Csaba Varga

Csaba Varga
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | UIUC · Department of Pathobiology

DVM MSc PhD DACVPM

About

43
Publications
7,102
Reads
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475
Citations
Introduction
My research program evaluates diseases at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment by assessing spatial differences in disease rates. To accomplish our goals we use disease maps, spatial and temporal statistics, multilevel regression models, and molecular epidemiology methods. The second area of my research evaluates the host-agent-environmental factors influencing antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in animal populations.
Additional affiliations
July 2018 - April 2022
University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
March 2016 - April 2022
University of Guelph
Position
  • Associated Graduate Faculty
September 2007 - February 2015
University of Guelph
Position
  • Research Assistant / Research Associate
Education
October 2007 - February 2015
University of Guelph
Field of study
  • Population Medicine, Epidemiology
September 2005 - October 2007
University of Guelph
Field of study
  • Epidemiology
September 1994 - June 2001

Publications

Publications (43)
Article
Full-text available
Antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter, common in poultry, is a global public health issue. The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant Campylobacter has been linked to the use of antimicrobials in food animals. Small poultry flocks are becoming increasingly popular not only as a source of food but also as pets, yet not all small flock o...
Article
Full-text available
Nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica (NTS) causes a substantial health burden to human populations in Canada and worldwide. Exposure sources and demographic factors vary by location and can therefore have a major impact on salmonellosis clustering. We evaluated major NTS serotypes: S. Enteritidis (n = 620), S. Typhimurium (n = 150), S. Thompson (n = 13...
Article
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are an important health burden for human populations in Ontario and worldwide. We assessed 452 STEC cases that were reported to Ontario's reportable disease surveillance system between 2015 and 2017. A retrospective scan statistic using a Poisson model was used to detect high-rate STEC cluste...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in dogs constitutes a threat to animal and human health. There is a lack of studies in Illinois that evaluated the prevalence of AMR among urinary bacterial pathogens. In the study, we included 803 isolates (299 Gram-positive and 504 Gram-negative) that were isolated from 2,583 canine urine samples su...
Article
Full-text available
In northern Illinois, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first identified in free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; hereafter referred to as "deer") in 2002. To reduce CWD transmission rates in Illinois, wildlife biologists have conducted locally focussed culling of deer since 2003 in areas where CWD has been detected. We used retro...
Article
Full-text available
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and bluetongue (BT) are vector-borne viral diseases that affect wild and domestic ruminants. Clinical signs of EHD and BT are similar; thus, the syndrome is referred to as hemorrhagic disease (HD). Syndromic surveillance and virus detection in North America reveal a northern expansion of HD. High mortalities at n...
Article
Full-text available
Spaghetti meat (SM), woody breast (WB), and white striping (WS) are myopathies that affect the pectoral muscle of fast-growing broiler chickens. The prevalence and possible risk factors of these myopathies have been reported in other countries, but not yet in Canada. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors as...
Article
Full-text available
Spaghetti meat (SM), woody breast (WB), and white striping (WS) are myopathies affecting breast muscle of broiler chickens, and are characterized by a loss of myofibers and an increase in fibrous tissue. The conditions develop in intensive broiler chicken production systems, and cause poor meat processability and negative customer perception leadin...
Article
In Canada, enteric infections cause significant health and economic burden. We evaluated the individual characteristics of laboratory-confirmed cases of Campylobacter spp. (n = 28,728), non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. (n = 22,640), Yersinia spp. (n = 1674), Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC; n = 1340), and Listeria monocytogenes (n = 471), r...
Article
Full-text available
The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence, temporal trends, seasonal patterns, and temporal clustering of Salmonella enterica isolated from fluff samples from poultry hatcheries in Ontario between 2009 and 2018. A scan statistic was used to identify clusters of common serovars and those of human health concern. A multi-level log...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is a growing risk to the health and productivity of the Illinois and US swine population from foreign (e.g., African swine fever) and endemic (e.g., porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome) infectious diseases. Effective on-farm biosecurity practices play a pivotal role in preventing these high-consequence pathogens from affecting swine...
Article
Ophidiomycosis, caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophidiicola, is an infectious disease of wild and managed snakes worldwide. Lake Erie watersnakes (LEWS; Nerodia sipedon insularum) were listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act from 1999 to 2011 and were first diagnosed with ophidiomycosis in 2009. Our objective was to characterize...
Article
Full-text available
