The list of national projects SAS

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Institute: Institute of Parasitology

Transmission and risk analyses of epidemiologically important helminths using genetic and biochemical markers
Analýzy prenosu a rizika epidemiologicky významných helmintov genetickými a biochemickými markermi
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Šnábel Viliam CSc.
Annotation:In closely related nematode species Ascaris suum (pig parasite) and Ascaris lumbricoides (human parasite), host transmission patterns, frequency of cross infections and abundance of hybrid forms will be determined. Evaluations of distributions of major clusters of mitochondrial DNA according to hosts and geographical regions (central Europe, East Asia, South America) will contribute to a deeper knowledge about genetic structure and evolution in Ascaris genus. Degrees of inbreeding that are critical for predicting the dynamics of drug-resistance evolution will be estimated in population offspring. In Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato tapeworms from central and eastern Europe, genotype spectrum circulated in the region will be more accurately delineated. Level of occurrence of highly infective E. granulosus sensu stricto species will be surveyed and causes of its recent spread from Mediterranean region will be thoroughly discussed.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2020

Cytomorphological aspects of reproduction and phylogeny in the parasitic Platyhelminthes
Cytomorfologické aspekty reprodukcie a fylogenéza parazitických plathelmintov
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Bruňanská Magdaléna DrSc.
Annotation:The purpose of the present project is to obtain new information about gametogenesis and gametes ultrastructure in the Monopisthocotylea and Eucestoda, parasitic platyhelminthes with parallel evolution. The members of endoparasitic monocotylid monogeneans and evolutionary pivotal groups of the tapeworms (Caryophyllidea, Spathebothriidea, Nippotaeniidea), fish parasites, will be in focus. The proposal of a new classification of spermatozoa and new information about feasibility of the use of eggs/oncospheres for species diagnosis and phylogeny in the Eucestoda will be provided. Ultrastructural methods include the most advanced techniques, e.g. electron tomography. Expected results may contribute to better understanding of reproduction and evolution of the parasitic platyhelminthes, their life strategies, morphological adaptations to parasitism, with possible consequences on effective control of parasitic diseases. The international cooperation and students participation are planned within the proposed project.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Emerging fish-born zoonoses in Europe: molecular diagnostics, origin and distribution of Diphyllobothrium
Difylobotrióza - novo sa objavujúca, rybami prenášaná zoonóza v Európe: molekulárna diagnostika, pôvod a rozšírenie parazita
Program: SRDA
Project leader: RNDr. Hromadová Ivica CSc.
Annotation:The fish-borne diseases have currently been expanding into new regions, including well developed countries of the world, due to growing international markets, demographic and climate changes. One of the most important fish-borne parasitic zoonosis is diphyllobothriosis (Cestoda: Diphyllobothriidea) with about 20 million people being infected worldwide. Although these tapeworms have been recognized for a long time, many aspects of their taxonomy, biology, origin, distribution and epidemiology remain poorly known. The current project has an ambition to determine new multidisciplinary species-specific characteristics of Diphyllobothrium spp. with a broader aim to improve diagnostics of larval stages from fish, preferably those infecting humans and potentially colonizing new geographical areas. One of the principal aims of the project is to understand an origin, distribution and transmission routes of Diphyllobothrium spp. and to resolve whether they are native in Europe or represent a result of trans-continental introductions. Original data on prevalence of larval diphyllobothriosis in feral fish in natural conditions in Slovakia will be determined, as well.
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 30.6.2020

Small mammals as a potential source of zoonotic bacteria and resistence to antibiotic
Drobné cicavce ako potenciálny zdroj zoonotických bakterií a rezistencie na antibiotiká
Program: SRDA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Stanko Michal DrSc.
Annotation:The project aims to significantly improve understanding of the various components of the natural foci, focusing on emerging diseases. The emphasis is on the role of small mammals as hosts of several groups of ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, mites), vectors of natural foci diseases agents, and the role of rodents as reservoirs of bacterial zoonotic diseases agents (Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp., Rickettsia spp .). Considering the conditions of Central Europe, identification of potential pathogens of intestinal and skin microbiota in small mammals will be performed using Maldi-Tof method and “next generation” sequencing. The project focuses on the structure of natural foci components, infestation of reservoir animals and vectors by the selected zoonotic agents in three habitat types with varying degrees of anthropogenic disturbance (urban, suburban, national park). Detection of pathogens based on molecular - genetic methods and a study of reservoir - vector - pathogen relationships will be performed using scientific personnel and material and technical resources of three top research workplaces of the SAS.
Duration: 1.7.2015 - 30.6.2019

