The HPI-Lab Leader

David Modrý Foto

David Modrý is the Head of the Department of Pathology and Parasitology at UVPS and managing director of Veterinaires sans Frontieres Czechia. David is the holder of and participates in various training projects in developing countries. He has taken part in more than 20 field research and education missions to Near East and 20 to Central and East Africa. David devotes his research to parasites and parasitic diseases of primates (diagnostics, taxonomy, biology, ecology, EIDs, zoonotic infections), conservation medicine, ecology and evolution of protozoan parasites.


The Key Participants of the Lab Team

Cécile Néel is primatologist with a long-term experience with field work in Africa. Cécile has studied the socio-ecology of western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees and worked on developing the non-invasive methods that would help studying the origin of HIV and malaria in these species. Cécile´s general research interests focus on zoonosis, pathogen transmission in relation to the social structure of the hosts, phylogeography, and modelling of disease spread using GIS and remote sensing technologies.

Cécile Néel Foto

Rui Miguel Moutinho Sá Foto

Rui Sá is biological anthropologist working on chimpanzee genetics and parasitology in Africa (Guinea-Bissau). Rui has extensive experience in ethnoecology, non-invasive sampling techniques, diverse molecular and parasitological methods, genomic analyses, and ethnographic methodologies. Currently, Rui is focused on neglected and emergent gastrointestinal parasites of humans and other primates.


Senior Researchers

Klára J. Petrželková has been involved in great ape research in Africa since 2003. In collaboration with Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan, Klára carried out research focused on parasite fauna of chimpanzees: a project on introduced population at Rubondo Island National Park, Tanzania and a project in Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Uganda. In 2007, Klára initiated a long term on-going collaborative project in Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas which deals with diversity and ecology of parasites and bacteria of western lowland gorillas with respect to the impact of human pressure. Currently, Klára collaborates with Ugalla Primate Project to study parasites and viruses of savanna chimpanzees in Tanzania.

Klára Petželková Foto


Martin Kváč Foto

Martin Kváč is the Head of Laboratory of Veterinary and Medical Protistology, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Martin devotes his research to opportunistic protists, especially Cryptosporidium, microsporidia and Giardia in human, farm, captive and wild animals, including diagnostics, infectivity, pathogenicity, taxonomy, immunology and relation to hosts. Currently, Martin works mainly on co-evolution of Cryptosporidium species and genotypes with their host, transmissions of Cryptosporidium, microsporidia and Giardia of between both domestic and wild animals and great apes in Africa, and course of microsporidiosis in relation to host’s immunodeficiency in human.


Jan Votýpka is associated professor in the Department of parasitology (Charles University in Prague) and in the Institute of parasitology (Academy of Science in České Budějovice). Jan participates in various field researches and in training projects in Mediterranean basin (e.g. Israel, Turkey, Tunisia etc.) and in developing countries (e.g. Central African Republic, Kenya, Ghana etc.) and his teaching activity includes more than ten courses. Currently, Jan works mainly on parasite biodiversity, parasite-host interactions and transmissions of various pathogens by haematophagous insect.

Jan Votýpka Foto

Junior Researchers

Kateřina Pomajbíková Foto

Kateřina Pomajbíková participates on the several projects focused on the symbionts and parasitofauna of free-ranging great apes and humans. Kateřina´s research is focused mainly on diversity and cross-species transmissions of amoebas of the genus Entamoeba in wild African great apes, on the mutualistic and pathogenic ciliates (e.g. Troglodytella abrassarti or Balantidium coli), diversity of malaria protist of the genus Plasmodium in primates and parasitofauna of wild agile mangabeys in Central African Republic.


Bohumil Sak is a research scientist in Laboratory of Veterinary and Medical Protistology, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. His research is aimed to opportunistic protists, especially microsporidia in human, farm, captive and wild animals, and includes diagnostics, taxonomy and experimental infection studies. Currently, Bohumil works mainly on epidemiology and epizootology of microsporidia species, their possible transmissions between both human and wild animals including great apes in Africa and vice versa, and course of latent microsporidiosis in immunocompetent hosts in general.

Bohumil Sak Foto


Ilona Psenkova

Ilona Pšenková conducted her PhD study on entodiniomorphid ciliates of gastrointestinal tract of great apes, their diversity and hydrolytic activities and described their contribution to ape digestion. Currently Ilona is focused on monitoring of gastrointestinal parasites of Ugalla chimpanzees (in connection to SIV) and gorillas from Central African Republic (Dzanga-Ndoki National Park). Ilona also works on cross-transmission of strongylid nematodes between great apes and humans at several research sites in Africa.


Peter Vallo has been focusing since his PhD studies at molecular phylogenetics and taxonomy of Afrotropical bats at the Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, in Brno. In the past, Peter collaborated also with our veterinary parasitology team in a study on genetic variability of a ciliate Troglodytella abrassarti from chimpanzees. Currently, Peter is working on assessment of molecular genetic variation in strongylid nematodes of the genera Mammonogamus and Necator in African primates, and reconstruction of their phylogenetic relationships and possible transmission to other, human and non-primate hosts.

Peter Vallo


Dagmar Jirsová

Dagmar Jirsová finished her BSc. and MSc. at the Fakulty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice specialized at phylogenetic relationships of trematodes of the families Opisthorchiidae and Heterophyidae. Currently, Dagmar works on population and evolution genetics of Wenyonia virilis from Nile basin, evolution and colonization of Hepatozoon sp. at Canary Islands, intraspecific competition of co-infections between T. brucei and T. evansi.


