Daniel Martineau

Associate Professor (directory)


  • DVM (1976), M.Sc. (Montréal, 1988), Ph.D. (Cornell, 1992)
  • Residency in veterinary pathology: Université de Montréal (1983-1986), Cornell University ( 1986-1987)
  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists (1987)

Fields of research 

  • Beluga whales: Cancer, diseases, mortality and effects of pollution on beluga whales from the St. Lawrence River (Canada).
  • Fish tumors: a fish (walleye) retrovirus causes a skin tumor which seasonally regresses. Lake Whitefish, more contaminated by pollutants than sympatric fish species, are affected by a high prevalence of liver cancer.
  • Diagnostic of wildlife diseases (mammals, birds, fish, amphibians; see CCWHC, CQSAS)

Publications and conferences

  1. Les nouveaux virus ou la revanche de l'ARN (conference on video) - CCDMD
  2. Zhang, Z., E. Kim, D. Martineau. 1999. Functional characterization of a piscine retroviral promoter. J. Gen .Virol. 80: 3065.
  3. Mikaelian, I., P. Hélie, R. Patenaude, D. Martineau.  1999. Tumors in wild adult racoons from a surburban area. Can. Vet. J. 27 :1153-1158.
  4. Lavoie, M., I. Mikaelian, M. Sterner, A. Villeneuve, G. Fitzgerald, J.D. McLaughlin, S. Lair, D. Martineau.  1999. Respiratory nematodiases in raptors from Quebec.  J. Wild. Dis. 35(2): 375-380.
  5. Zhang, Z. and D. Martineau. 1999. Walleye dermal sarcoma virus : OrfA N-terminal end inhibits the activity of a reporter gene directed by eukaryotic promoters and has a negative effect on the growth of fish and mammalian cells.  J. Virol. 73 : 8884-8889.
  6. Martineau, D.  1999.  Maladies virales chez les mammifères marins. Statut des bélugas du Saint-Laurent.  Médecin Vétérinaire du Québec 29 : 45-51. Mikaelian, I., M.-P. Tremblay, C. Montpetit, S.V.  Tessaro, H.J. Cho, C. House, L. Measures, D. Martineau.  1999. Seroprevalence of selected viral infections in beluga whales (D. leucas) in beluga whales from the Saint Lawrence Estuary. Vet. Rec. 144(2):50-1.
  7. Mikaelian, I., C.W. Qualls, S. De Guise, M.W. Whaley, D. Martineau. 1999. Bone fluoride concentrations in beluga whales (D. leucas) from Canada. J.Wild.Dis. 35(2): 356-360.
  8. De Guise, S.,  D. Martineau, P. Béland, M. Fournier.  1998. Effects of in vitro exposure of beluga whale leucocytes to selected organochlorines. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 55(7) : 479-493.
  9. Chouinard, L., D. Martineau, C. Forget, C. Girard.  1998. Use of polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry for detection of canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) in paraffin-embedded liver section of dogs with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis.  J. Vet. Diagn. Investig. 10:320-325.
  10. Mikaelian I., B. Martineau-Doizé, D. Martineau.  1998. Giant cell  osteosarcoma in a female ranch mink (Mustela vison).  J. Vet. Diagn. Investig.  10(3):301-302
  11. Mikaelian, I., Y. De Lafontaine, C. Ménard, P. Tellier, J.C. Harshbarger, D. Martineau.  1998. Neoplastic and non-neoplastic hepatic changes in the lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) from the St Lawrence River, Québec, Canada.  Environ. Health Perspect. 106: 179-182.
  12. Mikaelian, I., R. Patenaude, C. Girard, D. Martineau.  1998. Metastatic cholangiocellular carcinoma and renal adenocarcinoma in a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).  Av. Pathol. 27:321-325.
  13. Lair S., S. De Guise, D. Martineau.  1998. Uterine adenocarcinoma in a beluga whale from the St. Lawrence Estuary.  J. Wild. Dis. 34(2): 373-376.
  14. De Guise, S., J. Bernier, D. Martineau, P. Béland, M. Fournier.  1997. Phenotyping of beluga whale blood lymphocytes using monoclonal antibodies.  Developmental and Comparative Immunology. 21: 425-433.
  15. De Guise S., P.S. Ross, A.D.M.E. Osterhaus, D. Martineau, P. Béland, M. Fournier.  1997. Immune functions in beluga whales (D.  leucas). Evaluation of natural killer (NK) cell  activity.  Vet. Immunol. Immunopath. 58:345-354.
  16. Mikaelian, I., G. Fitzgerald, D. Martineau.  1997.  Causes de mort chez les oiseaux de proie  Méd. Vét. Qué. 27: 94-102.