Genetic diversity of selected medically important emerging a re-emerging pathogens with zoonotic potential
Genetická diverzita vybraných medicínsky dôležitých, nových a novo sa objavujúcich patogénov so zoonóznym potenciálom
Program: SRDA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Stanko Michal DrSc.
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 30.6.2019

Modulatory effects of probiotic bacteria on the host immunity to a parasitic zoonosis caused by Trichinella spiralis
Modulačné účinky probiotických baktérií na imunitu hostiteľa pri parazitozoonóze vyvolanej Trichinella spiralis
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Dvorožňáková Emília PhD.
Annotation:A potential protective effect of probiotic and bacteriocin-producing bacterial strains on Trichinella spiralis infection, a parasitic zoonosis, will be investigated in the framework of a new therapeutic strategy to use probiotics to control parasitic zoonosis. Gut microbiota during parasitic infection and its interaction with host immunity, stimulation of cells (lymphocytes, macrophages) and cytokine production, which are important in induction and regulation of the immune response, will be studied. The immunogenic activity of bacterial strains will be observed at levels of local (gut) and systemic, innate and acquired, nonspecific and specific immunity. A link between administration of probiotic bacteria, immune effectors induction, and parasite elimination will be established. The project contribution will be a strain-specific characterization of immunogenic properties of tested bacterial strains as promising candidates for prophylactic or therapeutic immunomodulation of the host with trichinellosis.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

Molecular epidemiology and immunology of serious coccidian parasites – Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii
Molekulárna epizootológia a imunológia závažných kokcídií - Neospora caninum a Toxoplasma gondii
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Reiterová Katarína DrSc.
Annotation:N. caninum and T. gondii are intracellular apicomlexan parasites with a wide host’s spectrum. The most frequent intermediate hosts are domestic and wildlife ruminants in which may cause repeated abortions. The project will build on previous research on this issue and will be extended to the whole territory of Slovakia. Serological methods using own specific antigens will be installed. An expansion of both diseases in farm animals and wildlife, potential definitive and intermediate hosts, will be monitored at the burdened areas with emphasis to obtain isolates of initiator parasites. Finding of the presence of both diseases in small mammals and birds of prey will assess to review an environmental contamination with parasite’s oocysts. The genetic variability of isolates of N. caninum will be determined by molecular methods in order to identify the host and geographic changeability. From the aspect of the complete approach our research will allow to recognize of risk areas with circulation of both agents.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2017

Newly emerging parasitic and vector-borne diseases in dogs, their epidemiology and diagnostic
Novo sa objavujúce závažné parazitárne a vektormi prenášané ochorenia psov, ich epidemiológia a diagnostika
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Miterpáková Martina PhD.
Annotation:The proposed project evolves the topic of parasitic and other vector-borne infections, many of which expanded to Slovakia in recent years (dirofilariosis, angiostrongylosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis) or their incidence is increasing due to imported cases (leishmaniasis). The main focus groups of epidemiological studies are dogs as the most numerous group of pets. The practical importance of the project is emphasized by the lack of knowledge on the prevalence and pathogenicity of agents, the incidence of various co-infections that may not only contribute to the deterioration of the patient’s health status, but also negatively affect the diagnosis and course of treatment. The outcomes of the project will provide foreground comprehensive data on distribution of newly emerging parasitic and vector-borne diseases in the territory of Slovakia for optimization of effective methods of routine diagnostics.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Fish tapeworms (Cestoda) in North America: new knowledge on evolutionary and medically important parasites
Pásomnice (Cestoda) rýb v Severnej Amerike: získanie nových poznatkov o evolučne a medicínsky významných parazitoch
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Oros Mikuláš PhD.
Annotation:The project deals with the taxonomic research of so far little known diversity of tapeworms of the order Caryophyllidea, parasites of freshwater fishes. Within this group, an occurrence of hidden ‘cryptic species’ and ‘criptic species complex’ is frequently recorded. The research will be primarily focused on aforementioned species, taxonomically doubtful species ‘species inquirenda‘, insufficiently described species requiring re-description as well as taxa important from phylogenetic point of view. A special attention will be paid to alien species, naturally or intentionally introduced to Slovakia, posing a potential threat to ichthyofauna and biodiversity protection. New morphological and genetic data will be obtained along with new knowledge on biology and adaptations of these tapeworms. The key outputs arising from this project will be descriptions of several new caryophyllidean tapeworms and revision of several genera from the different geographical regions of the world.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Population-genetic characterization of invasive parasitic species (Platyhelminthes); determination of their origin and migratory routes
Populačno-genetická charakterizácia inváznych druhov parazitov (Platyhelminthes); determinácia ich pôvodu a ciest šírenia
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Bazsalovicsová Eva PhD.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2020

