Information Page of SAS Organisation

Institute of Animal Physiology

International projects

PiGuNet - European network on the factors affecting the gastro-intestinal microbial balance and the impact on the health status of pigs
Európska sieť pre spoluprácu v oblasti faktorov ovplyvňujúcich mikrobiálnu rovnováhu gastrointestinálneho traktu prasiat a jej význam pre zdravie prasiat
Program: COST
Project leader: MVDr. Lauková Andrea CSc.
Annotation:The "hoped" reduction in the use of antibiotics for pig production has not materialized as they are still being widely used for the control of intestinal disease. This is nowdays recognized as hazardeous with negative impact on animal or consumer health. Recently, a balanced and diversified intestinal microbiota were proposed as pre-requisits for optimal health status and allow to exploit the genetic potential of the pigs that in turn affects the production efficiency. However, the development and maitenance of a well-balanced microbiota are not completely understood. This COST action will establish the first European network focused on this topic joining a broad range of specialists in all relevant research areas and industries, with the final aim to define genetic and environmental factors affecting the gastrointestinal microbiota and its complex interaction with gut maturation as a limiting factor to maintain a good health status of pigs throughout the life.
Duration: 31.10.2014 - 30.10.2018

Plant extracts and essential oils as feed additives in animal nutrition: effects on meat quality and intestinal physiology.
Rastlinné extrakty a rastlinné silice ako kŕmne aditíva vo výžive zvierat: vplyv na kvalitu mäsa a fyziológiu čreva.
Program: Bilaterálne - iné
Project leader: MVDr. Plachá Iveta PhD
Annotation:The number of papers published concerning the use of essential oils and especially those containing phenolic compounds, has increased dramatically in recent years. Recently, antioxidant effects of thyme oil and thymol were reported. However, these activities depends on the systematic availability of these compounds in the target organs. Thus investigation of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion would provide a significant link between in vitro effects and in vivo efficacy. They may also be important in context of the safety of herbal medicinal products. Pharmacokinetics of most natural compounds such as thymol have not yet been investigated satisfactorily. Evaluations of the metabolic fate of phenol and alkyl-phenols concluded that these compounds are rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, mainly conjugated with sulfate and glucuronic acid and excreted in the urine. If the capacity for conjugation is overwhelmed at high doses, alternative metabolic routes may be used including hydroxylation of the phenol ring (to quinol) and oxidation of the side-chains leading to the production of reactive metabolites. More studies are needed for understanding the mode of action of phytogenic feed additives. It is necessary keep in mind the selection of sufficient concentration of essential oil used as feed additive for animals and to define available levels for improving their health status.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2017

National projects

BIOAKAHE - Bioactive substances, their impact and utilization for animals health
Bioaktívne substancie, ich význam a využitie pre zdravie zvierat
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Lauková Andrea CSc.
Annotation:Occurrence of the species Enterococcus hirae (in the framework of phylum Firmicutes) will be screened in animals population with the aim to check positive properties (production of bacteriocin-hiracin) but also properties with negative impact (virulence factors) as well as another properties (biofilm formation) regarding to the comparative studies following the basic research because this species isolated from animals sources have been not detaily studied up to now. Possibilities to use bioactivity of selected strain, effect of hiracin produced by that strain to balance health condition in husbandry will be tested following beneficial results (e.g. phagocytic activity stimulation) after bacteriocins applications achieved in our previous projects. Also inhibitory spectrum of bacteriocin (previously characterized at our laboratory) will be checked against Enterococcus hirae strain with virulence factors genes and bacteriocin application form too.Selected strain will be deponed to the culture collection.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2020

MAMMALZOON - Small mammals as a potential source of zoonotic bacteria and resistance to antibiotics
Drobné cicavce ako potenciálny zdroj zoonotických bakterií a rezistencie na antibiotiká
Program: APVV
Project leader: Prof., MVDr. Kmeť Vladimír DrSc.
Annotation:This project aim to yield fundamentally new and to significantly broaden current knowledge on the components of natural foci with a focus emerging diseases in conditions of global changes.
Duration: 1.7.2015 - 30.6.2019

