Kevin Katz

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology


North York General Hospital
4001 Leslie St., Microbiology, Rm GW33, Toronto, Ontario Canada M2K 1E1
Research Interests
Infectious Diseases & Immunopathology, Molecular & Cell Biology
Clinical Interests
Microbiology (Clinical and Medical)
Appointment Status

Dr. Kevin Katz is the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at North York General Hospital, and Medical Consultant at Public Health Ontario. 

He is a Medical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases specialist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. 

He has special research interests in healthcare-acquired infections and multidrug-resistant organisms. His research publications focus primarily on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), including optimal laboratory detection, body site colonization, and the emergence of community-associated MRSA.

Research Synopsis

Dr. Katz’s research interests span across all areas of Infection Prevention and Control. Areas of special interest include: Infection prevention and control in a community hospital setting, Community-associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Influenza and febrile respiratory illness.

Infection Prevention and Control in a Community Hospital Setting

I have developed a community-hospital based academic infection prevention and control (IPAC) program at North York General Hospital.  The research undertaken is driven by frequently encountered hospital and long-term care IPAC-related issues such as antibiotic resistant pathogens and febrile respiratory illness.  This research program is unique in Canada and has been very successful both in collaborating with academic health science centres and independently bringing studies to fruition.

Community-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was first described in Canada in 1981 and has remained almost exclusively a nosocomial pathogen for over two decades. In recent years, however, it has emerged in community settings causing skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), necrotizing pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis and sepsis. In the United States, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) was first observed in marginalized populations and, in general, under conditions of close physical contact, overcrowding and poor hygiene. Within a short period of time, CA-MRSA has emerged in the United States as the most common cause of purulent SSTIs in many centres. CA-MRSA is now emerging in Canada. I have developed a research program focused on monitoring the emergence of CA-MRSA strains in the community, delineating risk factors for household transmission, and improving screening strategies. I spearheaded the creation of the EMERGENT Working Group, an emergency department-based surveillance system designed to monitor the emergence of emerging infectious diseases.  The network, unique in Canada, was started in 2007 with a pilot study on community-associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in seven emergency departments in the Greater Toronto Area.  In its second year, the network was expanded to 20 sites across Canada through collaboration with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians- Research Consortium to delineate prevalence of CA-MRSA in purulent skin and sot tissue infection in cities across Canada. I have received both peer reviewed grants (Physician Services Incorporated) and Industry-sponsored grants for work in this area. Other areas of focus relating to MRSA include delineation of most appropriate body sites for sampling for colonization and environmental shedding.

Influenza and Febrile Respiratory Illness

Research currently focuses on influenza surveillance, molecular diagnostics, severe outcomes, and pandemic influenza preparedness. I continue to collaborate on several large influenza projects. I am a co-investigator on a Canadian Institutes for Health Research funded study on outcomes of pandemic influenza in pregnancy.  I site leader for several Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network studies on influenza testing and treatment.  I (have) serve(d) as site  principal investigator for several industry-sponsored influenza trials

Recent Publications

Simor AE, Pelude L, Golding G, Fernandes R, Bryce E, Frenette C, Gravel D, Katz K, McGeer A, Mulvey MR, Smith S, Weiss K; Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program. Determinants of Outcome in Hospitalized Patients With Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Bloodstream Infection: Results From National Surveillance in Canada, 2008-2012.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2016 Apr;37(4):390-7. doi: 10.1017/ice.2015.323. Epub 2016 Jan 19.  PMID: 26782274

Van Wesenbeeck L, D'Haese D, Tolboom J, Meeuws H, Dwyer DE, Holmes M, Ison MG, Katz K, McGeer A, Sadoff J, Weverling GJ, Stuyver L. A downward trend of the ratio of Influenza RNA copy number to infectious viral titer in hospitalized influenza A-infected patients.  Open Forum Infect Dis. 2015 Nov 3;2(4):ofv166. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofv166. eCollection 2015. PMID 26677457.

Abou Chakra CN, McGeer A, Labbé AC, Simor AE, Gold WL, Muller MP, Powis J, Katz K, Garneau JR, Fortier LC, Pépin J, Cadarette SM, Valiquette L..  Factors associated with Complications of Clostridium difficile Infection in a Multicenter Prospective Cohort. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Dec 15;61(12):1781-8. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ749. Epub 2015 Sep 3. PMID 26338788.

Le Saux N, Gravel D, Mulvey M, Moore D, Langley JM, Richardson S, Quach C, Choi KB, Miller M, Katz K; Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program.  Healthcare-Associated Clostridium difficile Infections and Strain Diversity in Pediatric Hospitals in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, 2007-2011. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2015 Dec;4(4):e151-4. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piv011. Epub 2015 Mar 19. PMID 26407250