  17. Mikaelian, I., J.P. Dubey, D. Martineau.  1997.  Severe Toxoplasmic hepatitis in a barred owl from Quebec, Canada.  Avian Diseases 41: 738-740.
  18. Mikaelian, I., R. Higgins, M. Lequient, M. Major, F. Lefebvre, D. Martineau. 1997.  Leptospirosis in raccoons in Quebec - 2 cases reports and seroprevalence in a recreational area.  Can. Vet. J. 38: 440-442.
  19. Mikaelian, I., D. Daigneault, M.C. Duval, D. Martineau.  1997.  Salmonella infection in wild birds from Quebec.  Can. Vet. J. 38 (6): 385.
  20. Lair, S., P. Béland, D. Martineau.  1997. Adrenal hyperplastic and degenerative changes in beluga whales.  J. Wild. Dis. 33(3):430-437.
  21. Lair, S., Y. Mailhot, R. Higgins, D. Bélanger, L. Berthiaume, Y. Delafontaine, D. Martineau.  1997. Jaw ulcers in Atlantic Tomcod (Microgadus Tomcod (Walbaum)) from the St. Lawrence River.  J. Fish Dis. 20:11-17.
  22. Deguise, S., J. Bernier, M.M.Dufresne, D. Martineau, P. Béland, M. Fournier.  1996. Immune functions in beluga whales (D. leucas): evaluation of mitogen-induced blastic transformation of lymphocytes from peripheral blood, spleen and thymus. Vet. Immunol. & Immunopath. 50(1-2):117-126.
  23. Leighton, F.A., G.A. Wobeser, I.K. Barker, P.-Y. Daoust, D. Martineau. 1996.  The Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre and Surveillance of Wild Animal Diseases in Canada.  Can. Vet. J. 38: 279-284.
  24. Zhang, Z., D. Du Tremblay, B.F. Lang, D. Martineau.  1996. Phylogenetic and epidemiologic analysis of the walleye dermal sarcoma virus. Virology 225: 406-412.
  25. De Guise, S., J. Bernier, D. Martineau, P. Béland, M. Fournier.  1996.  Effects of in vitro exposure of beluga whale splenocytes and thymocytes to heavy metals. Environ. Toxicol. & Chem. 15(8):1357-1364.
  26. Mikaelian, I., D. Martineau, G. Fitzgerald., R. Higgins.  1996. Cutaneous avian pox in a house sparrow. Can. Vet. J. 37(7):434.
  27. Zhang Z., D. Martineau.  1996. Single-tube heminested PCR coupled with touchdown PCR for the analysis of the walleye dermal sarcoma virus env gene.  J. Virol. Methods 60 (1):29-37.
  28. Lair, S., B. Chapais, R. Higgins, R. Mirkovic, D. Martineau.  1996. Myeloencephalitis associated with a viridans group Streptococcus in a colony of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata).  Vet. Pathol. 33:  99-103.
  29. Measures, L.,  D. Martineau, P. Béland, S. De Guise. 1995. Helminths of an endangered population of belugas, D. leucas, in the St. Lawrence estuary, Canada.  Can. J. Zool. 73: 1402-1409.
  30. De Guise, S., D. Flipo, J.R. Boehm, D. Martineau, P. Béland, M. Fournier. 1995. Immune functions in beluga whales (D. leucas). 1- Evaluation of phagocytosis and respiratory burst with peripheral blood leukocytes using flow cytometry.  Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol.  47: 351-362.
  31. Holzschu, D. , D. Martineau, S.K. Fodor, V.M. Vogt, P.R. Bowser, J.W. Casey.  1995. Nucleotide sequence and protein analysis of a complex piscine retrovirus, Walleye Dermal Sarcoma Virus.  J. Virol. 69:5320-5331.
  32. Béland,  S. De Guise,  D. Martineau.  1995. Pollution: menaces sur le beluga du Saint-Laurent.  Cahiers d'éthologie fondamentale, animale et humaine 14: 323-334.
  33. Martineau, D., S. Lair, S. De Guise, P. Béland.  1995. Intestinal adenocarcinomas in two beluga whales (D. leucas) from the St.Lawrence Estuary, Quebec, Canada. Can. Vet. J. 36:563-565.
  34. De Guise, S., D. Martineau, P. Béland, M. Fournier.  1995. Possible mechanisms of action of environmental contaminants on St. Lawrence beluga whales (D. leucas). Environ. Health Perspect. 103:73-77.
  35. De Guise, S., S. Lair, M. Fournier, D. Martineau. Adrenal lesions in St. Lawrence beluga whales and their possible relation to organohalogens.  1994. Paper 339. Amer. Zool. 34(5): 73A.
  36. Martineau, D., S. De Guise, M. Fournier, L. R. Shugart.  1994. Pathology and Toxicology  of St. Lawrence beluga whales, Quebec, Canada: Past, Present and Future.  Sci. Tot. Environ. 154: 201-215.
  37. Martineau, D. and S. Lair.  1994. La pathologie de la faune à la Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire (Wildlife pathology at the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire).  Le Médecin Vétérinaire du Québec. Special issue on environment. 19-23.
