Zikmund Bartonicek

Zikmund Bartonicek

Profile
Profile Display Name:
Zikmund Bartonicek
E-mail Address:
zikmund.bartonicek@gmail.com
Start Year

2018 (Cohort 5)

Research interests:
Hobbies and interests:

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

Bonnie Webster

Primary Institution
NHM
Secondary Supervisor

Julia Day

Secondary Institution
UCL
Abstract

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. Furthermore, this project aims to assess the broader host and parasite communities in Lake Victoria using metabarcoding.

Policy Impact
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