Mainil Jacques

Researcher, Ordinary Professor
Researcher publications


Research subjects

Since the very beginning of his career (1981), the research projects in which Prof. Mainil is involved, have different pathogenic strains of the bacterial species Escherichia coli as topics. These research projects have been financed by European, federal and/or regional sources and have dealt with strains belonging to various diarrheagenic and extra-intestinal pathotypes (or virulotypes): enterotoxigenic (ETEC), vero/shiga-toxigenic (VTEC/STEC), enteropathogenic (EPEC), necrotoxigenic (NTEC), uropathogenic (UPEC) and/or septicaemic (SePEC, APEC) E. coli from cattle, pigs, poultry, dogs, cats. Today two on-going research projects Escherichia coli are financed by the Belgian Federal Ministery of Public health (SPF-FOD) and by the University of Liège and focus on the molecular epidemiology of non classical STEC and EPEC in ruminants. Both projects aim at understanding their molecular pathogenesis and epidemiology in animals, especially in diarrheic calves, to derive tools to more precisely identify them, including serotype-specific bacteriophages, and to compare animal and human strains at the molecular level.

Two other on-going research projects financed by European Research Area Networks (Era-Net) and SPF-FOD focus on (i) the epidemiology of antibiotic resistance, targeting b lactams of bovine pathogenic and non-pathogenic Escherichia coli in calves, and (ii) the virulence, epidemiology and methicillin resistance of mastitis-associated staphylococci, especially Staphylococcus aureus and the use of bacteriophages as therapeutic tool of bovine mastitis (with partners from the Univeristy of Ghent, Belgium, from the Norwegian University of Liife Sciences and from the « Agence Nationale de Sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’Envrionnement et du Travail », France).

The following bacterial species were also the topics of different other past research projects: Clostridium perfringens and its b2 toxin in enterotoxaemia of beef calves (Belgium), Mycoplasma bovis and its adherence properties in enzootic pneumonia of cattle (Belgium) and Salmonella enterica as a cause of mortality of young guinea fowls (Benin).

Equipment / technologies

- Everything for classical bacteriology including an anaerobic incubator

- Molecular bacteriology: DNA hybridization, PCR, PFGE, cell culture room , radioactivity room (32P, 35S), biosafety cabinets, ...

Academic distinctions

1981: Best Veterinary Thesis of the Veterinary Faculty of Cureghem - Upjohn Award for the final year thesis: One-day treatment of atrial fibrillation in horses with quinidine salts

1984: Laureate of the Royal Academy of Medicine for the manuscript: Study of bovine enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli by DNA colony hybridization

1999: Laureate of the Royal Academy of Medicine; with Drs Georges Daube and Christophe Manteca) for the manuscript: Study of the role of Clostridium perfringens in enterotoxaemia in cattle: prevalence of the bacteria, typing by molecular genetic techniques and experimental reproduction of lesions in calves

2004-2005: Titular of the Belgian Francqui chair, University of Ghent, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Prof. F. Haesebrouck) :

General theme : Molecular and Cellular Pathogenesis of Bacterial Infections. Lecture 1: Infectious Diseases and Microorganisms: From Prehistory towards Koch’s postulates (in Dutch). Lecture 2: Colonisation of the Mucosae: Adherence Factors and their Interaction with Host Cells. Lecture 3: Development of Disease: Bacterial Toxins and their Interaction with Host Cells. Lecture 4: Genetics and Regulation of Bacterial Virulence: Towards the Molecular Version of Koch’s Postulates. Lecture 5: Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression by Quorum-sensing: Science or Science-fiction 

Most representative publications

  • Manteca C., Daubes G., Jauniaux T., Linden A., Pirson V., Ginter A., Coppe P., Kaeckenbeeck A., Mainil J.G. A role for the Clostridium perfringens beta2 toxin in bovine enterotoxaemia? Vet Microbiol. 2002, 86 : 191-202 PMID:11900954
  • Mainil J.G., et al. Typing of O26 enterohaemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from humans and cattle with IS621-multiplex PCR-based fingerprinting. J. Appl. Microbiol. 2011, 111:773-786 doi:10.1111/j.1365-672.2011.05089.x 
  • Piérard D., De Greve H., Haesebrouck F., Mainil J.G. O157:H7 and O104:H4 Vero/Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli: respective role of cattle and humans. Vet. Res. 2012, 43:13 doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-13
  • Bardiau M., Detilleux J., Farnir F., Mainil J.G., Ote I. Associations between properties linked with persistence in a collection of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from bovine mastitis. Vet. Microbiol. 2014, 169:74-79 doi:10.1016/j.vetmic. 2013,12.010
  • Thiry D., Saulmont M., Takaki S., De Rauw K., Duprez J.N., Iguchi A., Piérard D., Mainil J.G. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli O80:H2 in young calves with diarrhea, Belgium. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 2017, 23 (12) : 2093-2095 doi:10.3201/eid2312.170450

Information updated by the researcher on 08/03/2018.

PhD students

Ngassam Tchamba Cyrille, DVM

Guerin Virginie, DVM

Habets Audrey, Technol Lab Med, Mastère Bioch & Biol Mol Cell

Postdoc or other

Thiry Damien, DVM, Assistant Professor