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Mag. Dr. Martina Köhsler

Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology (Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine)
Position: Research Associate (Postdoc)

T +43 1 40160-38243


Acanthamoeba Keratitis; Cell Biology; Molecular Biology; Parasites; Parasitic Diseases

Research group(s)

Research interests

My main research interest is the genus Acanthamoeba, free-living but potentially pathogenic amoebae and the causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. In particular I focus on the cell biology, molecular epidemiology and the pathogenic potential of these organsims  and constantly try to optimize molecular Acanthamoeba diagnostics. Currently I am investigating their oxidative system.

Furthermore, I continuously work on the establishment of more sensitive and specific diagnostic PCRs for the detection of several other parasites and participate in epidemiology and phylogeny studies on parasitic organisms.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

Cell culture, DNA isolation, RNA isolation, PCR, qPCR, Sequencing, SDS-PAGE, 2D-PAGE, Microscopy, Zymography, Phylogeny

Selected publications

  1. Köhsler, M. et al., 2020. Validation of reference genes for the normalization of RT-qPCR gene expression in Acanthamoeba spp. Scientific Reports, 10(1). Available at:
  2. Koehsler, M. et al., 2007. Onchocerca jakutensisFilariasis in Humans. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 13(11), pp.1749–1752. Available at:
  3. Obwaller, A.G. et al., 2018. Leishmania infections in Austrian soldiers returning from military missions abroad: a cross-sectional study. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 24(10), pp.1100.e1–1100.e6. Available at:
  4. Koehsler, M. et al., 2009. Acanthamoeba castellanii : growth on human cell layers reactivates attenuated properties after prolonged axenic culture. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 299(2), pp.121–127. Available at:
  5. Koehsler, M. et al., 2007. Molecular identification and classification ofCochlonema euryblastum, a zoopagalean parasite ofThecamoeba quadrilineata. Mycologia, 99(2), pp.215–221. Available at: