Scientific Orientation of the Department

Research on systematics has a long tradition at the Institute, currently involving cross-disciplinary studies on taxonomy, phylogeny, population genetics, biogeography, ultrastructure, cytogenetics and ecology of metazoan parasites of free-living animals. Owing to a high quality of scientific achievements in these fields, the Department continually sustains the leading position in parasitology in Slovakia and also within an international research area. The current research is mostly focused on taxonomy of medically and evolutionary important basal groups of freshwater fish tapeworms (Caryophyllidea and Diphyllobothriidea) and biogeography of a veterinary important parasite of deer, an invasive digenean trematode Fascioloides magna, both realized in collaboration with several European and American research teams. The knowledge base on chromosomes was greatly enlarged by our team; data on more than hundred cestode species were summarized and molecular approaches and new cytogenetic markers were newly applied in karyology of parasites. The most valuable results involve descriptions of new genera, species and karyotypes, constructions of new identification keys, detections of new structural characteristics, new sequences of ribosomal and mitochondrial genes and microsatellites preferably used for explanation of evolutionary relationships of parasites. We participate on the creation of global Internet database of original descriptions of existing tapeworm species (Global Cestode Database -