Firmicutes, their properties and utilisation for animal health
Firmicutes, ich vlastnosti a využitie pre zdravie zvierat
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Strompfová Viola PhD.
Annotation:The complex communities of microorganisms that colonise the gastrointestinal tract of animals and humans play important role in health ensurance because it exists association between composition and diversity changes in the intestinal microbiota and several diseases. Although one of predominant bacteria in healthy digestive tract of microbiota is phylum Firmicutes, its importance and possible beneficial effect in companion and sporting animals is only at the beginning of research. Therefore, the aim of submitted project is to achieve knowledge on species occurence and in vitro properties (metabolic and probiotic) of selected representatives of phylum Firmicutes isolated from horses and dogs. Selected strains will be tested in model in vivo experiments whereby microbiological, haematological, biochemical and immunological parameters will be detected. The results could spread till now limited knowledge on abundance and characteristics of Firmicutes in mentioned animals and bring new insights for their use.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Digestive modulation by phytogenic and mineral feed additives in farm animals
Modulácia tráviacich procesov u hospodárskych zvierat naturálnymi a minerálnymi aditívami
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Grešáková Ľubomíra PhD.
Annotation:Proposed project is focused on the effect of phytogenic extracts (tannins, saponins, essential oils, polyphenols) and mineral-organic complexes on the metabolism and their mutual interaction in gastrointestinal tract of farm animals. Due to the prohibition to use of antibiotics and other chemicals in the EU countries, the supplementation of feedstuffs by phytogenic substances and organic mineral additives is desirable. It seems that use these feed additives as potential natural alternatives can lead to the higher animal productivity and simultaneously minimize the environmental pollution. We will investigate the influence of plant extracts on the gastrointestinal metabolism focused on the methanogenesis reduction and the improvement of microbial fermentation. The impact of Zn and Mn feed supplementation from their new organic sources on their absorption and deposition in animal tissues as well as the antioxidant status of livestock will also be investigated.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2020

Molecular analysis of microbial biofilm in animal. 
Molekulárna analýza mikrobiálneho biofilmu u zvierat.   
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Bujňáková Dobroslava PhD
Annotation:The basic objective of the project is obtaining a new knowledge about biofilm formation in relationship to virulence factors and phenotypic antibiotic resistance on model species of animal bacteria: Enterobacteriaceae (Klebsiella, Escherichia), Staphylococcus sp. and non-fermenting Gram-negative rods (Pseudomonas sp.). Molecular-biological analysis will be oriented to the 16S rRNA detection of the species composition of animal intestinal bacterial biofilm and for detection of genes encoding uptake of trivalent iron (siderophores) from the host proteins as an essential factor of host-microbial interactions. The effect of plant secondary metabolites and bacterial surfactants to biofilm formation and virulence factors expression will be also monitored. The reached results will be useful in applied research for the development of innovative anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm strategies, in veterinary and food diagnostic laboratories and also in student education.
Duration: 1.1.2018 - 31.12.2020

Molecular mechanisms of preimplantation embryo adaptation
Molekulárne mechanizmy adaptácie preimplantačného embrya
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Prof. MVDr. Koppel Juraj DrSc.
Annotation:The proposed project studies early embryo development in relation to maternal status, and is focused especially on the maternal stress. Two aspects of maternal stress influences will be solved concurrently within the project. Firstly, physiological effects of maternal stress acting during the preimplantation developmental period will be studied. The influence of maternal stress, with respect to maternal metabolic status, on the preimplantation embryo quality will be analyzed. Long-term effects of maternal stress acting in the preimplantation period will be studied as well. Secondly, molecular mechanisms by which stress mediators act in cells of preimplantation embryos will be studied. In vitro experiments will be focused on studies of the signaling pathways activated by stress mediators at DNA damage.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

