Photo of Burton Blais

Burton Blais

Adjunct Research Professor

Degrees:B.Sc. (New Brunswick), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Carleton)
Office:Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0C6

Current Research

Burton Blais has been a researcher with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for almost thirty years. His focus on the detection of foodborne pathogens has resulted in the application of novel techniques that have been implemented in support of Canadian regulatory food safety objectives. He is currently Head of Research and Development at the Ottawa Laboratory Carling, where he leads a dynamic team of research scientists, biologists, bioinformaticians and graduate students.  His current research interests include the development of enhanced analytical capacity supporting regulatory food safety programs, with a particular emphasis on the detection and characterization of food-borne bacterial pathogens using genomics tools.

Selected Publications

Lambert, D.,  Carrillo, C.D.,  Koziol, A.,  Manninger, P.,  and B. W. Blais (2015) GeneSippr: a Rapid Whole-Genome Approach for the Identification and Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Such as Priority Shiga Toxigenic Escherichia coli.  PLOS One 10(4): e0122928. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122928.

Geissler, M., Clime, L., Hoa, X.D., Morton, K.J., Hébert, H., Poncelet, L., Deschênes, M.,   Gauthier, M.E., Huszczynski, G., Corneau, N.,  Blais, B.W., and T. Veres (2015) Microfluidic integration of a Cloth-Based Hybridization Array System (CHAS) for rapid, colorimetric detection of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) using an articulated, centrifugal platform. Analytical Chemistry. DOI 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b03085.

Cherifi, T., Carrillo, C., Lambert, D.,  Miniaï, I.,  Quessy, S., Larivière-Gauthier, G., Blais, B., and P. Fravalo (2018) Genomic characterization of Listeria monocytogenes isolates reveals that their persistence in a pig slaughterhouse is linked to the presence of benzalkonium chloride resistance genes.  BMC Microbiol., 18:220

Blais, B.W., Tapp, K., Dixon, M. and C. D. Carrillo (2019) Genomically-informed strain-specific recovery of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli during food-borne illness outbreak investigations.  Journal of Food Protection, 82:39-44.

Brown EEF, Cooper A, Carrillo C and Blais B (2019) Selection of Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria in Medicated Animal Feeds. Front. Microbiol. 10:456. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00456