Researcher Profiles

Dr. Scott Weese

Dr. Weese's University of Guelph profile

Currently undertaking the most comprehensive veterinary research in the world on MRSA in horses, with the objective being to better understand the disease and hence to educate horse owners to limit transmission.

Why is this important?

"It is important to prevent infection and the transmission of infectious disease within the horse population and between horses and humans. Reducing the incidence of infections will reduce the risk of secondary infection and minimise the number of horses and humans at risk. Infectious disease can both limit athletic and reproductive potential of a horse, and place additional demands on facility management both in time and money."

YouTube logo Dr. Weese discusses his research in our special feature
- Bacterial population of the gut
- Biosecurity for Horse Farms

Horse Background: Previously involved in the training of Standardbreds in Ontario.

Research Related Goals:

  • To study the movement of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) between horses and humans, and obtain better diagnostic tests and better ways to treat and control the disease.
  • To understand the role of Clostridium difficile, an anaerobic spore-forming bacterium in the different types of intestinal diseases, as well as transmission modes between horses and people.
  • To develop optimal infection control practises in veterinary facilities and on farms, and to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

MRSA is a type of bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin, making MRSA infections difficult to treat. In humans, MRSA infection increases the chances of serious illness and death. Outbreaks of the infection can occur in a hospital, with the bacterium transmitted between patients and staff.

In horses, MRSA infections have been found worldwide, and Dr. Weese's laboratory is working with veterinarians and microbiologists to understand and control this emerging pathogen. Transmission of the bacterium is shown to occur from direct contact between infected animals and people, but few become ill. Many are MRSA carriers and have the potential to infect others with weaker immune systems.

To view a presentation on control of infections in a veterinary hospital click here.

Degrees: DVM, DVSc DipACVIM

Position: Professor, Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College

Combination of teaching, research, and clinical duties, and infection control in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Area of Specialty:
Infectious disease

Research Laboratory: Scott Weese's laboratory is dedicated to infectious and zoonotic diseases, multi-drug resistant pathogens, and interspecies transmission of pathogens.

Other Research Interest: Glucosamine Substances
Glucosamine is commonly used for the prevention and treatment of joint disease in horses, however, there is no quality control in the market today. "A wide range of qualities are found with different products and these can vary from what is stated on the label", says Dr. Weese. "We are currently looking at the amount of glucosamine present in 20 different oral products." Graduate student Stacey Oke is also involved with the project.

- Scarlett Magda

Selected Publications:

1. Search PubMed

2. Rodriguez A, Staempfli HR, Stalker M, Duffield T, Weese JS. Natural and experimental infection of neonatal calves with Clostridium difficile. Vet Microbiol 2007; ePub ahead of print.

3. Anderson MEC, Weese JS. Evaluation of a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for rapid identification of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus direction from nasal swabs in horses. Vet Microbiol 2007;122: 185-189.

4. Keel MK, Brazier JS, Post KW, Weese JS, Songer JG. Prevalence of PCR ribotypes among Clostridium difficile isolates from pigs, calves and other species. J Clin Microbiol 2007; ePub ahead of print.

5. Rho G-J, Coppola, G, Sosnowski J, Kasimanickam R, Johnson W,Semple E, Mastromonaco GF, Betts DH, Koch TG, Weese JS, Hewson J, Hayes MA, Kenney DG, Basrur PK, King WA. Use of somatic cel nuclear transfer to study meiosis in female cattle carrying a sex-dependent fertility-impairing X-chromosome abnormality. Cloning Stem Cells 2007;9:118-129.

6. Bertelsen MF, Weese JS. Fatal clostridial enterotoxemia (Clostridium glycolicum) in an ornate Nile Monitor. J Zoo Wildl Med 2006; 37:53-54.

7. LG Arroyo, HR Staempfli, JS Weese. Molecular analysis of Clostridium difficile isolates recovered from horses with diarrhea. Vet Microbiol 2006; 120:179-183.

8. Rho GJ, Coppola G, Sosnowski J, Kasimanickam R, Johnson WH, Semple E, Mastromonaco GF, Betts DH, Koch TG, Weese S, Hewson J, Hayes MA, Kenney DG, Basrur PK, King WA. Use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to study meiosis in female cattle carrying a sex-dependent fertility-impairing X-chromosome abnormality. Cloning Stem Cells. 2007 Spring;9(1):118-29. 6 citations.

9. M Vengust, MEC Anderson, J Rousseau, JS Weese. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcal colonization in clinically normal dogs and horses in the community. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2006;43:602-6.

10. Rodriguez-Palacios, HR Staempfli, T Duffield, A Peregrine, LA Trotz-Williams, LG Arroyo, JS Weese, J Brazier. Clostridium difficile PCR ribotypes in calves, Canada. Emerg Infect Dis 2006; 12:1730-1736.

11. Hanselman, SA Kruth, J Rousseau, DE Low, BM Willey, A McGeer, JS Weese. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization in veterinary personnel. Emerg Infect Dis 2006;12:1933-1938.

12. CB Vitale, TL Gross, JS Weese. Infection of a cat and concurrent colonization of its owner with the USA300 clone of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Emerg Infect Dis: in press.

13. Barton, M Hawkes, D Moore, J Conly, L Nicolle, U Allen, N Boyd, J Embree, L Van Horne, N Le Saux, S Richardson, A Moore, D Tran, V Waters, M Vearncombe, K Katz, JS Weese, J Embil, M Ofner-Agostini, EL Ford-Jones. Guidelines for the prevention and management of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a perspective for Canadian health care practitioners. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 2006; in press.