipment in use

Description of function

Transmission electron microscope (Hitachi)

Visualization of infectious nanoparticles (viruses, bacteria) and synthesis

  • NSERC
  • FRQNT
  • Genome Alberta
  • Génome Québec
  • the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture/Fisheries and Food
  • the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec (Quebec hog farming federation)