Partner 21 – Sven Istvan University, Faculty of Veterinary Science (SZIE)

The Faculty of Veterinary Science, Budapest, is the only veterinary school in Hungary. It is a state institution supervised and financed by the Ministry of Education, and is accredited to issue the diplomas of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), and the postgraduate degree of Philosophiae Doctor (Ph.D.) in veterinary sciences. The Faculty has an uninterrupted teaching record for more than two centuries, making it thus one of the oldest veterinary schools in the world. Since 1989, in addition to a yearly enrollment of about 100 Hungarian students, international students have been continuously enrolled in the school. A full veterinary program has been instituted and is offered in English with the pre-clinical section also in German. Currently more than 600 international students from all over the world are studying veterinary medicine in Budapest. The Department of Parasitology and Zoology was established in 1929. Zoology courses focus on different aspects of general biology and taxonomical description of the animal kingdom, supplemented by study of supraindividual organisation, population dynamics and genetics, as well as evolution biology. Parasitology which consists of theoretical and practical courses is intended to familiarize the students with the essential facts and concepts of veterinary parasitology enabling them to control and prevent economical losses, parasitozoonoses, and to improve animal welfare.

Besides teaching the staff has broad range of research experience over decades with epidemiological, diagnostic and treatment/control studies on parasitic diseases of domesticated and wild animals including parasitozoonoses. Majority of the research topics have been focusing on vectors and vector-borne diseases of animals, especially tick-borne diseases. The academic staff has built up several national and international scientific collaborations with institutions, scientists and international pharmaceutical companies. The department has been taking part in EDEN integrated project.

The activity of the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent Istvan University (SzIE) covers three main areas: education of microbiology and epizootiology / infectious diseases of animals to veterinary and biology students; scientific research on different fields of veterinary microbiology, and microbiology laboratory diagnostics. The research topics contain both fundamental research, technical development (of diagnostic methods) and applied research (development and testing of vaccines and anti-microbial agents). Samples for laboratory testing are obtained from the clinics and other departments of the faculty, or from other clinics, filed veterinarians and farms.

The team of the Virology Unit would participate in the research project. The group described and genetically characterized several new virus infections in Hungarian livestock, performed surveillance on important viral pathogens, and developed new molecular techniques for the quick detection and characterization of animal virus infections. A particular interest is dedicated to zoonotic and vector-borne viruses. The team is skilled with sample collection, laboratory processing (both with molecular methods, virus isolation, and serology), and analysis of the research data. Since 2003 the study group investigates the occurrence and spread of mosquito-borne flaviviruses (WNV, Usutu virus) in Hungary. Within previous and on-going research projects the team have developed close collaborations with entomologists (Department of Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum), with ornithologists (BirdLife Hungary) and with the nature conservation authorities (National Parks, Zoos).

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