NATIONAL REFERENCE LABORATORY (NRL) for Diagnosis of Parasitic Diseases

NATIONAL REFERENCE LABORATORY (NRL) for Diagnosis of Parasitic Diseases

NATIONAL REFERENCE LABORATORY (NRL) for Diagnosis of Parasitic Diseases

Working hours: Monday to Friday from 7:30 to14:30

 

Head: Associate Professor Nina Dimitrova Tsvetkova, PhD

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Phone: +359 2 843 80 02; +359 2 94 46 999/ 316; 329; 311

Fax: +359 2 843 80 02

Laboratory staff:

Raina Borisova, MD

Aleksandra Ivanova, biologist,

Galina Mesdraliiska, technical assistant

Elena Losseva- lab. technician

Silvia Koleva – laboratory worker

The Ministry of Health (MH) has attributed to the laboratory the official status of National Reference Laboratory for the Diagnosis of Parasitic Diseases (NRLDPD). The laboratory is in charge of the organization and implementation of a National System for External Quality Assurance (EQA) of parasitic laboratory diagnosis carried out by all parasitological laboratories in the country. NRLDPD is included in the German Scheme of Quality Assurance - Instand. The laboratory has obtained accreditation status according to the standard EN ISO/IEC 17025:2001. Reference diagnosis of malaria, toxoplasmosis, leishmaniasis, amebiasis, trichinellosis, echinococcosis, pneumocystosis, toxocarosis is performed.

All parasitological laboratories and clinical departments in the country are provided with technical assistance. NRLDPD is also in help of the MH and Regional Health Inspectorates in cases of outbreakes and epidemics. Epidemiological work and annual analysis of the parasitic morbidity is conducted as well as evaluation of the activities of the parasitological network in the country. The laboratory staff is involved in postgraduate education.

 

NinaStaff

 

The laboratory carries out routine and reference diagnosis by applying contemporary laboratory methods – morphological, immunological and biomolecular.

1. Intestinal helminthic diseases: Аscariasis, Trichuriasis, Enterobiasis, Тaeniasis, Hymenolepiasis, Strongyloidiasis, Ancylostomiasis, Diphyllobothriasis, Fascioliasis, Dicrocoeliasis, intestinal Schistosomiasis and other rare or tropical helminthic diseases. Material: stool

  • Маcroscopic examination and morphological differentiation of intestinal helminths
  • Microscopic examination for helminth eggs and larvae:
    • Wet mount preparations – with saline and iodine solutions
    • Concentration procedures (sedimentation, flotation, formalin - ethyl acetate sedimentation technique)
    • Detection and larvae cultivation - Baermann funnel technique, Harada-Mori filter paper technique
    • Transparent tape test: Enterobiasis and Taeniasis (T. saginata)
  • Immnodiagnostic methods in Fascioliasis (ELISA, IHA, IFA)

2. Intestinal protozoal diseases (Giardiasis, Amebiasis, Balantidiasis, Blastocystis infection, Cryptosporidiosis, Cystoisosporiasis, Cyclosporiasis, Мicrosporidiosis). Materials: stool, duodenal material (Giardiasis), biopsy material:

  • Мicroscopic examination for trophozoits, cysts and oocysts:
    • Wet mount preparations – with saline and iodine solutions
    • Concentration procedure – formalin - ethyl acetate sedimentation technique
    • Staining procedures – Giemsa, trichrome, modified Ziehl Neelsen staining, etc.
  • Cultivation: Pavlova’s medium (Аmebiasis, Blastocystis infection)
  • Immunodiagnostic methods in Amebiasis (ELISA) 
  • Biomolecular methods: PCR for Giardiasis, Blastocystosis, Cryptosporidiosis

3. Blood and tissue parasitic diseases

Мalaria and Babesiosis. Materials: peripheral (capillary) blood for thick and thin blood films, Rapid Diagnostic Tests and PCR

    • Microscopic examination: Staining procedures - Giemsa stain
    • Biomolecular methods: PCR for malaria species identification

Visceral leishmaniasis. Materials: bone marrow and serum for immunodiagnostics, as well as biopsy materials from lymph node, liver, and spleen.

