Center for Research of Pathogenicity and Virulence of Parasites

Center for Research of Pathogenicity and Virulence of Parasites

Prof. RNDr. Jan Tachezy, Ph.D.

Prof. RNDr. Jan Tachezy, Ph.D. — Project head

About us

The aim of the project is to identify virulence factors of important parasites of humans and livestock and to assess their potential for the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches.

The proposed research activities will have performed at the Faculty of Science, Charles University, which includes the laboratories of the European Centre of Excellence BIOCEV and partner laboratories of the Institute of Parasitology of Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences in České Budějovice and newly established, laboratories at the Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava.

Project solves the absence of significant means for the treatment important infections caused by parasites. Used chemotherapeutics are usually toxic and against number of them has originated resistance without having available alternative chemotherapeutics. Significant problems are disease vectors as Ticks and Phlebotominaes.

Organizational-economic problems, which project solves, include typical research deficiencies in CR:

  • fragmentation of research activities
  • absence of some important modern instruments
  • lack of communication between the basic research and the application sphere
  • limited participation with international projects and cooperation

Project aim

The main objective of the proposed research program is to discover the virulence factors of important parasites of humans and livestock, and to determine their potential for the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

The proposed research project activities are part of the program: "Virulence factors of parasites as targets for development of novel antiparasitic strategies" and logically structured into five subprograms. The knowledge gained will be used for the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. The results will be published in high quality scientific journals or patented.

The main goal is to combine the research efforts of the parasitological teams of the Charles University (BIOCEV, Dept of Parasitology), Parasitology Institute ASCR and the University of Ostrava and to create a team with a critical concentration of research capacities with high quality infrastructure and experienced support project management.

The specific aims include:

  • the acquisition of the missing state-of-the-art instruments for the applicant and the partners. The completion of the research infrastructure at the Charles University and the establishment of new laboratory for the evaluation of the antiparasitic targets (Drug Discovery), which will assist in bridging the gap between the basic research and the application sphere.
  • strengthening the cooperation with leading international institutions
  • strengthening the participation in the international research projects and grant competitions
  • involvement of prominent international researchers in the research team




Peña-Diaz P, Mach J, Kriegová E, Poliak P, Tachezy J, Lukeš J (2018) Trypanosomal mitochondrial intermediate peptidase does not behave as a classical mitochondrial processing peptidase. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0196474.

Mach, J., Bílá, J., Ženíšková, K., Arbon, D., Malych, R., Glavanakovová,M., Nývltová, E., Sutak, R. Iron economy in Naegleria gruberi reflects its metabolic flexibility. International Journal for Parasitology. 2018, 48(9-10), 719-727. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2018.03.005.

Vacek, V., Novák, L. V. F., Treitli, S. C., Táborský, P., Čepička, I., Kolísko, M., Keeling, P. J., Hampl, V. Fe–S Cluster assembly in oxymonads and related protists. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 2018, 35(11), 2712–2718. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msy168.

Treitli, S. C., Kotyk, M., Yubuki, N., Jirounková, E., Vlásáková, J., Smejkalová, P., Šípek, P., Čepička, I., Hampl, V. Molecular and morphological diversity of the oxymonad genera Monocercomonoides and Blattamonas gen. nov. Protist. 2018, 169(5), 744-783. DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2018.06.005.

Spodareva, V. V., Grybchuk-Ieremenko, A., Losev, A., Votýpka, J., Lukeš, J., Yurchenko, V., Kostygov, A. Y. Diversity and evolution of anuran trypanosomes: insights from the study of European species. Parasites & Vectors. 2018, 11(1), 447. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-3023-1.

Halada, P., Hlaváčková, K., Risueño, J., Berriatua, E., Volf, P., Dvořák, V. Effect of trapping method on species identification of phlebotomine sandflies by MALDI-TOF MS protein profiling: Trap effect on sandfly protein profiling. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 2018, 32. DOI: 10.1111/mve.12305.

Sadlova J, Homola M, Myskova J, Jancarova M, Volf P (2018) Refractoriness of Sergentomyia schwetzi to Leishmania spp. is mediated by the peritrophic matrix. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(4): e0006382.

Willen L, Mertens P, Volf P (2018) Evaluation of the rSP03B sero-strip, a newly proposed rapid test for canine exposure to Phlebotomus perniciosus, vector of Leishmania infantum. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(8): e0006607.

Vivas Muñoz, J.C., Hilt, S., Horák, P. et al. Parasitol Res (2018) 117: 3547.

Marszewska A, Cichy A, Bulantová J, Horák P, Żbikowska E. 2018. Potamopyrgus antipodarum as a potential defender against swimmer’s itch in European recreational water bodies—experimental study. PeerJ 6:e5045

Harmer, J., Yurchenko, V., Nenarokova, A., Lukeš, J., & Ginger, M. (2018). Farming, slaving and enslavement: Histories of endosymbioses during kinetoplastid evolution. Parasitology, 145(10), 1311-1323. DOI:10.1017/S0031182018000781

Peña-Diaz, P. & Lukeš, J. J Biol Inorg Chem (2018) 23: 521.

Jalovecka M, Hajdusek O, Sojka D, Kopacek P and Malandrin L (2018) The complexity of piroplasms life cycles. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 8:248. DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2018.00248

Yurchenko, V., & Lukeš, J. (2018). Parasites and their (endo)symbiotic microbes. Parasitology, 145(10), 1261-1264. DOI:10.1017/S0031182018001257

Schoener E, Uebleis SS, Cuk C, Nawratil M, Obwaller AG, Zechmeister T, et al. (2018) Trypanosomatid parasites in Austrian mosquitoes. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0196052.

