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The list of national projects SAS

Institute of Parasitology
Alternative methods for assessing contamination rates of aquatic ecosystem using fish and their parasites
Alternatívne metódy hodnotenia miery kontaminácie vodného ekosystému s využitím rýb a ich parazitov
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Oros Mikuláš PhD.
Annotation:Some regions of Eastern Slovakia are known for a high degree of severe polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollution. PCBs are highly toxic contaminants that persist in the environment for a long time and pose a significant risk to human and animal health. The highest levels of PCBs, exceeding the ecological and health limits, were measured in the sediments of the Zemplínska Šírava reservoir, but their further spread by its adjacent rivers is not known. The aim of the project is a comprehensive research of PCB pollution of Zemplínska Šírava and adjacent rivers using analytical methods and bioindicators, selected fish species and their parasites. An important part of the project is the research of structural, cellular and functional abnormalities (chromosomal aberrations and disorders of gametogenesis) in parasites of the contaminated ecosystem. We expect that our results provide new information on the ecological status of the studied sites, the physiological condition of fish and the risks to residents of Zemplín.
Duration: 1.1.2020 - 31.12.2023
Alternative parasite control of small ruminant
Alternatívne terpaie parazitóz malých prežúvavcov
Program: SRDA
Project leader: prof. MVDr. Várady Marián DrSc.
Annotation:Diseases caused by helminths of farm animals are among the most serious infectious diseases. They account for over 55% of all livestock diseases in Europe and cause significant losses in animal production figures. The spread of anthelmintic resistance in livestock parasites has led to the failure of therapy and the need to develop new strategies and recommendations for effective control of the antihelminthic parasite resistance. The project offers an alternative strategies to currently used chemotherapy solutions, namely the concept of herbal nutraceuticals as feed for ruminants with an effect against gastrointestinal parasitoses.
Duration: 1.7.2019 - 30.6.2023
Cestodoses with zoonotic potential in Slovakia – negligible risk or serious threat?
Cestodózy so zoonóznym potenciálom na Slovensku – zanedbateľné riziko alebo závažná hrozba?
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Antolová Daniela PhD.
Annotation:Tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus, Hymenolepis and Taenia, important from public health point of view, occur in Slovakia. The most severe diseases, alveolar and cystic echinococcosis, are caused by larval stages of E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Taenia saginata and T. solium infections are less frequent and less pathogenic, but T. solium can cause life-threatening neurocysticercosis. Human hymenolepiasis also occurs rarely, but high prevalence of Hymenolepis nana recorded in small rodents from pet shops, together with its zoonotic potential and recently confirmed ability of neoplastic transformation, confirmed that the risk of human health threat is not negligible. The project aims to extend the current knowledge on occurrence and genetic diversity of Echinococcus spp., Hymenolepis spp. and Taenia spp. and, through the analyses of immunological parameters in patients with different stage of echinococcosis, clarify the changes of immune response in patients and to find possibilities of its modulation.
Duration: 1.1.2020 - 31.12.2023
Diagnostic challenges and forgotten parasites of domestic animals
Diagnostické výzvy a zabudnuté parazity domácich zvierat
Program: VEGA
Project leader: prof. MVDr. Várady Marián DrSc.
Duration: 1.1.2019 - 31.12.2021
Functional food based on goats milk and its benefit on health
Funkčné potraviny na báze kozieho mlieka a ich prospešnosť pre zdravie
Program: SRDA
Project leader: MVDr. Dvorožňáková Emília PhD.
Annotation:Functional food, can be characterized as common and/or traditional food enriched with special component; component will allott to that that food term functional meaning immunity stimulation, tracy elements addition to the body following the principal aim to have beneficial effect on health. Relating to dairy industry or agriculture, nowadays is prefering goats milk and/or products made up from it. In the framework of functional food is very popular and acceptable involving of probiotic bacteria; after their colonization in host organism, they can form ideal environment which with their metabolites or with their involving in the receptors influencing immune system can beneficially influence host organism.These bacteria can reach host organism/consumer by two ways: per os or via food. The project is focused on isolation, identification, general and technological characterization of autochtonnous lactic acid bacteria from goats milk and cheese of different Slovak producers; suitable, selected strain will be applied into product made up of goats milk in semi-processing (laboratory) conditions as well as in dairy-farming – customer of project application output condition; then the application form and effect of that one functional food will be tested using volonters (via consumption of cheese or the other products made up of goats milk). Application output will be the authochtonnous culture which could be used for technological processing of goats milk and/or products made up of it; these together with their final benefit on cunsumer health could allott that product to functional food.
Duration: 1.8.2018 - 31.7.2022
Genetic analysis of selected emerging and re-emerging pathogens with zoonotic potential in animals and humans.
