Dr. Frances Jamieson

Medical Microbiologist
Public Health Ontario Laboratory

Photo of Dr. Fran Jamieson

"It is important for me to be part of PHO because it’s an organization that offers an environment that is rich in opportunity for collaboration, innovation and creativity."

Areas of Expertise

  • tuberculosis 
  • non-tuberculous mycobacteria
  • molecular epidemiology and public health application of next generation sequencing 
  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Haemophilus influenzae


Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto

Assistant Scientific Staff, Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai Hospital

Graduate Faculty, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Academic Degrees and Accreditations

  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Fellow, The Royal College of Physicians of Canada, Division of Medicine, Medical Microbiology
  • General License, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), Medical Council of Canada
  • License, National Board of Medical Examiners, United States

PHO Research Interests

  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Laboratory diagnosis, molecular epidemiology and whole genome analysis, identification of virulence determinants and molecular basis for drug resistance, and tools for public health.
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM): Laboratory diagnosis and detection of NTM, epidemiology of NTM in Ontario and identification of new species of NTM, molecular epidemiology, whole genome analysis, identification of virulence determinants and molecular basis for drug resistance, and tools for public health.
  • Bordetella pertussis: Molecular epidemiology (including use of whole genome analysis) to identify changes/evolution in circulating strains in Ontario, including virulence factors
  • N. meningitidis: Epidemiology, antibiotic susceptibilities, molecular typing, determination of new methods for serogrouping and phylogeny (whole genome sequencing)
  • Examining the contribution of public health laboratories in the development and implementation of public health policies
  • Advancing the public health laboratories ability to provide diagnostic services and applied research to develop better and more efficient assays, and new techniques that will help in case and outbreak management.
  • Evaluation of new laboratory developed or commercial assays for the direct detection of tuberculosis and drug resistance (in particular, isoniazid and rifampin) from specimens for implementation and improvement of current molecular testing algorithm.

PHO Research Activities

  • Investigate the use of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for molecular typing of tuberculosis isolates and identification of potential TB transmission.  Currently, standard PCR-based TB genotyping information is provided province-wide in a usable and user-friendly format to public health TB control using a web-based, Geographic Information System (GIS), known as Ontario Universal Typing – Tuberculosis (OUT-TB).  The OUT_TB Web platform will then be reviewed to identify the optimal means of providing WGS information to assist in TB case investigation and management
  • Whole genome sequence analysis of M. tuberculosis isolates (Manila lineage) to identify markers for improved genotyping analysis for case and cluster investigations.
  • Application of whole genome sequencing to uncover transmission dynamics and quantify transmission of smear negative TB disease in a high-risk community (Nunavut).
  • Investigating the development and evaluation of improved diagnostic assays for the detection of drug resistance in tuberculosis, and the utilization of whole genome sequencing for the detection of drug resistance.
  • Investigating the epidemiology of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria in Ontario using comparative genomics and other tools, on local clinical and environmental strains, and the geospatial environmental relationship with NTM and drinking water sources and attribution risk.
  • Analysing health databases from BC, Ontario and Quebec, the three largest migrant-receiving provinces to develop evidence to help guide TB screening and preventative therapy in the foreign-born population in Canada.  This research will develop a TB risk calculator for an individual’s risk of active TB, and will determine the impact of screening in different populations including understanding the most cost-effective screening approaches.
  • Investigating the prevalence of pertactin-deficient Bordetella pertussis isolates in Ontario. Pertactin is a component of the current pertussis vaccine, and this research will be contribute to the investigation of the potential impact of pertactin-deficient strains in vaccine effectiveness.

Selected Publications

  1. Guthrie JL, Alexander DC, Marchand-Austin A, Lam K, Whelan M, Lee B, Furness C, Rea E, Stuart R, Lechner J, Varia M, McLean J, Jamieson FBTechnology and tuberculosis control: the OUT-TB Web experience. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017;24(e1):e136-42.
  2. Marchand-Austin A, Tsang RSW, Guthrie JL, Ma JH, Lim GH, Crowcroft NS, Deeks SL, Farrell DJ, Jamieson FBShort-read whole genome sequencing for laboratory-based surveillance of Bordetella pertussis.  J Clin Microbiol. 2017;55(5):1446-53.
  3. Jamieson F, Warshauer DM, Bernardo J, Desmond E, Gaynor A, Jost K,et al; APHL Tuberculosis Subcommittee. Issues in Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) drug susceptibility testing: pyrazinamide (PZA). Silver Spring, MD: Association of Public Health Laboratories; 2016.
  4. Mehaffy C, Guthrie JL, Alexander DC, Stuart R, Rea E, Jamieson FB. Marked microevolution of a unique Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain in 17 years of ongoing transmission in a high risk population. PLoS One. 2014;9(11):e112928.
  5. Jamieson FB, Teatero S, Guthrie JL, Neemuchwala A, Fittipaldi N, Mehaffy C. Whole-genome sequencing of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Manila sublineage results in less clustering and better resolution than mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) typing and spoligotyping. J Clin Microbiol. 2014;52(10):3795-8. Erratum in: J Clin Microbiol. 2015;53(2):754.

View more publications by Dr. Frances Jamieson on PubMed.gov

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Updated 22 Oct 2019