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PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, Jozef Stefan Institute, Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic, Health Service Executive and 22 more.
Type: | Journal: Environmental research | Year: 2015

A communication strategy was developed by The Consortium to Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (COPHES), as part of its objectives to develop a framework and protocols to enable the collection of comparable human biomonitoring data throughout Europe. The framework and protocols were tested in the pilot study DEMOCOPHES (Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale). The aims of the communication strategy were to raise awareness of human biomonitoring, encourage participation in the study and to communicate the study results and their public health significance. It identified the audiences and key messages, documented the procedure for dissemination of results and was updated as the project progressed. A communication plan listed the tools and materials such as press releases, flyers, recruitment letters and information leaflets required for each audience with a time frame for releasing them. Public insight research was used to evaluate the recruitment material, and the feedback was used to improve the documents. Dissemination of results was coordinated in a step by step approach by the participating countries within DEMOCOPHES, taking into account specific national messages according to the needs of each country. Participants received individual results, unless they refused to be informed, along with guidance on what the results meant. The aggregate results and policy recommendations were then communicated to the general public and stakeholders, followed by dissemination at European level. Several lessons were learnt that may assist other future human biomonitoring studies. Recruitment took longer than anticipated and so social scientists, to help with community engagement, should be part of the research team from the start. As a European study, involving multiple countries, additional considerations were needed for the numerous organisations, different languages, cultures, policies and priorities. Therefore, communication documents should be seen as templates with essential information clearly indicated and the option for each country to tailor the material to reflect these differences. Future studies should consider setting up multidisciplinary networks of medical professionals and communication experts, and holding training workshops to discuss the interpretation of results and risk communication. Publicity and wide dissemination of the results helped to raise awareness of human biomonitoring to the general public, policy makers and other key stakeholders. Effective and timely communication, at all stages of a study, is essential if the potential of human biomonitoring research to improve public health is to be realised.


Gicova A.,Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic | Orieskova M.,Comenius University | Oslanecova L.,Comenius University | Drahovska H.,Comenius University | Kaclikova E.,Food Research Institute
Letters in Applied Microbiology | Year: 2014

Cronobacter spp. (formerly Enterobacter sakazakii) is responsible for rare but fatal cases of infection in neonates and immunocompromised infants. The aim of our study was to characterize Cronobacter strains isolated from powdered infant foods in Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic in 2009-2010. Powdered infant food products have been analysed using currently available standard method ISO/TS 22964: 2006 for the detection of Cronobacter spp. complemented with qPCR confirmation of positive strains. Thirteen Cronobacter strains were isolated from more than 900 powdered infant formulae, milk-based and cereal-based powdered weaning food products. The strains were assigned to five biogroups and ten multilocus sequence typing (MLST) sequence types. In total, twelve strains were identified as Cronobacter sakazakii and one strain as Cronobacter dublinensis. Multiple strains originated from parallel isolation were obtained in three samples and the variability between strains from the same food was observed twice. The results are in agreement with the hypothesis that the Cronobacter contamination detected in infant powdered food is low and originating in various accidental sources. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


Nagyova V.,Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic | Nagy A.,R.Ø.S.A. | Janecek S.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Timko J.,Slovak Academy of Sciences
Biologia | Year: 2010

Protozoa of the genus Acanthamoeba are organisms that can be generally found in the environment. The focus of this study is the detection of the presence of Acanthamoeba in different water sources and samples taken from airconditioning units. The identification of Acanthamoeba isolates was based on the morphology of cysts and trophozoites as well as PCR amplification with a genus specific primer pair JDP1 and JDP2. Growth characteristics and temperature tolerance were monitored. The pathogenic potential was tested in vitro on Vero cell cultures. Genotype identification was based on the sequencing of the GTSA. B1 PCR amplimer of 18S ribosomal DNA. The data obtained revealed that the isolates belong to T3 and T4 genotypes. One T3 and one T4 isolate contain a group I intron. The 933 base pair intron found in a genotype T4 isolate is considerably larger compared to formerly described introns of Acanthamoeba griffini (genotype T3) and A. Lenticulata (genotype T5). This is the first report detailing the environmental distribution of the Acanthamoeba genotypes in the region of Bratislava, Slovakia. © 2009 Institute of Molecular Biology, Slovak Academy of Sciences.


