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Home > ABOUT THE INSTITUTE > Organization > BOR > Laboratory for Diagnostics of Borreliosis and Leptospirosis

Laboratory for Diagnostics of Borreliosis and Leptospirosis

A Brief Description of the Laboratory

Laboratory for Diagnostics of Borreliosis and Leptospirosis was established in 1988 by Prof. Eva Ružić – Sabljić, MD, PhD, primarily for the needs of microbiological diagnostics of newly detected lyme borreliosis and, soon after, for the diagnostics of relapsing fever (febris recurrens). The laboratory also took over the diagnostics of leptospirosis and, from 1995, it is in charge for microbiological diagnostics of borreliosis and leptospirosis.

The laboratory carries our cultivation and isolation of Borrelia and Leptospira spp. from various cultures (clinical samples, tics, animal material, material collected from the environment, etc.). The fact that the first isolations of both Borrelia and Leptospira in Slovenia were carried out in this laboratory is of supreme importance for the history of Slovenian microbiology. At present, the laboratory has a substantial collection of isolated strains and it is worth mentioning that it possesses the largest collection of clinical strains of Borrelia in the world which contains more than 1000 specimens.

The laboratory has developed various methods to identify Borrelia and Leptospira. Phenotyping techniques are used to determine protein profiles and antigenic properties of individual spirochetes, whereas molecular methods are used to determine the species, type within the species, serotype or plasmid profile. The following methods are routinely used in the laboratory: PCR, real time PCR, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, PCR-based sequencing, restriction or Tm product determination.

In the laboratory, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used as a direct method for confirming the infection with Borrelia and Leptospira. The DNA molecules are demonstrated in different cultures (clinical samples, tics, other materials). In suspected cases of leptospirosis, the above diagnostics is urgently required; therefore, the laboratory offers on-going services also on non-working days.

Detection of specific antibodies against antibodies of Borrelia is performed by using various serological tests (immunofluorescence, enzyme immunoassay, immunoblot, chemiluminiscence). In order to confirm leptospirosis, microagglutination tests are performed, which involves cultivation of different strains of Leptospirae, mainly those existing in Slovenia and neighboring countries. Laboratory maintenance of Leptospira requires constant supervision and growth control as well as testing of antigenic properties of Leptospira. The above test is regarded as reference method for determining the antibodies in patients with suspected leptospirosis.


Head of the Laboratory:

Other Staff:

  • Meta Kodre
  • Frančiška Čurila – Mikuž
  • Brigita Repše
  • Tina Šivic
  • Jasmina Zlotrg


Organizational Structure of the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology

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