  38. Béland, P., S. De Guise, C. Girard, A. Lagacé, D. Martineau, R. Michaud, D.C.G Muir, R.J. Norstrom, É. Pelletier, R. Sankar, L.R. Shugart.  1993. Toxic compounds  and reproductive effects in St. Lawrence beluga whales. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 19:  766-775.
  39. Martineau, D., P. R. Bowser, R. Renshaw, J. W. Casey.  1992. Molecular characterization of a unique retrovirus associated with a fish tumor.  J. Virol. 66:  596-599.
  40. Martineau, D., R. Renshaw, J. Williams, P. R. Bowser, J. W. Casey.  1991. A large unintegrated retroviral DNA species present in a dermal tumor of walleye fish. Dis. Aquat. Org. 10: 153-158.
  41. Martineau, D., P. R. Bowser, G.A. Wooster, L.D. Armstrong.  1990. Experimental transmission of a dermal sarcoma in fingerling walleyes S. vitreum.  Vet. Pathol. 27: 230-234.
  42. Martineau, D., P. R. Bowser, G. A. Wooster.  1990. Histologic and ultrastructural studies of dermal sarcoma of walleye S. vitreum.  Vet. Pathol. 27: 340-346.
  43. Bowser, P. R., D. Martineau.  1990. Prevalence of liver lesions in Brown Bullheads from a polluted site and a non polluted reference site on the Hudson River, New York.  J. Aquat. An. Health 2: 177-181.
  44. Bowser, P.R., D. Martineau, G. A. Wooster.  1990. Effects of water temperature on experimental transmission of dermal sarcoma in fingerling walleyes S. vitreum. J. Aquat. An. Health 2: 157-161.
  45. Martineau, D.  1989. "The conclusions of the clinical investigation of the 1987-1988 mass mortality of the bottlenose dolphins along the U.S.A. central and south atlantic coast."  Hearings before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington D.C., 101st Congress, May 9, 10,  1989. Serial no. 101-20. U.S. Governement Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
  46. Béland, P., D. Martineau.  1988. About carcinogens and tumors. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 45: 1855-1856.
  47. Béland, P., A. Vezina, D. Martineau.  1988. Potential for growth of the St. Lawrence (Quebec, Canada) beluga whale (D. leucas) population based on modelling.  J. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer 45: 22-32.
  48. Bisaillon, A., D. Martineau, M. Saint-Pierre, P. Béland.  1988. Arterial and venous vasculature of the heart of the beluga whale (D. leucas).  J. Morphol. 195: 305-312.
  49. Martineau, D., A. Lagacé, P. Béland, R. Higgins, D. Armstrong, L.R. Shugart.  1988. Pathology of stranded beluga whales (D. leucas) from the Saint Lawrence Estuary, Quebec, Canada.  J. Comp. Path. 98: 287-311. (Abstract of this paper published in J. Wild. Zoo Anim. Med. 1988. 19:201)
  50. Martineau, D., P. Béland, C. Desjardins, A. Lagacé.  l987. Levels of organochlorine chemicals in tissues of beluga whales (D. leucas) from the Saint Lawrence Estuary, Quebec, Canada.  Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 16: 137-147.
  51. Bisaillon, A., D. Martineau, M. Saint-Pierre.  1987. Anatomy of the heart of the beluga whale (D. leucas).  J. Morphol. 191: 89-100.
  52. Béland, P., D. Martineau, P. Robichaud, R. Plante, R. Greendale. 1987.  Échouage de mammifères marins sur les côtes du Québec dans l'estuaire et le golfe du Saint-Laurent de 1982 à 1985. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sc. #1506.
  53. Béland, P., R. Michaud, D. Martineau.  1987. Recensement de la population de belugas (D. leucas) du Saint-Laurent en 1985.  Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sc. #1545.
  54. Martineau, D., A. Lagacé, P. Béland, C. Desjardins.  1986. Rupture of a dissecting aneurysm of the pulmonary trunk in a beluga whale (D. leucas).  J. Wild. Dis. 22: 289-294.
  55. Massé, R., D. Martineau, L. Tremblay, P. Béland. 1986. Concentrations and chromatographic profile of DDT metabolites and polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) residues in stranded beluga whales (D. leucas) from the Saint Lawrence Estuary, Quebec, Canada.  Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 15: 567-579.
  56. Martineau, D., A. Lagacé, R. Massé, M. Morin, P. Béland. 1985. Transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder in a beluga whale. (D. leucas). Can. Vet. J. 26: 297-302.

