Maria Kazimirova

Maria Kazimirova
Slovak Academy of Sciences | SAV · Department of Medical Zoology

About

109
Publications
29,069
Reads
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3,335
Citations
Introduction
Current research areas Medical and experimental entomology and acarology, ecology of tick-borne diseases, physiology of tick-host-pathogen interactions, identification of novel tick salivary bioactive compounds Expertise in maintaining tick colonies: Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus,. Amblyomma variegatum, Dermacentor reticulatus Expertise in transmission experiments on the lab mouse model involving tick-borne encephalistis virus or Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and Ixodes ricinus
Additional affiliations
June 1997 - present
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Education
September 1976 - September 1987
Comenius University, Bratislava
Field of study
  • Biology, Entomology

Publications

Publications (109)
Article
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Ticks require blood meal to complete development and reproduction. Multifunctional tick salivary glands play a pivotal role in tick feeding and transmission of pathogens. Tick salivary molecules injected into the host modulate host defence responses to the benefit of the feeding ticks. To colonize tick organs, tick-borne microorganisms must overcom...
Article
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Fleas (Siphonaptera) as obligate, blood-feeding ectoparasites are, together with ticks, hosted by small mammals and can transmit causative agents of serious infections. This study aimed to determine and characterize the presence and genetic diversity of Bartonella, Rickettsia, and apicomplexan parasites (Babesia, Hepatozoon) in fleas feeding on sma...
Article
In Slovakia, 22 tick species have been found to occur to date. Among them, Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor reticulatus, D. marginatus and marginally Haemaphysalis concinna, H. inermis and H. punctata have been identified as the species of public health relevance. Ticks in Slovakia were found to harbour and transmit zoonotic and/or potentially zoonotic...
Article
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The picornavirus named ‘Ljungan virus’ (LV, species Parechovirus B) has been detected in a dozen small mammal species from across Europe, but detailed information on its genetic diversity and host specificity is lacking. Here, we analyze the evolutionary relationships of LV variants circulating in free-living mammal populations by comparing the phy...
Article
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The development of new diagnostic methods resulted in the discovery of novel hepaciviruses in wild populations of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus, syn. Clethrionomys glareolus). The naturally infected voles demonstrate signs of hepatitis similar to those induced by hepatitis C virus (HCV) in humans. The aim of the present research was to investigat...
Chapter
This book is a collection of 77 expert opinions arranged in three sections. Section 1 on "Climate" sets the scene, including predictions of future climate change, how climate change affects ecosystems, and how to model projections of the spatial distribution of ticks and tick-borne infections under different climate change scenarios. Section 2 on "...
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Some parasitoids of the genus Ixodiphagus (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea: Encyrtidae) are well-known natural enemies of ticks. In this study, we investigate the occurrence of parasitoid wasps in adult hard ticks from Western Africa (Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal) and Far Eastern Europe (Russia) using molecular methods. The morphological identification allo...
Article
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Ticks are unique hematophagous arthropods and possess an astounding array of salivary molecules that ensure their unnoticed and prolonged attachment to the host skin. Furthermore, ticks are very effective vectors of a diverse spectrum of pathogens. In order to feed, tick chelicerae cut the host epidermis and their hypostome penetrates through the l...
Article
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Ljungan virus (LV), which belongs to the Parechovirus genus in the Picornaviridae family, was first isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in Sweden in 1998 and proposed as a zoonotic agent. To improve knowledge of the host association and geographical distribution of LV, tissues from 1685 animals belonging to multiple rodent and insectivore s...
Article
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Trypanosomes have long been recognised as being amongst the most important protozoan parasites of vertebrates, from both medical and veterinary perspectives. Whilst numerous insect species have been identified as vectors, the role of ticks is less well understood. Here we report the isolation and partial molecular characterisation of a novel trypan...
Article
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Ticks are hematophagous arthropods that transmit a number of pathogens while feeding. Among these is tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), a flavivirus transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks in the temperate zone of Europe. The infection results in febrile illness progressing to encephalitis and meningitis with a possibility of fatality or long-term n...
Article
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The way in which European genetic variants of Anaplasma phagocytophilum circulate in their natural foci and which variants cause disease in humans or livestock remains thus far unclear. Red deer and roe deer are suggested to be reservoirs for some European A. phagocytophilum strains, and Ixodes ricinus is their principal vector. Based on groEL gene...
Article