Soil nematodes and microorganisms: indicators of impact of non-native plant species invasion to the ecosystem
Pôdne nematódy a mikroorganizmy: indikátory dopadu invázie nepôvodných druhov rastlín na ekosystém.
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Renčo Marek PhD.
Annotation:Spread of invasive alien plant species are becoming an increasing threat for plant species diversity of the resident communities, which directly affects the soil organisms. The main objective of the project is to characterize the structure of communities of soil nematodes, functional diversity of microorganisms and activity of microbial community in natural ecosystems with the native plant communities and ecosystems affected by the invasion of non-native plant species. To analyze the impact of the invasion of non-native plant species on community structure, changes in nematode species diversity, depending on the species of invasive plants. Assess the soil condition of the native and invaded ecosystems by the using of soil nematodes and microorganisms as indicators. Analyze the relationships between plants, soil microorganisms and nematodes.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Natural foci in urban environment - the case of the Košice agglomeration: structure and dynamics in space and in time
Prírodné ohniská v mestách na príklade košickej aglomerácie: štruktúra a dynamika v priestore a čase.
Program: VEGA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Stanko Michal DrSc.
Annotation:The project aims to confirm active natural foci in the urban environment. Using the model of the Košice agglomeration, three major components of natural foci will be studied: 1. small mammals (reservoir animals) 2. vectors of natural foci disease agents (several groups of ectoparasitic arthropods), 3. significant bacterial and protozoan pathogens (Anaplasma, Bartonella, Rickettsia, Babesia and other) in the reservoir animals and vectors. The prevalence of ticks on vegetation will be estimated along with seasonal dynamics of their abundance in the model areas within studied territory. The impact of micro-climatic factors on the distribution and changes in the population of ticks during the year will be analysed in order to design relevant risk maps for the studied areas.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

Antitick protection using of modified polypropylen fibres with an acaricidal effect
Protikliešťová ochrana pomocou modifikovaných polypropylénových vlákien s akaricídnym účinkom
Program: SRDA
Project leader: doc. MVDr. Peťko Branislav DrSc.
Annotation:The project is interdisciplinary, combining experience of experts in parasitology and chemical technology, based on the informal co-operation. It resolves an innovative technology of manufacturing polypropylene modificated fiber with persistent anti-tick modification PROLENTICK FT with firmly incorporated active substance in matrix and on the surface with different concentration and also with various technology of fixation of active substance in the fiber and to provide to textile industry a new product – modified fiber with high quality in various silkiness, resistant to common mechanical (e.g. abrasion), physical (e.g. washing, moisture, rain, sun emission) and chemical (e.g. sweat) efforts. This textile materials made from functional fibers will be tested for repellent effect for the most significant species of ticks in Slovakia and central Europe – Ixodes ricinus ticks and Dermacentor reticulatus. Functional textiles made from these fibers will have very wide spectrum of utilization in everyday living for people visiting areas with tick distribution regularly or sporadically, also for production of different complements and harnesses for livestock and farm animals with antitick effect. Original progressive types of polypropylene fibres will be on the offer to produce qualitatively innovative textile materials with a higher added value.
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 31.12.2018

Vegetation, soil microorganisms and carbon sequestrations in forest soils
Rastliny, pôdne mikroorganizmy a sekvestrácia uhlíka v lesnych pôdach
Program: SRDA
Project leader: Ing. Renčo Marek PhD.
Annotation:The main project objective is to analyse and clarify the interactions between plant communities, belowground organisms and soil properties (with emphasis on the ability of the soil to sequestrate carbon) in natural forest stands and stands influenced by human activities (different management of forest stands, land use changes,invasive plant species).The proposed project deals with the fundamental questions in soil and plant ecology and productivity with the emphasis on soil microorganisms and plant diversity and carbon sequestration.From the scientific point of view the project will rely especially on a complex evaluation of elationships and functions in the system plant-microbiota-soil and factors influencing them. At the same time, the study of soil microbial community on functional and genomic level using DNA analysis will provide completely new information in this field of research. Understanding the plant and microbial community interactions and they role in the C sequestration may lead to the development of land-management model and practices, which can be followed in the increase of C sequestration potential of soils.
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 30.6.2020

