Head: Assoc. Prof. Univ.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Julia Walochnik
Institut für Spezifische Prophylaxe und Tropenmedizin
Tel: +43-1-40 160-38240
Fax.: +43-1-40 490-938233
Acanthamoeba infections, amoebae as hosts for bacteria, vector-borne parasites, molecular phylogeny
The research unit Molecular Parasitology aims to understand the interactions between protozoan parasites and their hosts at the molecular level.
Our major research focus lies on the pathomechanisms of Acanthamoeba infections. We are interested in Acanthamoeba virulence factors and cell-cell communication and want to elucidate the triggers for pathogenicity in this facultative pathogen. Also, we aim to understand the Acanthamoeba encystment process, as the cysts account for the ubiquity, resilience and drug-resistance of these microorganisms. Finally, we have been investigating the role of amoebae as vehicles for bacteria and other microorganisms.
A second focus of our work lies on vector-borne protozoan pathogens, particularly on sandflies and Leishmania species.
Apart from our research work, we are involved in routine diagnostics of parasitic infections.