Head: Dr. Antoaneta Decheva, Ph.D.
tel. +359 2 9446 999 / 317 or 267;
Composition of the laboratory:
- Chief Assist. Maria Radoslavova Pavlova - Biologist, Doctor of Microbiology
- tel. +359 2 9446 999 / 268
- Violeta Radivoeva - Senior Laboratory Technician
- Ekaterina Alexandrova – Biologist
- Lilia Todorova – lab worker
- Daniela Spasova - lab worker
Tel. Lab workers: +359 2 9446 999/ 265
History of the laboratory
In 1950, a laboratory of Shigels was established at the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, headed by Dr. A. Trifonova, PhD. In 1961, a laboratory for enteropathogenic and conditionally pathogenic E. coli bacteria was established, led by Dr. S. Atanasova, PhD and a laboratory of salmonellosis and sanitary microbiology, headed by Dr. R. Coen, PhD. Thanks to the intensive research, deployment and teaching activities of these prominent scientists and their followers: Dr. Bratoeva, MD; Dr. Mladenova and Dr. Mollov, MD, have achieved significant results on a national scale concerning the diagnosis, identification and epidemiological marking of the respective microorganisms. In the laboratories, rare shingle biochemical variants have been demonstrated, a number of studies have been carried out concerning the serotyping of intestinal and extra-intestinal E.coli strains, S. Enteritidis phagotyping, S. Isangi biotyping, the production of agglutinating sera for globally relevant serotypes - E. coli O157: H7. The National Reference Laboratory of enteric pathogens was established in 1999 by pooling the reference laboratories for shigels, enteropathogenic E. coli and salmonellosis. Since 1999, the head of the National Reference Laboratory of enteric pathogens is Assoc. Prof. Petar Petrov, PhD. The main directions of the laboratory activities are: confirmation of strains isolated in the country of food and water-borne infections: Salmonella, Shigella, diarrheagenic E. coli, Campylobacter, Yersinia, detection of antibiotic susceptibility and monitoring mechanisms of resistance in these bacterial causers, decoding the etiology of nutritionally conditioned epidemic outbursts, definitive identification of problem isolates, and epidemiological labeling of strains.
In 2019 the laboratory of intestinal infections was integrated with the laboratory of pathogenic cocci and diphtheria, Head of the lab Dr Antoaneta Decheva, MD, PhD
The National Reference Laboratory of Enteric infections, pathogenic cocci and diphtheria is accredited by BAS according to the standard BDS EN ISO / IEC 17025: 2006 of 31.10.2009.
The main activities of the laboratory are:
- Confirmation of strains of food and water-borne infections: Salmonella, Shigella, diarrheagenic E. coli, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Clostridium difficile isolated microbiological laboratories in the country;
- Microbiological identification of pathogenic intestinal bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family;
- Antibiotic susceptibility test and traceability mechanisms of Salmonella, Shigella, diarrhea, E. coli, Campylobacter;
- Typing strains of pathogenic intestinal bacteria with pheno- and genotypic methods: serotyping, antibiotic, pulse gel - electrophoresis for epidemiological labeling;
- Determination of the etiological structure of salmonellosis, shigella and E. coli infections in humans in the country;
- Investigates clinical materials for the detection of Salmonella, Shigella, diarrheagenic E. coli, Campylobacter, Yersinia in patients with diarrhea syndrome;
- Performs prophylactic tests for Salmonella, Shigella, and diarrhea E. coli;
- Performs serological diagnosis of typhoid paratyphoid infections: Vidal and Vi-haemagglutination reactions;
- Decipher the etiology of nutritionally conditioned epidemic outbursts;
- Confirmative diagnosis of streptococcal, staphylococcal, meningococcal isolates sent from other labs in the country.