Relictual forms of arthropods (Arthropoda) in the Western Carpathians – morphology, ecology and phylogeny
Reliktné formy článkonožcov (Arthropoda) v Západných Karpatoch – morfológia, ekológia a fylogenéza
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Miklisová Dana PhD.
Annotation:During the last decades the wide spectrum of unique relictual forms of arthropods in territory of the Western Carpathians has been revealed. Most of them have remained taxonomically unresolved and their ecology is poorly undestood, obligate cave forms including. The aim of the project is to study detailed morphology of these relicts assigned to Palpigradi, Acari, Amphipoda, Diplopoda, Collembola and Lepidoptera. Futhermore, the project aims to bring the data on their ecology by a detailed populational study. Phylogenetic approach based on analysis of two molecular markers will be applied for the selected taxa, specifically the family Attemsiidae (Diplopoda), the genera Pseudosinella and Pygmarrhopalites (Collembola), and relictual populations of the selected alpine and steppe species of Lepidoptera. The project is based on the complex methodology, i.e. combination of the morphology and ecology study of relictual arthropod populations with molecular analyses in reconstruction of the phylogenetic lineages.
Duration: 1.1.2018 - 31.12.2021

Parasite resistance to anthelmintics - Challenges, perspectives and solutions
Rezistencia parazitov na antihelmintiká - výzvy, perspektívy a riešenia
Program: SRDA
Project leader: doc. MVDr. Várady Marián DrSc.
Duration: 1.7.2015 - 30.6.2019

Risk assessment of occurrence of selected intracellular pathogens with zoonotic potential
Stanovenie miery rizika výskytu vybraných intracelulárnych patogénov so zoonotickým potenciálom.
Program: VEGA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Stanko Michal DrSc.
Annotation:At present, diseases with a zoonotic potential have an increasing trend. The aim of the project is to determine a qualitative level of risk and health threats posed by chlamydial, microsporidial, Ehrlichia/Anaplasma and Bartonella infections, which are all linked together by their zoonotic potential. The pathogens, their causative agents, are strictly intracellular. The results achieved will be as follows: determination of the current epidemiological and epidemiological situation regarding their incidence, definition of the different genotypes and qualitative assessment of the likelihood (risk level) of the pathogen occurrence. Based on the obtained data, the algorithm will be determined for their classification into the classes according to the severity of the risk of zoonotic transmission.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2017

Standardisation of new approaches in the diagnosis of important helminthic diseases of humans and their application into the practice in the light of actual epidemiological and social conditions of Slovakia.
Štandardizácia nových prístupov v diagnostike závažných helmintóz ľudí a ich aplikácia do praxe v aktuálnych epidemiologických a sociologických podmienkach Slovenska.
Program: SRDA
Project leader: MVDr. Antolová Daniela PhD.
Annotation:Global changes of epidemiological, socio-economic and ecological character have contributed significantly to the spread of infectious and parasitic diseases in the past decades. In Slovakia, due to impact of these changes, new parasitic zoonoses emerged – echinococcosis and dirofilariosis, and also other agents of severe helminth diseases still pose the risk of human infection. It potentiates the need of correct diagnosis based on up-to-date scientific knowledge. The project aims to create at IP SAS groundwork for creation of highly specialised centre that will provide to physicians, hospitals and diagnostic laboratories facilities beyond conventional laboratory diagnostics, including superdiagnosis of parasitic diseases (validation and confirmation of diagnosis in doubtful cases), and identification of diseases agent on species level. This will create the opportunities for the self-financing of research and function of IP SAS, which, in the light of transformation of Slovak Academy of Sciences to public-research institutions, becomes upcoming and high-priority task.
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 30.6.2020

