Dr. Julianne Kus
Public Health Ontario Laboratory
"Working as a Clinical Microbiologist at PHO allows me to unite my interests and skills in microbiology, infectious diseases, new technologies and research and to directly apply them to the health protection and promotion of Ontarians. This type of work is endlessly fascinating and rewarding and I am happy to be part of a large collaborative team that uses science, technology, research and education to improve the knowledge and well-being of our communities."
Areas of Expertise
- molecular microbiology
- antimicrobial resistance mechanisms
- virulence mechanisms
Academic Degrees and Accreditations
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
- Master of Science, University of Toronto
- Fellow, Canadian College of Microbiologists (FCCM)
PHO Research Interests
- Use of Next Generation Sequencing in clinical mycology and bacteriology.
- Molecular methods for microorganism detection and identification, with a focus on bacteria and fungi.
- Application of technology, such as MALDI-ToF Mass Spectrometry, to the clinical microbiology lab for microorganism identification and detection of biomarkers associated with antimicrobial resistance, and strain typing.
- Study of antifungal drug resistance trends, mechanisms of action and detection methods amongst clinical isolates of yeasts and molds.
- Examination of population-level trends of invasive fungal infections.
PHO Research Activities
- Use of Next Generation Sequencing for the examination of the mycobiome in patients at high risk of invasive aspergillosis, compared to those with community acquired fungal respiratory infections.
- Study of the use of molecular methods for the identification of clinically relevant bacteria and fungi in culture-negative specimens.
- Description of novel and emerging species of bacteria and fungi
- Exploring typing methods for clinical isolates of fungi.
- Investigating mechanisms of antifungal resistance in clinical isolates of yeast.
- Investigating the use of specific molecular targets for DNA sequence-based bacterial and fungal identification.
- McTaggart LM, Chen Y, Pooplalrajah R, Kus JV. Incubation time and culture media impact success of identification of Nocardia spp. by MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2018 [Epub ahead of print].
- Brown EM, McTaggart LR, Dunn D, Pszczolko E, Tsui KG, Morris SK, Stephens D, Kus JV, Richardson SE. Epidemiology and geographic distribution of blastomycosis, histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis in Ontario, Canada, 1990-2015. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018;24(7):1257-66.
- Neemuchwala A, Soares D, Ravirajan V, Marchand-Austin A, Kus JV, Patel S. In vitro susceptibility patterns of non-diptheria Corynebacterium in Ontario, 2011-2016. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018;62(4). pii: e01776-17.
- Patel S, Marchand-Austin A, Siebert H, Siddiqi F, Soares D, Kus JV. Susceptibility profiles of nutritionally variant streptococci (NVS) recovered from invasive cases in Ontario, Canada. JAMMIl. 2017;2(2).
- Gitman MR, McTaggart L, Spinato J, Poopalarajah R, Lister E, Husain S, Kus JV. Antifungal susceptibility testing of Aspergillus spp. by using a composite correlation index (CCI)-based matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry method appears to not offer benefit over traditional broth microdilution testing. J Clin Microbiol. 2017;55(7):2030-4.