Maslov, D., Opperdoes, F., Kostygov, A., Hashimi, H., Lukeš, J., & Yurchenko, V. (2018). Recent advances in trypanosomatid research: Genome organization, expression, metabolism, taxonomy and evolution. Parasitology, 146(1), 1-27. DOI:10.1017/S0031182018000951.

Silva, F., Kostygov, A., Spodareva, V., Butenko, A., Tossou, R., Lukeš, J., . . . Alves, J. (2018). The reduced genome of Candidatus Kinetoplastibacterium sorsogonicusi, the endosymbiont of Kentomonas sorsogonicus (Trypanosomatidae): Loss of the haem-synthesis pathway. Parasitology, 145(10), 1287-1293. DOI:10.1017/S003118201800046X.

Záhonová, K., Petrželková, R., Valach, M., Yazaki, E., Tikhonenkov, D. V., Butenko, A., Janouškovec, J., Hrdá, Š., Klimeš, V., Burger, G., Inagaki, Y., Keeling, P. J., Hampl, V., Flegontov, P., Yurchenko, V., Eliáš, M. Extensive molecular tinkering in the evolution of the membrane attachment mode of the Rheb GTPase. Scientific reports. 2018. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-23575-0.

Hackenberg, M., Kotsyfakis, M. Exosome-mediated pathogen transmission by arthropod vectors. Trends in Parasitology. 2018, 34(7), 549-552. DOI: 10.1016/

Perner J, Kropáčková S, Kopáček P, Ribeiro JMC (2018) Sialome diversity of ticks revealed by RNAseq of single tick salivary glands. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(4): e0006410.

Heiss, A. A., Kolísko, M., Ekelund, F., Brown, M. W., Roger, A. J., Simpson, A. G. B. Combined morphological and phylogenomic re-examination of malawimonads, a critical taxon for inferring the evolutionary history of eukaryotes. Royal society open science. 2018, 5(4). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171707. ISSN 2054-5703.

Lukeš, J., Butenko, A., Hashimi, H., Maslov, D. A., Votýpka, J., Yurchenko, V. Trypanosomatids are much more than just trypanosomes: Clues from the expanded family tree. Trends in Parasitology. 2018, 34(6), 466-480. DOI: 10.1016/

Procházková, M., Paniccuci, B., Zíková, A. Cultured bloodstream Trypanosoma brucei adapt to life without mitochondrial translation release factor 1. Scientific reports. 2018. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-23472-6.

Perner, J., Kotál, J., Hatalová, T., Urbanová, V., Bartošová-Sojková, P., Brophy, P. M., Kopáček, P. Inducible glutathione S-transferase (IrGST1) from the tick Ixodes ricinus is a haem-binding protein. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2018, 95, 44-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2018.02.002.

Tashyreva, D., Prokopchuk, G., Votýpka, J., Yabuki, A., Horák, A., Lukeš, J. Life cycle, ultrastructure, and phylogeny of new diplonemids and their endosymbiotic bacteria. MBio. 2018, 9(2). DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02447-17.

Lynn, D. H., Kolísko, M., Bourland, W. Phylogenomic analysis of Nassula variabilis n. sp., Furgasonia blochmanni, and Pseudomicrothorax dubius confirms a Nassophorean clade. Protist. 2018, 169(2), 180-189. DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2018.02.002.


Prof. RNDr. Jan Tachezy, Ph.D.

Prof. RNDr.
Jan Tachezy, Ph.D.

Vice-Chairman of the Board, Co-ordinator of Cellular Biology and Virology Research Programme
Mgr. Pavel Doležal, Ph.D.

Pavel Doležal, Ph.D.

Head of Group Mechanisms for Transport of Proteins through Mitochondrial and Bacterial Membranes
+420325873945, +420325873909
doc. Mgr. Vladimír Hampl, Ph.D.

doc. Mgr.
Vladimír Hampl, Ph.D.

Head of Group Genomics of Eukaryotes and Lateral Gene Transfer
+420325873911, +420325873952
Doc. RNDr. Ivan Hrdý, Ph.D.

Doc. RNDr.
Ivan Hrdý, Ph.D.

Head of Department of Parasitology of the Faculty of Science CUNI
Michaela Marcinčiková

Michaela Marcinčiková

Laboratory Manager
Mgr. Petr Rada, Ph.D.

Petr Rada, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Mgr. Tamara Smutná, Ph.D.

Tamara Smutná, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral researcher
RNDr. Róbert Šuťák, Ph.D.

Róbert Šuťák, Ph.D.

Head of Group Uptake and Intracellular Metabolism of Metals
+420325873910, +420325873944
RNDr. Zdeněk Verner, Ph.D.

Zdeněk Verner, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral researcher
Ing. Lenka Pachmanová

Lenka Pachmanová

Project manager
Bc. Kamila Ševčíková

Kamila Ševčíková

Financial manager
Veronika Stojanova

Veronika Stojanova

JUDr. Markéta Nováková

Markéta Nováková

Public procurement coordinator
Mgr. Kateřina Ženíšková

Kateřina Ženíšková


In the frame of this project, three strategic foreign partners will be included, which significantly contribute to fulfilment of the research aims, increase the qualification of our research team members and extend the international.