Impact of selected xenobiotics on honeybee (Apis mellifera)
Negatívny vplyv vybraných xenobiotík na larválne štádium včely medonosnej (Apis mellifera)
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Doc. RNDr. Javorský Peter DrSc.
Annotation:Substantial percentage of world food production depends on pollinating service of honeybees which depends directly on their health status. There is an increased concern on bee health in the world, because of their irreparable place in ecosystem and industry. There is a tendency of decreased numbers of bee colony in the world, which is said due to pollution. Main aim of this project is implementation of in vitro methodology of testing of xenobiotics (pesticides and drugs) on larval stage of honeybee (Apis mellifera) in accordance with valid OECD method Nr. 237 in Slovakia.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2018

PARASOLVING - Anthelmintic resistance of parasites – challenges, perspectives and solutions
Rezistencia parazitov na antihelmintiká-výzvy, perspektívy a riešenia
Program: APVV
Project leader: MVDr. Váradyová Zora PhD
Annotation:The project addresses significant issues, resistance to anthelmintics in parasitic nematodes of small ruminants. In the project we want to map out the shortcomings of currently available in vitro methods for identifying resistance using molecular methods. In addition, we examine in vitro and in vivo efficacy of selected mixtures of plants in experimentally infected sheep. With respect to increasing interest in the therapeutic use of natural products, it is very important systematic evaluation of the botanical resources on pasture in relation to the purported de-worming properties of those plants that are endemic and thrive in this region. Therefore, one of the objectives of this project would be to use plant mixtures supplemented with selected plants against parasites into the feed ration of experimentally infected sheep. Use of plants with anthelmintic effect in the form of supplemented mixtures to the feed ration is one of the options of control the nematode infections in breeding of small ruminants.
Duration: 1.7.2015 - 28.6.2019

Thyme essential oil as feed additive in poultry.
Tymiánový éterický olej ako kŕmne aditívum u hydiny.
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Plachá Iveta PhD
Annotation:The main idea of our project is the metabolic biotransformation of thyme essential oil compounds in poultry tissue. The results help us to find the suitable concentration of essential oil with positive effect on animal health. Considering that pharmacokinetics of plant compounds is related to their deposition in organs and tissues intended for consumption, it is needed to find out the concentration improving animal health and decreasing health risk for consumers.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2017

The effect of female body condition on preimplantation embryo development and success of biotechnological techniques in reproductive practice
Vplyv kondičného stavu samíc na preimplantačný vývin embrya a úspešnosť biotechnologických postupov v reprodukčnej praxi
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Fabian Dušan DrSc.
Annotation:Project will study effects of non-physiological alterations in female body condition on embryos at the preimplantation stage of development. Negative effect of maternal obesity and malnutrition on specific parameters of oocytes and embryos has been shown in the past; however, their mechanisms and impact on reproductive practice are still not known. The main aim of the project will be to identify the impact of female body condition on success of biotechnological techniques – hormonal regulation of reproductive cycle and in vitro culture of embryos. Specific contribution of the project will be the implementation of Raman microspectroscopy as a novel noninvasive method for qualitative analysis of embryos. Results of experiments will bring new information on the effect of metabolic and endocrine changes in maternal environment on physiological events in preimplantation embryo (functional morphogenesis, metabolism and transcription) and will help to form relevant suggestions for biotechnological practice.
Duration: 1.1.2014 - 31.12.2017

Xenembryo - Xenobiotics and preimplantation embryo development
Xenobiotiká a vývin preimplantačného embrya
Program: APVV
Project leader: Prof. MVDr. Koppel Juraj DrSc.
Annotation:The proposed project investigates the effects of selected xenobiotics on early embryo development. The project will be focused on two groups of substances with oral poisoning potential for farm and domestic animals or human: insecticides and food additives. Their impact on early female reproductive capacity will be assessed in two laboratory animal models: mouse and rabbit. The project will study the influence of maternal intoxication on the fertilization, developmental capacity of oocyte and preimplantation embryo and embryo implantation. Beside standard toxicological approach, the study will revalue obtained results in the context of maternal environment (i.e. in the context of actual physiological and metabolic status). Furthermore, in substances with proved detrimental effect, molecular mechanisms of their action will be evaluated.
Duration: 1.7.2015 - 30.6.2019

Projects total: 13