RCMS Research Chair in Meat Safety

Nicolas Nantel-Fortier

Characterization of enteric viruses and their influence in piglet diarrhea

My thesis subject is the characterization of enteric viruses and their role in diarrhea in piglets. These diarrheas, caused by viruses, bacteria or both, have a major impact in pig production due to treatment costs and economic losses caused by the piglet mortality. It is already quite a hassle but we also suspect some of these viruses to transmit to humans, including through the consumption of meat, and make them sick. We also ask ourselves whether alliances with bacteria strengthen their pathogenicity or otherwise could limit their impact. By studying the viral populations in the piglets’ intestines and the evolution of their compositions at various stages of production, in the presence or absence of enteric diseases, hopefully I will determine the conditions that could contribute to improve the health of pigs and decrease the consumer’s risk.
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PhD in veterinary science,
animal health and food safety

Supervisor: Julie Brassard

Co-supervisors: Ann Letellier and Yvan L’Homme

Academic Background : Bachelor's degree in pharmacology

master in veterinary science, fast-tracking to a doctorate



  • 2015 : Bourse de passage direct de la maîtrise au doctorat de la Faculté des études supérieures de l’Université de Montréal
  • 2014 : Bourse de congrès du Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Porcine et Avicole (CRIPA) de l’Université de Montréal pour la participation au congrès de l’IUMS 2014 à Montréal

Scientific publications:

Scientific articles

  1. Nantel-Fortier N., A. Letellier, V. Lachapelle, P. Fravalo, Y. L’Homme.  Detection and phylogenetic analysis of the Hepatitis E virus in a Canadian swine production network. Food and Environmental Virology. 2016 Dec;8(4):296-304.

Published abstracts (conference proceedings)

  1. Nantel-Fortier, N., V. Lachapelle, Y. L’Homme, A. Letellier, P. Fravalo, J. Brassard. Phylogenetic analysis of Hepatitis E virus and contamination sources in swine production network. International Union of Microbiology Societies, Montréal, Québec, Canada. 31 juillet 2014.


  1. Nantel-Fortier, N., A. Letellier, V. Lachapelle, Y. L’Homme, A. Letellier, J. Brassard. First report of kobuvirus detection in swine in the province of Quebec. Safepork 2015, Porto, Portugal. 10 septembre 2015.
  2. Lachapelle, V., A. Letellier, N. Nantel-Fortier, P. Hélie, J. Arsenault, J. Brassard, Y. L’Homme.  Characterisation of the clinical importance of porcine group C rotavirus in a swine nursery production network in Quebec. Safepork 2015, Porto, Portugal. 10 septembre 2015.
  3. Letellier, A., N. Nantel-Fortier, C. Surprenant, P. Buholzer, J. Brassard, S. Quessy. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies and HEV RNA detection in swine herds in Quebec, Canada. Safepork 2015, Porto, Portugal. 8 septembre 2015.