Fish tumors


Walleye dermal sarcoma: Walleye dermal sarcoma virus (WDSV) is a retrovirus that causes a tumor endemic in all populations of walleyes (Stizostedium vitreum) throughout North America. Dr. Martineau previously reported at Cornell, in Drs. P. Bowser’s and J.W. Casey's laboratories, that although WDS tumor cells appear malignant under the microscope, they neither invade nor metastasize.


Rather WDS regresses seasonally and synchronously on most affected fish, and tumor development and regression are influenced by water temperature. In this regard, WDSV contrasts vividly with the murine and avian sarcomas induced by other oncoviruses, which invade, metastasize and generally kill their host. In addition, WDS is the only sarcoma caused by an oncovirus that occurs in nature with a significant prevalence. In collaboration with Drs Casey and Holzschu, Martineau sequenced the WDSV genome at Université de Montréal (WDSV was the first fish retrovirus to be molecularly characterized).

During his Ph.D. program, Mr. Z. Zhang, directed by Dr. Martineau, sequenced variable regions of the genome of WDSV isolates collected in different regions of Canada and USA. Zhang and Martineau, in collaboration with BF Lang , found that the high genetic diversity of WDSV suggests that it has been present in Canadian and American walleye populations for a long time. To explain the higher diversity of WDSV in Oneida Lake, NY, they suggested that WDSV has been longer in that lake, and that factors known to contribute to the genetic diversity of RNA viruses, such as the number of viral replications, play a role. The massive annual stocking of walleyes has resulted in a dense population of fish, and involves crowding and annual handling. During spawning, large numbers of fish come in close physical contact, when skin tumors contain high numbers of virions. Thus, a new paradigm has been introduced in fisheries management: the high prevalence of WDS and the remarkable genetic diversity of WDSV in Oneida Lake are best explained by higher transmission rates resulting from ecological factors. These factors might be similar to the socio-economic factors that favour the transmission of HIV in Africa and may explain the higher genetic diversity of HIV quasispecies on that continent. Zhang. Kim and Martineau showed that the activity of the promoter region of WDSV is influenced by temperature and that the cyclin-like orfA, one of the three additional genes of WDSV, decrease cell survival in vitro and suppress the activity of heterologous promoters. Thus, this gene is probably responsible for WDS regression. This discovery could be applied for the development of new treatments of cancer in humans.

Studies on the walleye dermal sarcoma virus are supported by NSRC.

Lake Whitefish liver cancer: Lake Whitefish ("cisco", Coregonus clupeaformis)) are unique members of the salmonid family because they feed on insects living on marine bottoms. Drs. I. Mikaelian and Martineau found in collaboration with Dr. Y. De Lafontaine (PASL, Environment Canada) that Lake Whitefish suffer high prevalence of liver cancer. This is the first report of a series of hepatic cancers in wild salmonids. Lake Whitefish were three to five times more contaminated by industrial contaminants such as organochlorinated compounds than were sympatric fish species. In the past, salmonids have not been considered as targets of environmental pollution by carcinogen compounds. This work has shown that salmonids should be included in programs that aim at monitoring the impact of carcinogens on aquatic life. Lake whitefish are unique among salmonids because of their feeding habits. Similarly, beluga are among the rare tooth whales that feed significantly on benthic organisms. Sediments of the St Lawrence beluga habitat are contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Considered together, these results suggest that these two taxonomically very distant animals are affected by cancer because of their unique ecological features.



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