Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge
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 Doenças Sistémicas

 

The Systemic and zoonotic diseases laboratory is a National Reference Laboratory of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (NIH). Subject of a structural reorganisation in 2008, the laboratory currently covers three different areas: parasitology, mycology and virology associated with systemic and zoonotic infections.

Our mission and main objectives concerns identification of agents responsible for human systemic and zoonotic infections, development of new techniques for diagnosis and research, training of professionals, consulting services in reference laboratory diagnosis and scientific investigation, identification of epidemiological markers of active infections and/or virulence and Epidemiological surveillance.

National Reference Laboratory of  Sistemic and Zoonotic Infections for Toxoplasma gondii, Echinococcus granulosos, Leismania sp., Plasmodium sp., Trypanosoma sp., and Trichinella sp.

The  Sistemic and zoonotic diseases laboratory for Toxoplasma gondii, Echinococcus granulosus, Leismania sp., Plasmodium sp., Trypanosoma sp., and Trichinella sp. was created in 2008 as the National Reference Laboratory  inserted in Infections Diseases Department of  National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge. We study the protozoa and helminths responsible for human infections. Our mission and main objectives concerns identification of parasites responsible for human systemic parasite infections, development of new techniques for diagnosis and research, training of professionals in sistemic and zoonotic Parasitology, consulting services in laboratory diagnosis, evaluation of epidemiological situation of same parasite infections and identification of epidemiological markers of active infection and/or virulence. Studies of Epidemiological surveillance and research :

  • Method to identify Toxoplasma gondii infection in the immunocompromised hosts;
  • Genetic and phenotypic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii portuguese strains from human and animal infections;
  • Identification of immunological markers of active infection. Characterization of strains responsible from human and animal infections;
  • Development of Immunomagnetic beads coated with monoclonal antibody method to concentrate Toxoplasma gondii oocysts.
  • Epidemiological characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in Lisbon region
  • Prevalence of toxoplasmosis, cisticercosis and triquinelosis on black pig (with University of Veterenery  Medicine - Évora)
  • Frequency of toxoplasmic infection in sheep of the Alentejo region (Agrarian Superior School of Beja)
  • Evaluation of anti - Leishmania donovani infantum activity of a new sensitised molecule.
  • Pilot Epidemiological study of human triquinelosis in Portugal.
  • Epidemiological study of Malária and Schistosomiasis in a human population of São Tomé Island.
  • Development of a real time PCR assay for differentiation of Plasmodium species in a paediatric sample from Luanda
  • Diagnosis of Human African Trypanosomiasis in a paediatric sample from Luanda

Laboratory for Candida, Aspergillus, dermatophytes and other emerging fungi

The laboratory for Candida, Aspergillus, dermatophytes and other emerging fungi is the national reference centre in clinical and sanitary mycology and has since its early days contributed to the improvement of diagnostics and therapy against superficial and deep mycosis; through conventional and molecular detection techniques.

The laboratory offers the following reference services:

  • Identification of fungal strains, moulds and yeast-like, by convention and molecular methods, together with the assessment of in-vitro antifungal sensitivity spectra
  • Molecular detection and analysis of Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis as nosocomial infection agents, as well as typing dermatophytes in order to assess possible outbreaks.
  • Import Mycosis detection through anti-gene and anti-body determination for Histoplasma capsulatum, Coccidioides immitis and Blastomyces dematitidis.
  • Diagnostics of invasive infections caused by Sporothrix schenckii, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus sp.and Candida sp.
  • Sanitary environment: For years, the laboratory has offered differentiated and accredited services in environmental and sanitary mycology. Often filling a void in the market of identification of potentially pathogenic fungi as well as defining guiding values for microbiological beach sand parameters; hence analyzing edible items, drinking water, bathing water and beach sand.

The laboratory also represents an important pole of training and educating students, masters’, doctors’ and technical trainees; participating in quality assessment schemes, the laboratory is accredited by the Portuguese institute of accreditation and certification (IPAC) by NP EN ISO 17025 (certificate L0425). The laboratory also participates in several national and international surveillance networks doing research in all of the above designated areas of interest.

Team:

  • Cristina Veríssimo (Ms)
  • Helena Parada (Ms)
  • João Brandão (PhD student)
  • Raquel Sabino (Post-Doc)
  • Catarina Pinheiro (PhD student)

National Reference Laboratory of Systemic and Zoonotic Infections for Cytomegalovirus and Parvovirus B19

The systemic and zoonotic diseases laboratory for cytomegalovirus and parvovirus B19 was created in 2008 as National Reference Laboratory inserted in the Infectious Diseases Department at the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge
The laboratory's mission and main objectives are:

  • To perform differential laboratory diagnosis of human infections caused by cytomegalovirus and parvovirus B19, providing a quality service to community through the application of reference methods of diagnosis with rapid identification of the agent, including methods for early detection of antigen and viral DNA;
  • Development of  research activities, including methodologies and technologies for implementation in laboratory diagnosis, epidemiological surveillance of cytomegalovirus and parvovirus B19 infection, its determinants, knowledge of its laboratory, clinical and public health importance;
  • To perform prenatal diagnosis of CMV infection and laboratory confirmation of congenital infections caused by CMV and/or parvovirus B19;
  • Counselling as reference laboratory in the field of diagnosis of cytomegalovirus and parvovirus infections;
  • Training of professionals in the laboratory area;
  • Diffusion of scientific culture.

Studies on epidemiological surveillance and research:

  • Central nervous system diseases of possible viral etiology;
  • Seroprevalence to cytomegalovirus in the Portuguese population;
  • Congenital cytomegalovirus infection: a prospective study;
  • CMV and HCV infection in children born to HIV infected mothers;
  • CMV and HCV infection in children born to HIV not infected mothers;
  • Molecular and immunological characteristics of parvovirus B19 infection;
  • Molecular studies of CMV infections;
  • Detection of early CMV antigen by rapid tissue culture – shell-vials in urine of newborns and women amniotic fluid;
  • CMV IgG avidity in nonpregnant women and pregnant women with CMV active infection.

Team:

  • Sílvia Lopo, Research Unit
  • Tânia Reis, Technician