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Ticks are obligatory blood-feeding ectoparasites, causing blood loss and skin damage in their hosts. In addition, ticks also transmit a number of various pathogenic microorganisms that cause serious diseases in humans and animals. Ticks evolved a wide array of salivary bioactive compounds that, upon injection into the host skin, inhibit or modulate...
Article
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Background: Anaplasma phagocytophilum is currently regarded as a single species. However, molecular studies indicate that it can be subdivided into ecotypes, each with distinct but overlapping transmission cycle. Here, we evaluate the interactions between and within clusters of haplotypes of the bacterium isolated from vertebrates and ticks, using...
Chapter
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Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease of veterinary and medical concern. The disease is caused by parasitic protists of the genus Babesia that are transmitted by ticks of the family Ixodidae. In addition to transmission by ticks, several cases of infections through blood transfusion and congenital transmission have been reported in humans. The parasit...
Article
Ticks, very successful vectors and reservoirs of diverse viruses and other infectious agents, are able to counteract host defence mechanisms and wound healing processes to facilitate blood-feeding. Cutting the epidermis by the tick chelicerae and penetration of the hypostome into the dermis followed by feeding elicit a wound healing response, invol...
Article
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Background Free-living ungulates are hosts of ixodid ticks and reservoirs of tick-borne microorganisms in central Europe and many regions around the world. Tissue samples and engorged ticks were obtained from roe deer, red deer, fallow deer, mouflon, and wild boar hunted in deciduous forests of south-western Slovakia. DNA isolated from these sample...
Article
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The incidence of tick-borne diseases caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. has been rising in Europe in recent decades. Early pre-assessment of acarological hazard still represents a complex challenge. The aim of this study was to model Ixodes ricinus questing nymph density and its infection rate w...
Chapter
Ticks are vectors of viruses that cause diseases in humans and animals. Tick-borne viruses are maintained in nature through circulation between ticks and vertebrate hosts, but the molecular mechanisms by which viruses switch between infecting tick and vertebrate cells are largely unknown. During their blood meal, ticks counteract multiple host defe...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ticks are major vectors of pathogens affecting both humans and animals worldwide and surpass all other arthropods in the variety of microorganisms-including viruses, bacteria, and parasites (protozoa and helminths)-they are able to transmit. They are strict hematophagous arthropods and pool feeders, ingesting all the fluids that are exuded into the...
Article
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Emerging and re-emerging diseases transmitted by blood feeding arthropods are significant global public health problems. Ticks transmit the greatest variety of pathogenic microorganisms of any blood feeding arthropod. Infectious agents transmitted by ticks are delivered to the vertebrate host together with saliva at the bite site. Tick salivary gla...
Article
Tick-borne viruses (TBVs) belong to the largest biological group known as arboviruses with unique mode of transmission by blood-feeding arthropods (ticks, mosquitoes, sand flies, biting midges, etc.) to a susceptible vertebrate host. Taxonomically, it is a heterogenous group of vertebrate viruses found in several viral families. With only one excep...
Article
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Wild-living rodents are important hosts for zoonotic pathogens. Bartonella infections are widespread in rodents; however, in Slovakia, knowledge on the prevalence of these bacteria in small mammals is limited. We investigated the prevalence and diversity of Bartonella species in the spleens of 640 rodents of six species (Apodemus flavicollis, Apode...
Article
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Ticks are efficient vectors of arboviruses, although less than 10% of tick species are known to be virus vectors. Most tick-borne viruses (TBV) are RNA viruses some of which cause serious diseases in humans and animals worldwide. Several TBV impacting human or domesticated animal health have been found to emerge or re-emerge recently. In order to s...
Article
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As long-term pool feeders, ticks have developed myriad strategies to remain discreetly but solidly attached to their hosts for the duration of their blood meal. The critical biological material that dampens host defenses and facilitates the flow of blood—thus assuring adequate feeding—is tick saliva. Saliva exhibits cytolytic, vasodilator, anticoag...
Article
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Borrelia miyamotoi causes relapsing fever in humans. The occurrence of this spirochete has been reported in Ixodes ricinus and wildlife, but there are still gaps in the knowledge of its eco-epidemiology and public health impact. In the current study, questing I. ricinus (nymphs and adults) and skin biopsies from rodents captured in Slovakia were sc...
Article
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Tick saliva is a rich source of antihemostatic compounds. We amplified a cDNA from the salivary glands of the tropical bont tick (Amblyomma variegatum) using primers based on the variegin sequence, which we previously identified as a novel thrombin inhibitor from the same tick species. The transcript encodes a precursor protein comprising a signal...
Article
