1. Clinical and applied veterinary parasitology

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This research area includes projects on the occurrence of parasites in domestic and wild animals in Austria and its neighbouring countries, as well as the evaluation of management and parasite control strategies in domestic animals. The development of novel diagnostic tools and models for the evaluation of chemotherapeutics in vivo and in vitro are also a part of this research.

 

 

2. Arthropod vectors and vector-borne diseases

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Blood-feeding arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks receive increasing attention due to their ability to transmit a range of pathogens, including nematodes, protozoa, bacteria and viruses. Climate change and travel may contribute to the spread of vectors (and the pathogens they carry) to previously free areas. Surveillance of the current status and changes that may occur over the years are investigated in this research focus, as is the basic biology of vectors.

 

 

3. Neonatal porcine coccidiosis

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PhD Project of Anna Feix
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Porcine neonatal coccidiosis is a common diarrhoeal disease of suckling piglets and is caused by the protozoan Cystoisospora suis (previously named Isospora suis). The parasite is ingested orally and subsequently invades the epithelium of the intestines, primarily the jejunum. Due to the destruction of the intestinal lining dysbiosis and an intensive inflammatory response cause diarrhoea with loss of fluid and poor growth. In rare cases animals can be severely affected by secondary infections with pathogenic bacteria, such as Escherichia coli or Clostridium perfringens. We investigate novel control and diangostic methods to combat this infection.

 

In our research group at the Institute of Parasitology (Department of Pathobiology) at the Vetmeduni Vienna, several topics relating to coccidiosis of neonatal pigs are addressed which are all embedded in the profile line “Infection and Prevention” of the Vetmeduni’s key research areas (Research Strategy 5). Doctoral and PhD projects are embedded in the Graduate school Pig and Poultry Medicine of the Vetmeduni 6.

Current PhD student:

Anna Feix 7

 

4. Glycosylation of Parasitic Nematodes

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Glycosylation is one of the most common biochemical event occurring in all living organisms. Glycomics studies have revealed that parasitic nematodes syntheses and modify their proteins with a repertoire of glycan structures (carbohydrates), which are very different from the ones in mammals. On one hand, these “foreign” nematode glycans are antigenic to the host, contributing to the elevation of anti-parasite antibodies upon infection; on the other hand, nematode-derived glycoproteins interact with immune cells, leading to remarkable immunoregulatory effects on the hosts. The research focus is primarily on 1) identifying novel glyco-epitopes on the glycoproteins of parasitic nematodes, 2) characterising novel glyco-enzymes involved in nematode glycan biosynthesis and, 3) glycoengineering and recombinant expression of parasite glycoproteins with biopharmaceutical potential. One on-going project “Biosynthesis of helminth N-glycoproteins in insect cells 9” is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

  

Internships and practicals at the Institute of Parasitology

All informations fur students and internships at the Institute can be found here  10(scroll to the bottom).