Nagyova V.,Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic | Nagy A.,R.Ø.S.A. | Timko J.,Slovak Academy of Sciences
Parasitology Research | Year: 2010

Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a relatively rare disease worldwide. Over the past 10 years, five cases of AK were reported in Slovakia. Four preserved Slovak strains and one strain from the Czech Republic isolated from corneal scrapes of patients with AK are characterised in this study. Genotype identification of isolates is based on sequences of the PCR amplimer GTSA.B1 amplified from 18S ribosomal DNA. A strain isolated from the first patient in 1999 was classified as a rare sequence type T15. This is just the second report in which genotype T15 has been associated with AK. The other three Slovak strains were identified as belonging to the most common genotype T4. The only strain originating from the Czech Republic was classified as sporadically appearing sequence type T3. All isolates were also studied for their temperature tolerance and growth characteristics. The cythopatic effect was tested in vitro on Vero cell cultures. © Springer-Verlag 2010.


PubMed | National Reference Center for Poliomyelitis, Regional Authority of Public Health, Slovak Medical University, Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic and National Transplant Organization
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Central European journal of public health | Year: 2017

Enteroviruses (EVs) infections occur worldwide. Although, infections by these viruses are often asymptomatic and go unnoticed, they can be shed in stool for several weeks. The EVs re associated with sporadic outbreaks and a wide range of clinical symptoms, occasionally accompanied with fatal consequences. Presently in the Slovak Republic (SR) recreational waters are tested only for bacterial indicators. Our aim was to monitor EVs in recreational waters. Water samples were collected during the years 2012-2014 from different recreational natural lakes in Central and West regions of SR. The samples were concentrated by centrifugation using the two-phase separation method recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) used for EVs surveillance in the treated sewage waste water. Each of the two phases collected from the samples was analysed by polymerase chain reaction for detection of EVs and primary sequencing was done. Our study demonstrated presence of EVs in three localities consecutively for three years, indicating a probability of constant local source of faecal contamination. This is the first monitoring report on the occurrence of EVs in the natural recreational waters in SR.


Vrba T.,Czech Technical University | Malatova I.,National Radiation Protection Institute, Czech Republic | Fojtik P.,National Radiation Protection Institute, Czech Republic | Fulop M.,Slovak Medical University | Ragan P.,Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic
Radiation Protection Dosimetry | Year: 2014

A simple hemispherical phantom has been designed and prepared for the EURADOS intercomparison exercise on 241Am activity determination in the skull (2011-13). The phantom consists of three parts that substitute bone and soft tissues. 241Am is deposited on the surfaces of the bone-substituting part. The design and assumed composition of phantom parts are discussed. A preparation of the voxel representation of the phantom is described. The spectrum of a real measurement of the physical phantom agrees well with the simulation. The physical phantom, and its voxel representation, is provided to the participants of the intercomparison exercise. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Domotorova M.,Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic | Stachova Sejakova Z.,Slovak Medical University | Kocan A.,Masaryk University | Conka K.,Slovak Medical University | And 2 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2012

There is a lack of information regarding persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in soil from Slovakia. This paper reports the concentrations of 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), 12 dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) and 6 indicator PCBs associated with 32 soil samples collected in 2007 from areas in the vicinity up to several kilometres from four selected industrial PCDD/F sources in Slovakia and one background area.The results show that the total WHO1998-PCDD/F/dl-PCB-TEQ concentrations varied from 0.34 to 18.05pgg-1 dry weight (dw) and the average total TEQ concentrations in samples collected at the Šala, KoŠice, Krompachy and Dubová areas were 3.18, 2.64, 7.80, and 3.19pgg-1dw respectively. The average of the total WHO1998-TEQ values in three soil samples representing the background Starina area was 0.66pgg-1 dw. The predominant contaminants among 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDD/Fs, dl-PCB, and indicator PCBs was OCDD, PCB 118, and PCB 153 respectively. The major contributors to the TEQ were 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF, PCB 126, 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDD, PCB 156 and 1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDF+1,2,3,4,7,9-HxCDF in descending order. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Conka K.,Slovak Medical University | Chovancova J.,Slovak Medical University | Stachova Sejakova Z.,Slovak Medical University | Domotorova M.,Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic | And 3 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2014

