Core Partner, BSL3, EU


The Laboratory for Diagnosis of Zoonoses at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana is involved in the clinical diagnostics and research of zoonotic vector-borne diseases, mainly arboviruses and viral haemorrhagic fevers (Hantaviruses, Tick-borne encephalitis virus and other Flaviviruses, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Chikungunya virus, Arenaviruses) and zoonotic bacteria. The laboratory has the role of reference centre at the national and internationallevel, for hantaviruses, TBE and CCHF viruses. The Laboratory for Zoonoses, which manages the BSL-3 laboratory, conducts research on genetic variability and pathogenesis studies of the above-mentioned pathogens with the relation to their host-vector-man relationship. The laboratory staff is trained for working in field (collecting rodents and ticks as natural sources of viruses), working with viruses under BSL-2 and BSL-3 conditions (virus isolates from patients and from natural hosts) and molecular detection and genetic characterization of viruses. The methodologies available are: (1) cell culture and virus culture (BSL2 and BSL3); (2) Genomics based on Next-Generation Sequencing platform; (3) Molecular and serological diagnosis in medical virology.

Facilities include standard molecular biology/immunology/cellular biology facilities, BSL2/BSL3/BSL3+ laboratories.

The laboratory and the institute profile matches the tasks in the proposal, as they are the leading institutions in the area of viral research inSlovenia. Novel viruses and novel virus strains have been isolated here, including the first isolation of Dobrava Hantavirus, an important human pathogen in Europe, isolation of highly pathogenic strain of CCHF (strain Hoti) and several other important human pathogenic viruses. Additional to the know-how and the capacity existing at our institution, we follow the quality standards that ensure a high quality product. The research performed at our institution allows for improvement and development of techniques for viral characterisation, viral product construction and viral isolations. We have long-standing collaborations with research and public health institutions within and outside Europe.