Brent Dixon, Ph.D.

Research Scientist (Parasitology)
Section Head, Foodborne Viruses, Parasites and Other Disease Agents
Microbiology Research Division,
Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate,
Health Canada

Banting Research Centre
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway, P.L. 2204E
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9


Research Interests:
My research is focused mainly on the detection, characterization and control of foodborne protozoan parasites including Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Toxoplasma. Specifically, I am involved in the development of methods for the elution, concentration, and detection of these pathogens in foods and clinical samples, using microscopy, flow cytometry, and PCR-based molecular methods. I am also very interested in the molecular characterization of species, genotypes and sub-types of these parasites for the purposes of source tracking and studying transmission patterns. I am currently involved in long term surveillance studies on protozoan parasites in food and environmental samples. I am also involved in collaborative studies looking at the survivability and disinfection of protozoan parasites. I am the co-founder and chair of the Food and Environmental Parasitology Network established at Health Canada in 2009.

Keywords: Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Toxoplasma, zoonotic, foodborne

Recent Publications:
Dixon, B. R. 2016. Parasitic illnesses associated with the consumption of fresh produce - an emerging issue in developed countries. Curr. Opin. Food Sci. 8: 104-109.

Dixon, B., B. Mihajlovic, H. Couture, and J. Farber. 2016. Qualitative risk assessment: Cyclospora cayetanensis on fresh raspberries and blackberries imported into Canada. Food Protect. Trends 36: 18-32.

Iqbal, A., M. Labib, D. Muharemagic, S. Sattar, B. R. Dixon and M. V. Berezovski. 2015. Rapid detection of
Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts on fresh produce using DNA aptamers. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137455. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137455.

Dixon, B. R. 2015. Transmission dynamics of foodborne parasites in produce, Chapter 13, pp. 317-353. In Foodborne Parasites in the Food Supply Web: Occurrence and Control, Gajadhar, A. (ed.). Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Cambridge, UK.
Ganz, K. R., L. Clime, J. M. Farber, N. Corneau, T. Veres, and B. R. Dixon. 2015. Enhancing the detection of Giardia duodenalis cysts in foods using inertial microfluidic separation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81: (In Press).
Dixon, B. R., M. Ndao, J. A. Tetro, R. Maal-Bared, S. Bidawid, J. M. Farber, and members of the Food and Environmental Parasitology Network (FEPN). 2014. Food and environmental parasitology in Canada: A network for the facilitation of collaborative research. Food Protect. Trends 34: 376-385.
Mihajlovic, B., B. Dixon, H. Couture and J. Farber. 2013. Qualitative microbiological risk assessment of unpasteurized fruit juice and cider. Int. Food Risk Analysis J. 3(5):1-19. ISBN: 1848-2368, InTech.
Jenkins, E., L. Castrodale, S. de Rosemond, B. Dixon, S. Elmore, K. Gesy, E. Hoberg, L. Polley, J. Schurer, M. Simard, and R. C. A. Thompson. 2013. Tradition and transition: parasitic zoonoses of people and animals in Alaska, Northern Canada, and Greenland, Chapter 2, pp. 33-204.
In Advances in Parasitology, volume 82, Rollinson, D. (ed.). Academic Press.
Dixon, B., L. Parrington, A. Cook, F. Pollari, and J. Farber. 2013. Detection of Cyclospora, Cryptosporidium and Giardia in ready-to-eat packaged leafy greens in Ontario, Canada. J. Food Protect. 76: 307-313.
Dixon, B. R., R. Fayer, M. Santin, D. E. Hill, and J. P. Dubey. 2011. Protozoan Parasites, Chapter 24, pp. 349-370.
In Rapid Detection, Characterization and Enumeration of Food-Borne Pathogens. Hoorfar, J. (ed.). ASM Press, Washington, USA.