Genetická analýza vybraných a novo sa objavujúcich patogénov so zoonotickým potenciálom u zvierat a ľudí.
Program: VEGA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Stanko Michal DrSc.
Annotation:Emerging, resp. re-emerging infectious diseases are diseases caused by completely new or previously undetected pathogenic microorganisms, but also diseases which may be caused by a known pathogen which has begun to spread to new geographical areas or to a new host group. The origin and nature of these diseases determine not only climatic, environmental and social factors, but also economic, and therefore it is very difficult to predict when and where the next pathogen will be occurs. Approximately 75% of these diseases are zoonoses. The presented project deals with viral hepatitis E, microsporidiosis, cryptosporidiosis, chlamydiosis and anaplasmosis, whose common denominator is their zoonotic character and their inclusion in a group of emerging or reemerging diseases. Project detects their prevalence in a group of animals and humans, and by genotyping the species monitors their mutual transmission. The result is to determine the current epidemiological and epidemiological situation in their occurrence.
Duration: 1.1.2018 - 31.12.2021
Risk assessment of the parasitozoonoses occurrence using multicriteria analysis approaches
Hodnotenie rizika výskytu parazitozoonóz metódami multikriteriálnej analýzy
Program: SRDA
Project leader: doc. RNDr. Papajová Ingrid PhD.
Duration: 1.7.2019 - 30.6.2023
Immunomodulatory properties of probiotic enterococci and their enterocins in the antiparasitic defence of the host with experimental trichinellosis
Imunomodulačné vlastnosti probiotických enterokokov a ich enterocínov pri antiparazitárnej obrane hostiteľa s experimentálnou trichinelózou
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Dvorožňáková Emília PhD.
Annotation:A novel strategy utilising the therapeutic potencial of bacteriocin-producing bacterial strains Enterococcus and their enterocins will be investigated to exploit its protective effect against parasitic zoonosis – trichinellosis. The immunogenic activity of bacterial strains/bacteriocins will be examined at the levels of local and systemic, innate and acquired immunity. Direct and indirect interactions of enterocins with host immunity, such as stimulation of immune cells (lymphocytes, macrophages) and cytokine production during induction and regulation of the immune response in model parasitic infection will be studied. Links between the administration of bacteria/bacteriocins, immune effectors induction, and parasite elimination will be established. The project contribution will be strain-specific characterization of immunogenic properties of bacterial strains and their bacteriocins as promising candidates for prophylactic or therapeutic immunomodulation of the host with trichinellosis.
Duration: 1.1.2019 - 31.12.2022
Integrated monitoring and environmental risk assessment of PCBs and mercury contaminants in the Zemplín Region (Slovakia), one of the most ecologically threatened territories in Europe
Komplexný monitoring a hodnotenie environmentálnych rizík výskytu PCB a kontaminantov ortuti v oblasti Zemplína (Slovensko), jedného z najviac ekologicky ohrozených území Európy
Program: SRDA
Project leader: RNDr. Oros Mikuláš PhD.
Annotation:Environmental pollution is one of the most serious problems threatening survival and a future development of human civilization. Among pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and highly toxic heavy metals play a key role, because they accumulate and persist in the aquatic ecosystem including plants, invertebrates and animals for a long time. Even though they represent a real danger for human health, the actual dispersal and quantity of these contaminants in the environment are poorly known. Therefore, the proposed project aims to address the important questions of environmental pollution of the PCB-contaminated Zemplínska Šírava (eastern Slovakia) water reservoir, one of the worst man-made polluted spots in Europe, and its surroundings including the adjacent protected landscape of the Bodrog River basin. All major components of the polluted water reservoir and its surroundings (sediments, soil, fish, fish parasites, soil and plant parasitic nematodes and plants) will be analyzed for PCB levels and Hg concentration, using a new interdisciplinary approach, which will combine standard methods of pollutant detection with the use of bioindicators and molecular cytogenetics. It is expected that the results of this project will help to better understand the impact of environmental pollution on the aquatic life and suitability of bioindicators, especially fish parasites, in the biomonitoring of contaminants.
Duration: 1.7.2019 - 30.6.2023
Molecular epidemiology and risk of spread of wildlife parasites in actual ecologic conditions of Slovakia
Molekulárna epidemiológia a riziko šírenia sa parazitov zveri v aktuálnych ekologických podmienkach Slovenska
Program: VEGA
Project leader: doc. MVDr. Hurníková Zuzana PhD.