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Background Natural foci of tick-borne spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae of public health concern have been found in Slovakia, but the role of rodents in their circulation is unclear. Ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes trianguliceps, Dermacentor marginatus, Dermacentor reticulatus, Haemaphysalis concinna and Haemaphysalis inermis) and tissues of rode...
Article
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By amplification and sequencing of 18S rRNA gene fragments, Hepatozoon spp. DNA was detected in 0.08% (4/5057) and 0.04% (1/2473) of questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from Slovakia and Czech Republic, respectively. Hepatozoon spp. DNA was also detected in spleen and/or lungs of 4.45% (27/606) of rodents from Slovakia. Prevalence of infection was signif...
Article
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Over 50 million humans live in areas of potential exposure to tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). The disease exhibits an estimated 16,000 cases recorded annually over 30 European and Asian countries. Conventionally, TBEV transmission to Ixodes spp. ticks occurs whilst feeding on viraemic animals. However, an alternative mechanism of non-viraemic...
Article
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Ixodes ricinus is a vector of microbial pathogens of medical and veterinary importance in Europe. Recently, increasing abundance of ticks has been observed in urban and suburban areas. The aim of this study was to investigate the tick species composition and examine correlations between local environmental variables and the relative density of host...
Article
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Background: Babesiosis is an emerging and potentially zoonotic disease caused by tick-borne piroplasmids of the Babesia genus. New genetic variants of piroplasmids with unknown associations to vectors and hosts are recognized. Data on the occurrence of Babesia spp. in ticks and wildlife widen the knowledge on the geographical distribution and circu...
Article
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Ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are known as primary vectors of many pathogens causing diseases in humans and animals. Ixodes ricinus is a common ectoparasite in Europe and birds are often hosts of subadult stages of the tick. From 2012 to 2013, 347 birds belonging to 43 species were caught and examined for ticks in three sites of Slovakia. Ticks an...
Article
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Arsenophonus nasoniae, a male-killing endosymbiont of chalcid wasps, was recently detected in several hard tick species. Following the hypothesis that its presence in ticks may not be linked to the direct occurrence of bacteria in tick's organs, we identified A. nasoniae in wasps emerging from parasitised nymphs. We confirmed that 28.1% of Ixodipha...
Article
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Many rickettsiae of the spotted fever group are emerging pathogens causing serious diseases associated with vertebrate hosts. Ixodidae ticks are known as their vectors. Investigation of the relative abundance of questing Ixodes ricinus and their infection with Rickettsia spp. in an agricultural site comprising a game reserve in Slovakia was the aim...
Article
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Background: Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis (CNM) is an emerging tick-borne pathogen causing severe disease in immunocompromised patients. In Europe, Ixodes ricinus is the primary vector and rodents act as reservoir hosts. New data on the prevalence of CNM in ticks and rodents contribute to the knowledge on the distribution of endemic areas and...
Article
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Ticks, as vectors of several notorious zoonotic pathogens, represent an important and increasing threat for human and animal health in Europe. Recent applications of new technology revealed the complexity of the tick microbiome, which may affect its vectorial capacity. Appreciation of these complex systems is expanding our understanding of tick-bor...
Article
In their quest for blood, most haematophagous parasites secrete vasodilators in their saliva to counter the host haemostatic response of vasoconstriction. Surprisingly, salivary gland extracts from adult female Dermacentor reticulatus and Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ticks induced constriction in a rat femoral artery model; males induced vasoconstr...
Article
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Tudor staphylococcal nuclease (Tudor-SN) and Argonaute (Ago) are conserved components of the basic RNA interference (RNAi) machinery with a variety of functions including immune response and gene regulation. The RNAi machinery has been characterized in tick vectors of human and animal diseases but information is not available on the role of Tudor-S...
Article
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Background Ixodes ricinus is the principal vector of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the ethiological agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis in Europe. Anaplasmosis is an emerging zoonotic disease with a natural enzootic cycle. The reservoir competence of rodents is unclear. Monitoring of A. phagocytophilum prevalence in I. ricinus and rodents in various ha...
Article
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Ixodes spp. ticks are known to occasionally harbour spiroplasmas - helical mycoplasmas in the class Mollicutes; a previous study in Slovakia reported an overall prevalence of Spiroplasma ixodetis of 3% in Ixodes ricinus. In the present study, extracts of unfed adult I. ricinus ticks collected from vegetation in south-western Slovakia were added to...
Article
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Information on circulation of rickettsiae between small mammals and their ectoparasitic mites is scarce. In this study, we investigated infestation rates of rodents with mites in some areas of SW Slovakia and the role of mites as possible vectors of pathogenic rickettsiae. A total of 615 rodents of five species were caught during 2010-2012. All ind...