This study is part of a 2 year disease surveillance project conducted to establish the prevalence of poultry and zoonotic pathogens, including Campylobacter spp., among small poultry flocks in Ontario, Canada. For each post-mortem submission to the Animal Health Laboratory, a pooled sample of cecal tissue was cultured for Campylobacter spp., and a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, affects captive and free-ranging species of the family Cervidae (moose, deer, and elk). CWD is endemic in North America and has been detected in 26 states in the United States and three Canadian provinces. Disease surveillance is essential to understand the emergence, distrib...
Article
Full-text available
Bluetongue (BT) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) cases have increased worldwide, causing significant economic loss to ruminant livestock production and detrimental effects to susceptible wildlife populations. In recent decades, hemorrhagic disease cases have been reported over expanding geographic areas in the United States. Effective BT and...
Article
Full-text available
In psittacine birds, round cell neoplasms that originate from lymphocytes, plasma cells, histiocytes, or mast cells are sporadic and poorly described. The lack of morphological and immunohistochemical diagnostic criteria or grading schemes make specific diagnoses and prognoses challenging. We assessed cases of psittacine birds diagnosed with round...
Article
As part of a two-year, disease surveillance project of small poultry flocks, owners of birds submitted for postmortem examination to the Animal Health Laboratory were asked to complete a questionnaire designed to gather information on the characteristics of the flock and its environment, how the flock was managed, and biosecurity measures used. A t...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases present great risks to public health. The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has become an urgent public health issue of global concern. It is speculated that the virus first emerged through a zoonotic spillover. Basic research studies have su...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging foodborne pathogens present a threat to public health. It is now recognized that several foodborne pathogens originate from wildlife as demonstrated by recent global disease outbreaks. Zoonotic spillover events are closely related to the ubiquity of parasitic, bacterial, and viral pathogens present within human and animal populations and t...
Preprint
Spatial analysis of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Illinois, 2008-2019 RH: Space-time cluster analysis of CWD in Illinois Abstract Understanding the geographic distribution and clustering of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the geographic distribution and clustering of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations can inform disease management practices. We used a retrospective analysis of surveillance data to evaluate CWD's spatial and temporal dynamics within 16 CWD-infected northern Illinois co...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although keeping small poultry flocks is increasingly popular in Ontario, information on the antimicrobial susceptibility of enteric bacteria of such flocks is lacking. The current study was conducted on small poultry flocks in Ontario between October 2015 and September 2017, and samples were submitted on a voluntary basis to Ontario's...
Article
Aves polyomavirus 1, psittacine beak and feather disease virus, and psittacid herpesvirus 1 are important pathogens of psittacine birds with the potential to cause substantial morbidity and mortality. Using publically available nucleotide sequences, we developed and validated a triplex real-time PCR (rtPCR) assay to rapidly detect these 3 viruses....
Poster
Full-text available
Although keeping small poultry flocks is increasingly popular in Ontario, information on the prevalence of zoonotic foodborne pathogens and their antimicrobial susceptibility is lacking. A study of small poultry cases submitted by veterinarians to the Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph, was conducted between October 2015 and September 2...
Article
Psittacines (e.g. parrots, macaws and cockatoos) are common companion animals that are also kept in zoos and private breeding collections. Despite this popularity, long-term, comprehensive studies of diagnostic data from captive psittacines are rare. This study was conducted to assess trends in disease prevalence and to describe causes of morbidity...
Article
Non-commercial poultry flocks (referred to as “small flocks”) have become increasingly popular in Canada. Despite this popularity, little is known about the main causes of morbidity and mortality (health status) in these flocks. We assessed the baseline prevalence of infectious and non-infectious diseases among Ontario’s small poultry flocks by con...
Article
In Ontario, within the past few years, there has been a marked increase in the number of non-commercial poultry flocks (referred to as “small flocks”). Small poultry flocks may act as a reservoir of avian and zoonotic pathogens, given the flocks’ limited access to veterinary services, inadequate biosecurity practices, and increased risk of contact...
Article
Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is the causative agent of colibacillosis in poultry, an economically important disease worldwide. In Ontario, Canada, early and late systemic bacterial infections due to APEC were the most commonly reported diseases in broiler chickens. In 2016, Ontario poultry veterinarians submitted samples from 331 cases...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Chlamydophila psittaci is a zoonotic bacterium that causes avian chlamydiosis in birds and psittacosis in people. Public aviaries provide a setting for occupational and recreational exposure to ill birds.
