Research interests

Sarcocystis parasites, definitive host, wild felids and canids. Aim of the investigation is to determine species richness and infection rates of Sarcocystis parasites spread by domestic and wild canids and felids using molecular analysis methods.

Annotation of the doctoral dissertation

Sarcocystis pathogens are widely spread and some of them can be harmful for farm animals such as cattle, pigs, horses, sheep and may lower the quality of the meat, milk or other products related to agriculture, thus lower the financial income. Also some Sarcocystis species can be harmful for humans. This dissertation investigates the role of wild felids and canids as definitive hosts in spreading Sarcocystis parasites. The main set tasks are:

  1. To determine Sarcocystis species richness in small intestine samples of wild predators of family Canidae and Felidae using molecular methods
  2. To screen faeces of wild canids and felids collected in nature for Sarcocystis species
  3. To evaluate spread of Sarcocystis parasites by wild felids and canids in nature.

Material will be collected and examined by molecular methods for presence of Sarcocystis parasites. Stages of analysis are listed in the tasks. Research is planned to be focused on pathogenic Sarcocystis species, and those parasitising economically important farm animals. Collected samples will be tested for more than 30 Sarcocsytis spp. using species-specific and genus specific primers. Molecular identification of the species will be done by amplification of nuclear 18S rRNA and mitochondrial cox1 fragments. After it the amplified fragments will be sequenced, and compared to distinguish Sarcocystis species.

The purpose of the dissertation is to obtain new data of the role of  wild canids and felids in spreading of pathogenic Sarcocystis parasites.

The Objective of the dissertation is to investigate the role of wild canids and felids in spreading of Sarcocystis parasites by completing tasks and drawing conclusions.