Organisation structure

Department of microbiology and immunology

Characteristics of the department

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology was established in 2007 from the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Food Hygiene and Technology. The historical basis of the present Department is the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, which was established in 1990 by the division of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Zoohygiene. The head of the Department since 1950 was prof. MVDr. Augustín Sokol, DrSc., (1951 - 1980), prof. MVDr. Ján Rosocha, CSc., (1980 - 1987), prof. MVDr. Ivan Mikula, DrSc., (1987 - 2007), prof. MVDr. Juraj Pistl, PhD., (2007 - 2015) and prof. MVDr. Ľudmila Tkáčiková, PhD., (2015 - present). The Department underwent extensive building reconstruction between 2007 and 2013 as well as significant renovation of material and technical equipment thanks to funding from EU Structural Funds. The Department of Microbiology and Immunology provides scientific research and teaching activities related to the study of the properties of medically important microorganisms in relation to the immune system, diagnosis and prevention of infectious diseases. The Department includes the Laboratory for Work with Genetically Modified Organisms and the Laboratory of Gnotobiology.

In the field of microbiology, research tasks concerning bacterial and viral animal pathogens, their diagnosis and prevention, are carried out. The department also provides bacteriological diagnostics for the needs of UVLF clinics in Košice. In the field of virology, the focus is mainly on tick- and mosquito-borne viruses, with regard to their detection and biological characterisation.

Research activities in the field of immunology are focused on the impact of beneficial bacteria and substances of natural origin on animal immunity and intestinal microbiocenosis, especially in the context of prevention of infectious diseases without the use of antibiotics in order to produce safe and high quality food for human consumption. At present, research focuses mainly on livestock species of increasing economic importance and farming in the Slovak Republic, namely bees and fish.

The Laboratory of Gnotobiology focuses on the prevention of serious diseases in young livestock by biotechnological and natural approaches based on new scientific concepts to ensure the production of safe and quality food of animal origin and reduce the burden on the environment, using germ-free animals. The department focuses on research and development of preparates of microbial and natural origin for application in human and veterinary medicine based on new proprietary scientific concepts.

Within the framework of pedagogical activities, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology provides teaching in Slovak and English language of compulsory and compulsory optional subjects in study programmes General Veterinary Medicine, Food Hygiene, Pharmacy and Feed and Food Safety. Members of the department are guarantors and co-guarantor of the Immunology and the Microbiology study branches in the 3rd level of education. Scientific and infrastructural background is provided for elaborating of final theses and scientific education of PhD. students.