Article
Full-text available
Background: In Ontario and Canada, the incidence of human Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) infections have increased steadily during the last decade. Our study evaluated the spatial and temporal epidemiology of the major phage types (PTs) of S. Enteritidis infections to aid public health practitioners design effective prev...
Article
Full-text available
Background Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) remains a major foodborne pathogen in North America yet studies examining the spatial epidemiology of salmonellosis in urban environments are lacking. Our ecological study combined a number of spatial statistical methods with a geographic information system to assess area-level h...
Article
Full-text available
There have been only a few region-level ecological studies conducted in Canada investigating enteric infections in humans. Our study objectives were to 1) assess the spatial clustering of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) human infections in the Greater Toronto Area, and 2) identify underlying area-level associations between...
Article
SUMMARY In Ontario, Canada, the number of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) cases increased over the years 2005-2010. A population-based case-control study was undertaken from January to August 2011 for the purpose of identifying risk factors for acquiring illness due to SE within Ontario. A total of 199 cases and 241 controls were enrolled. After adjust...
Article
The effectiveness of various competitive exclusion (CE) products for reducing Salmonella colonization in broiler chickens was evaluated using systematic review-meta-analysis-meta-regression (SR-MA-MR). Relevance screening identified 201 relevant studies that were subjected to methodological assessment. Of these studies, 159 were suitable for data e...
Article
Full-text available
Background In Canada, surveillance systems have highlighted the increasing trend of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) human infections. Our study objectives were to evaluate the epidemiology of S. Enteritidis infections in Ontario using surveillance data from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2009. Methods Annual age-and-...
Article
Full-text available
Background Identifying risk factors for Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) infections in Ontario will assist public health authorities to design effective control and prevention programs to reduce the burden of SE infections. Our research objective was to identify risk factors for acquiring SE infections with various phage types (PT) in Ontario, Canada. W...
Article
Full-text available
Increases in the number of salmonellosis cases due to Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in 2010 and 2011 prompted a public health investigation in Ontario, Canada. In this report, we describe the current epidemiology of travel-related (TR) SE, compare demographics, symptoms and phage types (PTs) of TR and domestically-acquired (DA) cases, and estimate th...
Article
The study objectives were to identify potential associations between reported antimicrobial use (AMU) practices and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of fecal and environmental Salmonella spp. isolates (n = 322 isolates) recovered from 60 Alberta finishing swine farms, and to estimate the amount of pen and farm level variation in AMR. The AMU data wer...
Article
Multilevel random intercept logistic and Poisson regression were used to model associations between various antimicrobial use practices and resistance to individual and multiple antimicrobials among generic fecal Escherichia coli isolated from Alberta finishing swine. In-feed antimicrobial use in finishers was significantly associated with increase...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in generic Escherichia coli isolates obtained from 90 Alberta finisher swine farms. Up to 5 isolates were obtained from each of 269 pooled fecal samples and were classified as susceptible or resistant according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guid...
Article
Full-text available
The objectives of this study were to investigate the associations between antimicrobial resistance patterns in generic Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. isolates recovered from identical pen pooled fecal samples, and to evaluate potential clustering of multiple isolates of these organisms within identical fecal samples. Up to 5 generic E. coli (...
Article
Full-text available
The objectives of this study were to investigate the associations between antimicrobial resistance patterns in generic Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. isolates recovered from identical pen pooled fecal samples, and to evaluate potential clustering of multiple isolates of these organisms within identical fecal samples. Up to 5 generic E. coli (...

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Projects (8)
Project
Dear Colleagues, I am the guest editor for a Special Issue "Spatial Epidemiology and Surveillance of Foodborne Pathogens" in the open-access journal Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). We aim to provide a platform for research articles that apply spatial analytical techniques to evaluate foodborne disease surveillance and research data to aid public health stakeholders in creating effective disease prevention and control programs. We invite public health and veterinary researchers to showcase their research on spatial epidemiology and surveillance of major foodborne pathogens. For further details please consult the Special Issue Information. at: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/pathogens/special_issues/spatial_epidemiology_surveillance_foodborne_pathogens Regards, Dr. Csaba Varga Assistant Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA