Research interests

Studies on parasites of the genus Sarcocystis in intermediate hosts using morphological and molecular methods. Studies on small mammalian muscle tissues using the digestive method.
Microscopy of small mammalian muscle tissues, isolation of detected sarcocysts and DNA extraction. Identification of Sarcocystis species using different types of PCR reactions, visualisation of the amplified products on agarose gels, purification and preparation for sequencing, analysis of the resulting DNA sequences.

Annotation of the doctoral dissertation

During the course of the doctoral studies the student will aim to assess the species diversity of Sarcocystis parasites in small mammals in Lithuania and abroad. For the research purposes blood, muscle and brain samples of small mammals will be analysed by morphological and molecular methods.

Preliminary objectives of the studies:

1. To determine the extent of Sarcocystis spp. infection in muscles of small mammals using microscopic and DNA sequence analysis techniques.
2. Describe new Sarcocystis species using electron microscopy and molecular analysis techniques.
3. To compare Sarcocystis species composition in small rodents caught in synanthropic environments in Lithuania and Spain.
4. To identify Sarcocystis species in blood samples of small mammals using DNA sequence analysis.
5. To characterise morphological and genetic features of S. glareoli and S. microti species found in small mammalian muscle tissues using nuclear, mitochondrial and apicoplast DNA markers.

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International scientific conferences:

  1. Šukytė T, Šneideris D, Juozaitytė-Ngugu E, Butkaukas D, Moskaliova D, Vaitiekūnaitė D, Kovaliūnaitė D, Prakas P. 2022. Molecular identification of 1 Sarcocystis parasites in small intestines of mustelids and Northern goshawk from Lithuania. Lietuvos mikrobiologų draugijos konferencija. Microbiologija 2022. April 28-29, Birštonas, Lithuania.