PhD Students

Barbora Červená Foto

Barbora Červená is a PhD. student at the Department of Pathological Morphology and Parasitology at UPVS Brno. As a Master student, Barbora carried out a research at Ol Pejeta Conservancy and University of Nairobi in Kenya, where she was focused on parasites of rhinos and elephants. The title of her PhD thesis is "Diversity and host specificity of the nematode Mammomonogamus in free-living and domestic animals."


Kristýna Brožová is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at UVPS Brno. Kristýna is focused especially on the field of virology and molecular biology. Her master thesis was entitled "Diagnostic use of porcine parvovirus structural proteins". The topic of Kristýna´s dissertation work is "Study of potential viral zoonoses in wild living and captive primates". Kristýna is also working on additional topics like porcine circoviruses and recombinant proteins production.

Kristýna Brožová Foto


Eva Slaninková Foto

Eva Slaninková is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at UVPS Brno. Eva is interested in virology for all her studies. Eva´s bachelor thesis was entitled „Viral haemorrhagic fever around the world" and diploma thesis was entitled „Genetic characterization of Porcine circovirus 2 strains in the Czech Republic". Currently, Eva is working on emerging viral diseases common to human and (non-human) primates with main focus to SIV in connection to parasitic and other viral infections. And meanwhile Eva still devote to porcine viral infections.


Mwanahamisi Issa Mapua is a PhD student at the Department of Pathological Morphology and Parasitology at UPVS Brno. Mwana´s main research of interest is in identification of malaria agents and host specificity in African primates by the aid of molecular techniques. Mwana was directly working on Chimpanzee's project at Rubondo National Park, Tanzania from 2002 - 2006 as research assistant, where was actively involved in ecological data collection, data enty, habituation and coordination of Chimpanzees Project.

Mwanahamisi Issa Mapua Foto


Klára Vlčková Foto

Klára Vlčková is a PhD student at the Department of Pathological Morphology and Parasitology at UPVS Brno. Klára's research interest relate with gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome of western lowland gorillas since 2009. In her PhD research, Klára focus on the deeper characterization of GI microbiome (bacteria and protozoa) of western lowland gorillas with regard to several factors (e.g. impact of human contact, diet, and antibiotic application) using the Next Generation Sequencing approach. The research is performed in the close collaboration with the laboratory of prof. Bryan White at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.


Barbora Kalousová is a PhD student at the Department of Pathological Morphology and Parasitology at UPVS Brno. Barbora focuses on transmission of strongylid nematodes between great apes and humans and her study is part of a long-term research program  entitled "Diversity and ecology of parasites and bacteria of western lowland gorillas in Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, Central African Republic with respect to the impact of human pressure". Specifically, Barbora monitores parasite infections of great apes, humans and other wildlife with focus on transmission of pathogens between great apes and humans at several research sites in Africa.

Barbora Kalousová Foto


Jana Rádrová Foto

Jana Rádrová is a PhD student at the Department of Parasitology at Charles University in Praha. Jana is experienced in the field work with different species of bloodsucking insects, determination of insect, dissection of their gut and salivary glands, isolation and in vitro cultivation of different trypanosomatids from vectors, as well as trained in molecular techniques such as PCR, sequencing or cloning. Jana is working on different insect that can be involved in the transmission of different pathogens to humans and (non‐human) primates and among them. Jana´s research is focused mainly on Anopheles mosquitoes as the vectors of malaria caused by Plasmodium in Dzanga-Sangha national park in Central African Republic.

Jade Burgunder is a PhD student at the Department of Botany and Zoology at the Masaryk University. Jade is interested in ecology, evolution, biodiversity, and behavioural ecology. For her master thesis, she has worked on fitness influences of sociality in mandrills, at the Primate Centre of the International Centre for Medical Research Franceville, Gabon. Jade has also worked as a field research assistant in South Africa and participating in some field work for the Primate and Predator Project of Durham University. Her Ph.D. project dealing with analyses of behavioural organization in relation to parasitic diseases and in particular, in relation to gastrointestinal parasite infections in wild chimpanzees.

Jade Burgunder Foto


Doreen Schulz Foto

Doreen Schulz is a PhD student at the Department of Botany and Zoology at the Masaryk University. Her interests lay in behavioural physiology in primates with emphasis on diet and dietary physiology. In her diploma thesis she investigated the influence of energy intake and social behaviour on stress hormone levels in captive bonobos in the Endocrinology lab of the Primatology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropolgy, Leipzig, Germany. She has worked as a field assistant for the Mbeli Bai Study, WCS Congo Program, Republic of Congo. Her Ph.D. project is focused on diversity of anaerobic gut fungi in African great apes and dietary influence on fungi community structure in wild western lowland gorillas.


MSc Students

Dita Havrdová is a MSc. student at Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Her Master thesis is entitled "Effect of storage media, temperature, and time on preservation fecal samples containing zoonotic protist for PCR analysis", which is tested for futher selection of best in field methodology of sample preservation.



Zuzana Tehlarova Foto

Zuzana Tehlarová is a MSc. student at the Department of Pathological Morphology and Parasitology at UPVS Brno. Her Master thesis is entitled "Are the communities of parasites of agile mangabeys (Cercocebus agilis) in Bai-Hokou sex-biased?"

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