Wild ruminants as potential risk factor for transmission of anthelmintic resistant parasites between small ruminant farms.
Voľne žijúce prežúvavce ako potenciálny rizikový faktor prenosu rezistentných parazitov medzi chovmi malých prežúvavcov
Program: VEGA
Project leader: doc. MVDr. Várady Marián DrSc.
Annotation:Anthelmintic resistance in parasites of small ruminants has been known for more than four decades. In response to the discussed issues of resistance in gastrointestinal parasites of ruminants, our aim is to map out yet unexplained aspects of the possible transmission of resistant parasites from small to wild ruminants using the latest knowledge about the transmission and detection of resistant strains. During the grazing seasons between 2016-2018, different species of animals will be experimentally infected with Haemonchus contortus. The project outcome will be a set of general recommendations for the management of sheep and goats applicable in the control of gastrointestinal parasites and eliminating the prevalence of resistant strains.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2018

THE IMPACT OF ANTHROPOGENIC CONTANIMATION ON THE OCCURRENCE OF THE MICROBIAL AND PARASITIC ORGANISMS IN ENVIRONMENT WITHIN URBAN AND RURAL ECOSYSTEMS
VPLYV ANTROPOGÉNNEJ ZÁŤAŽE NA VÝSKYT MIKROBIÁLNYCH A PARAZITICKÝCH ORGANIZMOV V ŽIVOTNOM PROSTREDÍ V URBÁNNYCH A RURÁLNYCH EKOSYSTÉMOCH
Program: VEGA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Papajová Ingrid PhD.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2020

The structure and dynamics of montane natural foci of tick-borne diseases
Výskum štruktúry a dynamiky prírodných ohnísk kliešťami prenášaných nákaz horského typu.
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Víchová Bronislava PhD.
Annotation:The proposed project is aimed at the comprehensive research of the structure of tick-borne diseases natural foci in chosen mountain areas of Europe under the impact of global climate and socio-economic changes. The project will concentrate the research of ticks' ecology, epidemiology, and epizootiology of tick-borne diseases, with emphasis on serious viral (tick-borne encephalitis), bacterial and protozoan infections of human and animals. It will be a direct continuation of the studies of genetic variability of tick-borne pathogens in urban and recreational areas, which were realized within several VEGA and APVV projects, EU structural funds and dissertation theses solved at the Department of Vector-Borne Diseases (Institute of Parasitology SAS). For detection of tick-borne pathogens, methods of molecular biology and genetic will be used. The project aims to integrate the scientific research, educational, material and technical potential of the scientific excellence of Institute and University.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Usage of next-generation sequencing for virome analysis of medically and economically relevant organisms
Využitie sekvenovania novej generácie pre analýzu virómu medicínsky a hospodársky významných organizmov
Program: SRDA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Stanko Michal DrSc.
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 30.6.2019

Importance of subsurface scree habitats for interactions between soil and subterranean environment on example of arthropod communities (Arthropoda)
Význam podpovrchových suťových habitatov z hľadiska interakcie pôdneho a subteránneho prostredia na príklade spoločenstiev článkonožcov (Arthropoda)
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Miklisová Dana PhD.
Annotation:Generally, biological communities of superficial subterranean habitats are still explored only insufficiently. The project proposal is focused on several types of scree deposits (MSS, talus deposits filled by soil) on karstic and non-calcareous bedrock in the territory of the Western Carpathians, Slovakia. Diversity and seasonal dynamics of arthropod communities in vertical profile in relation to microclimate of the scree deposits will be evaluated in several sites of different orographic regions. Project will add to understanding of the importance of superficial subterranean habitats for evolution, diversity and distribution of terrestrial arthropods of underground systems in the Western Carpathians.
Duration: 1.1.2014 - 31.12.2017

The host – parasite – pathogen relations using geographic information systems tools
Vzťahy hostiteľ - parazit - patogén/choroba s využitím geografických informačných systémov
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Miklisová Dana PhD.
Annotation:This research is closely linked up with the previous projects (VEGA and APVV) of the research team, it will bring new knowledge. It is aimed at detailed understanding of host–parasite–pathogen interactions with emphasis on using geographic information systems tools, formalisation by means of mathemathical statistics and modelling. Extremely large database from long-term field works (East Slovakia) offers outstanding opportunity for generalisation knowledge on co-interactions of rodents (focus on two the most abundant epidemiologically significant ones – Apodemus agrarius, A. flavicollis), parasitic arthropods communities (ticks, mites, fleas - potential vectors of causative agents of various diseases), pathogens ( anaplasma, babesia, bartonella, rickettsia, neoehrlichia) and vector-born diseases. This project is unique by its complexity and statistically sufficient data for geographical interpretation of results. It has features of a basic research and is expected to benefit medical and veterinary practices.
Duration: 1.1.2014 - 31.12.2017

The total number of projects: 24