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Staining procedures - Giemsa stain
  • Cultivation techniques: cultivation in Novy-MacNeal-Nicolle (NNN) medium
  • Immunodiagnostic methods – ELISA, Western blot
  • Biomolecular methods – PCR for diagnostics and species identification

Cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis: Material: skin lesion biopsy specimens:

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Staining procedures – Giemsa stain
  • Cultivation technique: cultivation in Novy-MacNeal-Nicolle (NNN) medium

Cutaneous amebiasis. Material: bipsy specimen from skin lesion:

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Staining procedures – trichrome,
    • Examination of histological material
  • Cultivation technique: cultivation in Pavlova’s medium

Toxoplasmosis. Materials: biopsy specimens - lymph node, spleen, liver, intraocular fluid, placenta, amniotic fluid, as well as cerebrospinal fluid and serum for immunodiagnosis:

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Staining procedures – Giemsa stain
    • Examination of histological materials
  • Immunodiagnostics: ELISA (IgG, IgM, IgA antibodies, ELISA – IgG avidity), Western blot
  • Intraperitoneal inoculation into mice
  • Detection of parasite DNA by PCR

Trypanosomiases (American and African). Materials: venous blood, biopsy material, cerebrospinal fluid

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Staining procedures – Giemsa stain
    • Examination of histological materials

Extraintestinal amebiasis. Material: serum, skin lesion biopsy specimens

  • Immunodiagnostics: ELISA, IFA

Naegleria and Acanthamoeba infections. Materials: cerebrospinal fluid, biopsy specimens (brain tissue, skin, cornea) or of corneal scrapings

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Wet mount preparations
    • Staining procedures - trichrome, Heidenhain, Lawless stains
    • Examination of histological materials
  • Cultivation technique – non-nutrient agar (NNA) plates, PPG medium
  • Моlecular methods - PCR

Pneumocystosis. Materials: induced sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage, biopsy specimen

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Staining procedures – Giemsa, toluidine blue

Еchinococcosis. Materials: serum sample, pathological specimens for detection of present scolexes in the cyst and vitality of the parasitic cyst:

  • Microscopic examination:
  • Examination for presence of parasitic elements – hooks, scolexes and membranes
  • Methylene-blue staining for vitality determination
  • Immunodiagnostics: ELISA, Western blot

Toxocariasis (Toxocarosis). Material: serum sample:

  • Immunodiagnostics: ELISA, Western blot

Тrichinellosis (Trichinosis). Materials: serum sample, muscle biopsy specimen, suspicious meat products for sanitary examination:

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Examination for presence of trichinella larvae
  • Immunodiagnostics – IHA, ELISA, Western blot
  • Molecular analysis and Trichinella genotype determination – Multiplex and Nested PCR
  • Sanitary examination for presence of Trichinella larvae in meat products
    • Compressive trichinelloscopy (Squash preparation)
    • Digestion with artificial gastric juice

Cysticercosis. Materials: serum sample, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and biopsy histological specimens

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Examination of hystological specimens for parasitic elements
  • Immunodiagnostics - ELISA

Paragonimiasis. Materials: bronchoalveolar lavage, tracheobronchial secretion, induced sputum, biopsy specimen, stool

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Wet mount preparations
    • Concentration techniques

Filariases. Materials: venous blood, biopsy specimen

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Staining procedures – Giemsa stain
    • Concentration techniques: 2% formalin (Knott's technique)
    • Examination of subcutaneous nodes (Onchocerca volvulus and Mansonella streptocerca)
    • Rapid diagnostic test

Dirofilariases. Material: biopsy specimen

  • Мicroscopic examination:
    • Examination of histological specimens
  • Маcroscopic examination, after parasite extraction

4. Urogenital parasitic diseases.

Тrichomonasis. Materials: urine, semen, prostate exprimate, vaginal and cervical swab specimens, urethral swab specimen:

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Wet mount preparations
    • Staining procedures – Giemsa stain
  • Cultivation techniques: cultivation in TV4 medium
  • PCR

Schistosomiasis (urogenital). Materials: 24 hours urine, urine collected in the interval between 11.00 and 15.00 o’clock – after physical exercise, bladder biopsy specimen:

  • Microscopic examination:
    • Wet mount preparations
    • Concentration techniques – sedimentation, formalin - ethyl acetate sedimentation technique
    • Rapid diagnostic test – with urine

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