Takes part in an international quality control system:
- The serological diagnosis of typhoid paratyphoid diseases and salmonellosis conducted by INSTAND, e.V. Düsseldorf, Germany;
- Serotyping and Determination of Salmonella Antibiotic Sensitivity (WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network - GFN), Campylobacter, Shigella and E. coli conducted by WHO Collaborative Center for Antimicrobial Resistance of Food-causing Pathogens infections, which is also the Reference Laboratory of the European Community for Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Pathogens and Community Reference Laboratory - Antimicrobial Resistance, CRL-AR, Copenhagen, Denmark;
- Serotyping and virulence determinations of Shiga toxin producing E. coli conducted by the International Escherichia and Klebsiella Center, WHO (International Escherichia and Klebsiella Center, WHO, Copenhagen, Denmark).
- Determination of anti-streptolysin O titer – INSTAND, Germeny.
Cooperates with supranational reference laboratories:
- WHO Collaborating Center for Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Potentially Disease-causing Pathogens (WHO), which is also the Reference Laboratory of the European Antimicrobial Resistance in the Foodborne Pathogens and Community Reference Laboratory (CRL-AR, Copenhagen, Denmark) ;
- International Escherichia and Klebsiella Center, WHO (International Escherichia and Klebsiella Center, WHO, Copenhagen, Denmark);
- Laboratory of Gastrointestinal and Neurological Bacterial Infections, Higher Health Institute (Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy);
- European Reference Laboratory of E. coli (European Reference Laboratory of E. coli, Verocytotoxigenic E. coli), Higher Health Institute (Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy);
- Reference Laboratory for Clostridium difficile (Reference Laboratory for Clostridium difficile, Leiden, Netherlands).
- Organizes and conducts external quality control of microbial laboratory network in the country regarding the diagnosis of Salmonella, Shigella, diarrheagenic E. coli, Campylobacter, Yersinia.
Participates in international networks for surveillance of infectious and parasitic diseases:
- WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN);
- The European Surveillance System (TESSy) at the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC);
- European pulse gel electrophoresis typing network (Pulse-Net Europe);
- European disease research network related to Clostridium difficile (European Clostridium difficile-associated disease network).
- The laboratory maintains liaison and cooperates with the microbiological laboratories of RHI, MBAL, DCC and private microbiological laboratories, the microbiological laboratories of the infectious hospitals in the country, the Departments of Microbiology of Medical Universities, Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, Pleven and Stara Zagora, the National Reference Laboratory of Salmonella and salmonellosis to the National Diagnostic Research Veterinary Medical Institute, Sofia;
- The laboratory participates in a national network for collecting information on epidemiological surveillance in collaboration with the microbiological laboratories of the RHI, the MHAT and the infectious hospitals in the country;
- Participates in the preparation of normative materials: regulations, instructions, methodical instructions, operational procedures;
- Conducts methodical management of microbiological laboratories from the national laboratory network regarding the diagnosis of Salmonella, Shigella, diarrhea E. coli, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Clostridium difficile, streptococci, enterococci, meningococci, staphylococci and diphtheria;
- The laboratory conducts postgraduate courses for senior and college medical professionals: medical doctors, biologists, medical laboratories working in the RHI system, MHAT and others. Three thematic courses: "Enterocolithic Syndrome" (for doctors and biologists), "Contemporary Methods in the Diagnosis of Micro-Aerophilic Bacteria of Campylobacter and Helicobacter" (for Doctors and Biologists) and "Novelties in Clinical Microbiological Diagnostics" (for medical laboratories), Microbiological diagnosis of streptococcal infections and diphtheria, Microbiological diagnosis of staphylococcal infections;
- Conducts individual training of graduates and graduates and PhD students;
- Participates in organizing and conducting annual congresses of the Bulgarian Association of Microbiologists (BAM);
- The staff regularly publishes the results of his work in specialized international and Bulgarian scientific journals and reports to national and international congresses.
- The laboratory participates in national scientific projects with finances from the Bulgarian Ministry of Science.
- The laboratory has participated in the European projects DIPNET, DEVANI, EU DIP-LabNet, IBD.