Zikmund Bartonicek

Zikmund Bartonicek

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Zikmund Bartonicek

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Start Year

2018 (Cohort 5)

Research interests:
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PhD Project
PhD Title

Environmental monitoring of medically and veterinary important freshwater snails and their trematode parasites

Research Theme

Natural and Biological Hazards

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



Schistosomes are parasitic trematodes causing morbidity in humans, livestock and wildlife. Their life cycles require replication within intermediate aquatic snail hosts, and transmission to definitive host occurs when they come into contact with the schistosome larva (cercariae) infested waters. The infectious stages and the intermediate hosts can be cryptic and not easy to detect without specialist equipment and training. There is a growing need for field friendly assays capable of determining the host and parasite presence or absence in the environment as control programmes need data for success evaluation, and to detect the parasites in new habitats into which they may be spreading.

This project aims to address the need through development and validation of isothermal DNA amplification methods linked with environmental DNA (eDNA) detection. The combination of these methods holds great potential for advancing field diagnostics, cutting the need for expensive laboratory equipment and providing results in less than an hour. This PhD will advance the status of field diagnostics of schistosome and snail host presence, reducing the need for physical collection of parasites or their intermediate hosts.

Policy Impact
Background Reading
Grants and awards
  • LCNTDR Travel Award – London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research



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