Mariela Segura

Segura Mariela

Title: Full time professor (accredited)
Address: Département de pathologie et microbiologie
Faculté de médecine vétérinaire
Université de Montréal – Campus de St-Hyacinthe
3200, rue Sicotte
St-Hyacinthe (Québec) J2S 2M2
Room: 3923
Phone: 514-343-6111, ext. 0080


Mariela Segura is an immunologist and Professor at the University of Montreal. She received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal, where she became interested in host-pathogen interactions. During two post-doctoral trainings (Infectious Disease Unit at Laval University; and McGill Centre for the Study of Host Resistance) she acquired expertise on cellular biology and signalling pathways as well as immunomodulation by parasites. Dr. Segura started her independent research career at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 after being granted a FRQS career award. She is known for research in the areas of infectious diseases and the underlying innate and adaptive immune responses, with a particular focus on the interactions of encapsulated streptococci (such as Streptococcus suis and Group B Streptococcus) with the components of the immune system.

Segura’s laboratory applies multidisciplinary approaches, from biochemistry to cellular and molecular immunology, to dissect the role of bacterial capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) on the immunopathogenesis of the disease caused by pathogenic streptococci. Segura’s team focuses on CPS modulation of antigen-presenting cells, more particularly dendritic cells, and down-stream effect on the development of adaptive immunity, including analyses of T and B cell functions.  An interconnected research axe seeks out vaccine development against Streptococcus suis, an emerging swine and human pathogen.

Segura’s research contributions have been recognized with 19 prizes and awards, a few of which are the UNESCO-L’Oréal Canada for Women in Science Research Excellence Award; the ‘Zoetis (Pfizer)’ Award of Excellence in Research; the ‘Fisher Award’ of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists in recognition of outstanding contributions to Microbiology as a profession; and the Women of Distinction Award in Science and Technology. Dr Segura is author or co-author of 115 total publications, including research articles, review articles and book chapters. She has contributed to the training of 75 graduate and undergraduate students in her laboratory.


To come up



Research topics

  • Characterization of the interactions between encapsulated bacteria and immune cells. Role of the capsular polysaccharide (CPS) in the modulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. Glycoconjugate vaccine development.
  • Studied bacteria: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Streptococcus suis
  • Animal model: mice and swine


(2018, 2017, 2016, and few selected from 2015-2014)

  1. Roy, D., D. Takamatsu, M. Okura, G. Goyette-Desjardins, M.R. Van Calsteren, A. Dumesnil, M. Gottschalk, and M Segura. Streptococcus suis sialyltransferase exhibits alpha2-6 activity in Group B Streptococcus. Frontiers in Microbiology, In press, 2018.
  2. Gottschalk, M. and Segura. Streptococcosis. In: Diseases of Swine. 11th edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. In press, 2018.
  3. Segura, M., N. Fittipaldi, C. Calzas and M. Gottschalk. Critical Streptococcus suis virulence factors: are they all really critical? Trends in Microbiology 25: 585-599, 2017. Invited review.
  4. Lemire, P., T. Galbas, J. Thibodeau, and Segura. Natural Killer cell functions during the innate immune response to pathogenic streptococci. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8: e1196, 2017.
  5. Auger, J.P., A. Santinon, D. Roy, K. Mossman, J. Xu, Segura, and M. Gottschalk. Type I interferon induced by Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is strain-dependent and may be beneficial for host survival. Frontiers in Immunology, 8: e1039, 2017.
  6. Valanparambil, R.M., M. Tam, P. Gros, J.P. Auger, Segura, P. Gros, A. Jardim, T.G. Geary, K. Ozato, and M. Stevenson. IRF-8 regulates expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells and Foxp3+ regulatory T cells and modulates Th2 immune responses to gastrointestinal nematode infection. Plos Pathogens, 13: e1006647 2017.
  7. Martelet, L., S. Lacouture, G. Goyette-Desjardins, G. Beauchamp, C. Surprenant, M. Gottschalk, and Segura. Porcine dendritic cells as an in vitro model to assess the immunological behaviour of Streptococcus suis subunit vaccine formulations and the polarizing effect of adjuvants. Pathogens, 6: e13, 2017.
  8. Calzas, C., M. Taillardet, I.S. Fourati, D. Roy, M. Gottschalk, H. Soudeyns, T. Defrance, and Segura. Evaluation of the immunomodulatory properties of Streptococcus suis and group B Streptococcus capsular polysaccharides on the humoral response. Pathogens, 6: e16, 2017.
  9. Roy, D., T. Athey, J.P. Auger, G. Goyette-Desjardins, M.R. Van Calsteren, D. Takamatsu, M. Okura, S. Teatero, M. Alcorlo, J.A. Hermoso, Segura, M. Gottschalk and N. Fittipaldi. A single amino acid polymorphism in the glycosyltransferase CpsK defines four Streptococcus suis serotypes. Scientific Reports, 7: e4066, 2017.
  10. Zheng, H., X. Qiu, D. Roy, Segura, P. Du, J. Xu, and M. Gottschalk. Genotyping and investigating capsular polysaccharide synthesis gene loci of non-serotypeable Streptococcus suis isolated from diseased pigs in Canada. Veterinary Research, 48: e10, 2017.
  11. Segura, M, C. Calzas, D. Grenier and M. Gottschalk. Initial steps of the pathogenesis of the infection caused by Streptococcus suis: fighting against non-specific defenses. FEBS Letters. 590: 3772-3799, 2016. Invited review.
  12. Lecours, M.P., C. Letendre, D. Clarke, P. Lemire, T. Galbas, M.O. Benoit-Biancamano, J. Thibodeau, M. Gottschalk, and Segura. Immune-responsiveness of CD4+ T cells during Streptococcus suis serotype 2 infection. Scientific Reports, 6: e38061, 2016.
  13. Auger, J.P., N. Fittipaldi, M.O. Benoit-Biancamano, Segura, and M. Gottschalk. Virulence studies of different sequence types and geographical origins of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 in a mouse model of infection. Pathogens, 5: e48, 2016.
  14. Roy, D., D. Grenier, Segura, A. Mathieu-Denoncourt, and M. Gottschalk. Recruitment of Factor H to the Streptococcus suis cell surface is multifactorial. Pathogens, 5: e47, 2016.
  15. Vinogradov, E., G. Goyette-Desjardins, M. Okura, D. Takamatsu, M. Gottschalk, and Segura. Structure determination of Streptococcus suis serotype 9 capsular polysaccharide and assignment of functions of the cps locus genes involved in its biosynthesis. Carbohydrate Research, 433: 25-30, 2016.
  16. Hathroubi, S., F. Beaudry, C. Provost, L. Martelet, Segura, C. Gagnon and M. Jacques. Impact of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae biofilm mode of growth on the lipid A structures and stimulation of immune cells. Innate Immunity, 22: 353-362, 2016.
  17. Goyette-Desjardins, G., C. Calzas, T. Shiao, A. Neubauer, J. Kempker, R. Roy, M. Gottschalk, and Segura. Protection against Streptococcus suis serotype 2 infection using a capsular polysaccharide glycoconjugate vaccine. Infection and Immunity, 84: 2059-2075, 2016.
  18. Van Calsteren, M.R., G. Goyette-Desjardins, F. Gagnon, M. Okura, D. Takamatsu, R. Roy, M. Gottschalk, and Segura. Explaining the serological characteristics of Streptococcus suis serotypes 1 and 1/2 from their capsular polysaccharide structure and biosynthesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291: 8387-8398, 2016.
  19. Auray, G., C. Lachance, Y. Wang, C. Gagnon, Segura, and M. Gottschalk. Transcriptional analysis of PRRSV-infected porcine dendritic cell response to Streptococcus suis infection reveals up-regulation of inflammatory-related genes expression. PLOS One, 11: e0156019, 2016.
  20. Price, N., G. Goyette-Desjardins, H. Nothaft, E. Valguarnera, C. Szymanski, Segura, and M. Feldman. Glycoengineered outer membrane vesicles: A novel platform for bacterial vaccines. Scientific Reports, 6: e24931, 2016.
  21. Teatero, S., P. Lemire, K. Dewar, J. Wasserscheid, C. Calzas, G. Mallo, A. Li, T. Athey, Segura, and N. Fittipaldi. Genomic recombination leading to decreased virulence of Group B Streptococcus in a mouse model of adult invasive disease. Pathogens, 5 : e54, 2016.
  22. Clarke, D., C. Letendre, M.P. Lecours, P. Lemire, T. Galbas, J. Thibodeau, and Segura. Group B Streptococcus induces a robust IFN-g response by CD4+ T cells in an in vitro and in vivo model. Journal of Immunology Research, 2016: e5290604, 2016.
  23. Aguiar, C., J. Therrien, P. Lemire, Segura, L. Smith, and C. Theoret. Differentiation of equine induced pluripotent stem cells into a keratinocyte lineage. Equine Veterinary Journal, 48: 338-345, 2016.
  24. Segura, M. Streptococcus suis vaccines: candidate antigens and progress. Expert Review of Vaccines. 14: 1587-608, Invited review.
  25. Goyette-Desjardins, G., R. Roy and Segura. Murine whole-blood opsonophagocytosis assay to evaluate protection by antibodies raised against encapsulated extracellular bacteria. In: Carbohydrate-Based Vaccines – Methods and Protocols Edition of “Methods in Molecular Biology” lab protocol series. B. Lepenies (Ed.) Springer, 2015.
  26. Calzas, C., P. Lemire, G. Auray, V. Gerdts, M. Gottschalk, and Segura. Antibody response specific to the capsular polysaccharide is impaired in Streptococcus suis serotype 2-infected animals. Infection and Immunity, 83: 441-453, 2015.
  27. Segura, M. et al. Latest developments on Streptococcus suis: an emerging zoonotic pathogen: part 2. Future Microbiology 9: 587-591, 2014.
  28. Segura, M. et al. Latest developments on Streptococcus suis: an emerging zoonotic pathogen: part 1. Future Microbiology 9: 441–444, 2014.
  29. Goyette-Desjardins, G., J.-P. Auger, J. Xu, Segura and M. Gottschalk. Streptococcus suis, an important pig pathogen and emerging zoonotic agent – An update on the worldwide distribution based on serotyping and sequence typing. Emerging Microbes & Infections 3: e45, 2014. Invited review.
  30. Lemire, P. and Segura. The NOD2 receptor modulates cytokine response but does not alter the clinical outcome of Group B Streptococcus-infected mice. Receptors & Clinical Investigation 2: 29-32, 2014. Invited Research Highlight.
  31. Valanparambil, R.*, Segura*, M. Tam, A. Jardim, T. G. Geary, and M. M. Stevenson. Production and analysis of immunomodulatory excretory-secretory products from the mouse gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri. Nature Protocols, 9: 2740-2754, 2014.