Within our research project, 34 river bottom sediments were collected in 2006-2007 at five areas across Slovakia with industrial sources of persistent organic pollutants (Košice, Krompachy, Nemecká, Šala, Nováky) and one background area (Starina). Sediments were analyzed for seven 2,3,7,8-substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-. p-dioxins (PCDDs) and 10 dibenzofurans (PCDFs), 12 dioxin-like and 6 indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and 1,1,1,-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (p,p'-DDT) with 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p'-DDE).Analytical procedure based on accelerated solvent extraction followed by a semi-automated clean-up and fractionation was used. Determination of target compounds was performed by HRGC-HRMS analysis.Total WHO toxic equivalent WHO1998-PCDD/F/dl-PCB-TEQ concentrations ranged from 0.26 to 559pgTEQg-1 dry matter (dm), with a median 2.2pgTEQg-1dm. The sums of six indicator PCBs were in the range 0.56-1014ngg-1dm, with a median 11.8ngg-1dm. The concentrations of organochlorine pesticides HCB and p,p'-DDE/DDT varied from 0.15 to 34.8ngg-1dm, with a median 0.91ngg-1dm and 0.46-34.1ngg-1dm, with a median 6.7ngg-1dm, respectively.The most abundant congeners in all sediment samples among dioxins, furans and PCBs were OCDD, 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDF, PCB-118 and PCB-153. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Sekeyova Z.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Subramanian G.,IRD Montpellier | Mediannikov O.,IRD Montpellier | Diaz M.Q.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | And 3 more authors.
FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology | Year: 2012

We monitored clinical samples from patients of different age groups from selected regions in Slovakia. Overall seroprevalence evaluated by immunofluorescence (IFA) using nine Bartonella, two Borrelia, six rickettsial (spotted fever and typhus group), two Coxiella, and one human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Anaplasma, Franciscella tularensis and Diplorickettsia massiliensis antigens, in rural and city populations of Slovak Republic, was found to be 32% positive for spotted fever group rickettsiae. Only five (10%) of the rickettsia-positive cases evaluated by IFA were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Rickettsia helvetica, Rickettsia slovaca, and Rickettsia raoultii infection appear to be prevalent in Slovakia. Furthermore, Coxiella burnetii, Borrelia and, for the first time, Bartonella elisabethae were confirmed in Slovakia. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.


Chovancova J.,Slovak Medical University | Conka K.,Slovak Medical University | Fabisikova A.,Slovak Medical University | Sejakova Z.S.,Slovak Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2012

Blood serum specimens from 81 non-occupationally exposed adults residing in four areas close to municipal and waste incinerators as well as metallurgical industry plant and 44 adult subjects coming from control area of Slovakia were analysed for polychlorinated dibenzo- p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs).The concentration of total WHO 98TEQ PCDD/F/dl-PCBs in whole group of donors from areas where known sources causing dioxin contamination are present was significantly higher than in control group of donors (p<0.001). Correlation between the age of donors and PCDD/F and dl-PCB levels was confirmed (Spearman's r PCDD/Fs=0.543, r dl-PCBs=0.521, p<0.001).Furthermore, this study presents first results concerning the PBDE congeners in human serum of Slovak general population. The total concentration (congeners 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, 183) in control group was approximately 1.5-times higher in comparison to that of residents coming from areas with supposed environmental pollution. The most abundant congeners in all samples were BDE-47 and BDE-153 with median values of 0.24ngg -1 lipid and 0.23ngg -1 lipid, respectively. The positive association between PBDE values and age of donors was not found. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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