Annotation:The project will focus on the mechanisms of transmission and spread of parasites in natural ecosystems in Slovakia to elucidate the circulation patterns of selected protozoa (Toxoplasma gondii and haemosporidia of the genera Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus) and helminths (Eufilaria, Eufilariella, Onchocerca, and Anoplocephalidae). By means of molecular biology methods the current geographic distribution of selected parasitic diseases will be investigated in Slovakia and in cooperation with foreign institutions also in a wider geographic context. Biological peculiarities of host-parasite relationships, influencing the circulation in model study sites and the local adaptations of the parasite genetic structure to available hosts and vectors and to external factors. Factors limiting the survival of parasites, their vectors, intermediate hosts, and reservoirs will be identified, and risk areas will be defined predicting the risk of spreading to new areas and infecting humans.
Duration: 1.1.2019 - 31.12.2022
Clarification of the immunomodulatory effects of DLE (dialyzable leukocyte extract) in the therapy of mice with parasitic infections of immunosuppressive character.
Objasnenie imunomodulačných účinkov DLE (dialyzovateľný leukocytárny extrakt) pri liečbe myší s parazitárnymi infekciami imunosupresívneho charakteru
Program: SRDA
Project leader: RNDr. Hrčková Gabriela DrSc.
Duration: 1.8.2018 - 30.6.2022
Soil microbiota in natural forest ecosystems: its response to changing biotic and abiotic factors of habitat
Pôdna mikrobiota v prírodných lesných ekosystémoch, jej odozva na meniace sa biotické a abiotické faktory habitátu
Program: SRDA
Project leader: Ing. Renčo Marek PhD.
Annotation:Soil microbiota (including microfauna) plays a key role in nutrient cycles and energy flows, regulating the supply of plant-available nutrients from the soil and hence providing essential services to the forest ecosystem. Therefore, the knowledge about the state of soil microbial and nematode community, factors influencing it and consequently ways of its management is a fundamental need not only in plant productivity, soil ecology but in ecology in general. The aim of the proposed project is to analyse and clarify the responses of soil microbiota including nematodes to variation in abiotic and biotic factors of their habitat in natural forest ecosystems at a local scale and to find out whether the responses differ at a regional and global scale. The study will be conducted at localities with different trees species (European beech and Norway spruce) in natural forest ecosystems. The following issues can be considered innovative: (i) a complex evaluation of relationships in the system plant-soil-soil microbiota, (ii) study of relationships between two groups of soil biota (soil microorganisms and nematodes), (iii) synthesis of results and data on soil microorganisms from different sites in Slovakia and abroad, which allows a certain degree of generalisation. Understanding the responses of soil microbiota to variability in vegetation and abiotic factors is vitally important for the suggestions and recommendations regarding soil protection and biodiversity conservation in relation to climate change
Duration: 1.7.2020 - 30.6.2024
Direct and indirect impact of invasive plant species on soil micro and mesofauna biodiversity
Priamy a nepriamy vplyv inváznych druhov rastlín na biodiverzitu pôdnej mikro a mezofauny
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Renčo Marek PhD.
Annotation:In our time, due to global market and goods transportation, spread of the invasive plant species (IPs) has limitless opportunities across the globe. Those species are able quickly occupy new areas; create and form completely new types of vegetation. However, their impact on soil organisms has been studied so far very little. The proposed project focuses on the basic issues about soil and plant ecology with emphasis on species diversity and structure of soil nematode communities, functional diversity of microorganisms, structure of vegetation and their interactions in natural ecosystems affected by invasion of non-native invasive plant species. Depending on the type of invasive plant project will analyse the impact of invasion on soil organisms, soil properties, and organic matter supply in soil. We will evaluate soil environment of uninvaded and invaded ecosystems where soil nematodes and microorganisms will be used as indicators. Data from natural habitats will be verified in experimental conditions.
Duration: 1.1.2020 - 31.12.2023
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
Pet animals as effective sentinels of pathogens´ circulation with specific emphasis on vector-borne and zoonotic species
Spoločenské zvieratá ako účinný indikátor cirkulácie patogénov so špecifickým dôrazom na vektormi prenášané a zoonózne druhy
Program: VEGA
Project leader: MVDr. Miterpáková Martina DrSc.
Annotation:Epidemiology of infectious diseases of dogs and cats is currently undergoing a phase of rapid changes. The increase in pet travel and trade, urbanisation, plus changes in climate and natural environment can alter the range and abundance of vectors and reservoirs of several serious pathogens and will probably influence the present epidemiological situation. Given that 60-80% of infections are zoonotic in nature, dogs and cats may be effective sentinel animals when assessing the infection exposure for the human population. The project primarily focuses on arthropod-borne pathogens (Anaplasma, Borrelia, Babesia,, Hepatozoon, Dirofilaria, Thelazia a.o.) circulating in different types of urban/suburban environments differing in climate, landscape and biodiversity. The outcome of the project will be a comprehensive knowledge of species composition and abundance of ticks, and epidemiologically important arthropod-borne pathogens threatening both pets and human health in highly populated urban environments.
Duration: 1.1.2021 - 31.12.2024

The total number of projects: 15