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Laboratory of vector-borne infections

Danchinova Galina Anatolyevna

Head of the Laboratory since 2000, Doctor of Biological Sciences


The Laboratory of Vector-Borne Infections was created from reorganized Laboratories for the Ecology of Viruses (headed by Cand.Sc. (Biol.) Danchinova G. A.) and the Epidemiology of Tick-Borne Encephalitis (headed by Dr.Sc. (Med.) Gorin O.Z.) in 1998 to study various problems of transmissible infections, transmitted to humans through bites of blood-sucking parasites (ixodid ticks, mosquitoes, etc.) with the penetration of pathogens through the skin into the general blood stream. The first Laboratory staff were: Dr. Sc. (Med.) Gorin O.Z., senior researcher Cand. Sc. (Med.) Vasenin A.A., senior researcher, Cand. Sc. (Biol.) Danchinova G.A., senior researcher, Cand. Sc. (Biol.) Melnikova O.V., junior researcher Chaporgina E.A., junior researcher Arbatskaya E.V., junior researcher Suntsova O.V., postgraduate students: Francois Dembele (from the Republic of Mali), Chernogor L.I., and Khasnatinov M.A., senior laboratory assistants: Badueva L.B. and Gorina M.O.

Scientific researches specifically focused on environmental issues, epidemiology, infectious pathology, diagnosis, prevention of significant natural focal infections, which have been relevant for more than half a century not only in Eastern Siberia and in cross-border regions, but also in Russia and the world.

Since that time, joint work began with the Institute of Public Health of Mongolia to determine the epidemiological situation of tick-borne infections, the incidence of tick-borne encephalitis in the Mongolian population, tick-borne borreliosis and tick-borne rickettsiosis, and to determine the fauna and abundance of ixodic ticks and their distribution borders in Mongolia. The Laboratory conducted reconnaissance surveys of ixodid ticks and their collection in natural foci of infections in the territories of different landscapes and geographical zones of the Northern and Central parts of the republic. Later on expeditionary and research work continued with the leading national centers of Mongolia. The first information was obtained on the presence of active natural foci of transmissible infections, transmitted by ticks, and the incidence of the population with lethal outcomes from tick-borne encephalitis. From 1998 to 2000, the head of the Laboratory was Gorin O.Z.

The main research areas:

Promising areas of research, conducted in the Laboratory of Vector-Borne Infections, include:

- improving the technology for emergency diagnosis, prevention and monitoring of vector-borne infections, including through the introduction of advanced laboratory diagnostic approaches into diagnostic practice, such as: - geoinformation systems for monitoring natural foci - mathematical modeling of the spread of infection - metagenomic and genome-wide analysis of biomaterial infection, including from humans, viral and bacterial pathogens - multiplex analysis of acquired and adaptive human immune response;

- detection of tick-borne encephalitis virus circulation mechanisms in organisms of natural hosts using the first new laboratory models in-vitro obtained on the basis of transplanted wild mammalian and tick cell lines;

- development of new drugs for the prevention and treatment of viral infections: influenza and tick-borne encephalitis, based on plant materials, DNA aptamers and other materials;

- detection and study of the circulation of new and returning tick-borne pathogens of viral and bacterial nature;

- assessment of the risk of human infection with pathogens of various nature in the natural and anthropurgic foci of ecosystems of the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts and the Republic of Mongolia;

- development and creation of the world's first geographic information system (GIS technology) for monitoring tick-borne vectors and pathogens in tourist and recreational areas of the Baikal natural territory.

In 2016-2018 the laboratory performed two new medical and 2 fundamental search technologies, which made it possible to obtain priority data, which were introduced into the practical activities of the Center for Innovative Medicine of Scientific Center of Family Health and Human Reproduction Problems, in the Irkutsk Region, in the Republic of Buryatia.

Since 2019, the Laboratory of Vector-Borne Infections, together with the Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetic Diagnostics, has been conducting the research work Genomic and post-genomic research to improve and develop new tools for monitoring, diagnosing and preventing natural focal infections.

The Laboratory of Vector-Borne Infections collaborates with the following Russian and international educational, scientific organizations and institutions of practical health care: Irkutsk State University; Irkutsk State Medical University; Irkutsk State Agrarian University named after A.A. Ezhevsky; Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk); Administration of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Higher Education of the Republic of Cuba; Chiba Institute of Science (Irkutsk, Russia - Chiba, Japan, since 2009 - permanent); The University of Reading, United Kingdom (Irkutsk, Russia - Reading, United Kingdom, 2010-2015); Mongolian State University (Ulan Bator, Mongolia); Institute of Veterinary Medicine of the Mongolian University of Life Sciences (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia); Institute of Traditional Medicine, Mongolian Medical University (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia); Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (SIFIBR SB RAS); Limnological Institute of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LIN SB RAS); Matrosov Institute for System Dynamics and Control Theory of SB RAS (IDSTU SB RAS); State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR (State Research Center “Vector”, Novosibirsk); Administration of the Federal Service for the Surveillance in the Sphere of Consumer’s Rights Protection and Public Welfare in the Irkutsk region; Hygienic and Epidemiological Center in the Irkutsk Region; Irkutsk Regional Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital.

In the past decade, the Laboratory of Vector-Borne Infections has completed 9 grants with the support of various foundations and 10 research contracts.

Significant scientific results were obtained by the staff of the Laboratory, including world-class ones:

- study of the diversity and prevalence of tick-borne pathogens;

- study of the diversity and epidemic significance of ixodid ticks - carriers of infectious diseases;

- study of the mechanisms of circulation and transmission of tick-borne encephalitis virus;

- study of the ecology and diversity of other viruses in Eastern Siberia (influenza virus, hemorrhagic fever virus with renal syndrome, West Nile virus).

The main research results have been published in well-known Russian and international journals, indexed in Web of Science, Scopus and RSCI, and cited by domestic and foreign scientists. Since 2013 the staff have published 131 articles, among which 32 articles in journals, indexed in WOS and Scopus. Total amount of citations is 564.

Based on the researches findings and developments from 2009 to 2018, 16 patents were received. Of these, 4 patents for inventions, including 3 international patents from the Republic of Mongolia for the invention Tick-Borne Infection; 2 patents for useful models, 10 certificates for electronic databases, 1 certificate for computer programs. In addition, 136 nucleotide sequences were deposited in the international GenBank database (USA).

Since 2002, 6 dissertations have been defended in the Laboratory, including 1 - doctoral, 2 - PhD (foreign applicants, Mongolia), 3 – candidate’s.