The Laboratory of Biomedical Microbiology and Immunology (LBMI), was founded in 1996, the 15th of March. Two organizations, University of veterinary medicine and pharmacy in Košice and Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak academy of science, came together with a common goal – “establishment of a sophisticated research unit in the field of immunogenomics and immunoproteomics”
Since its foundation, the LBMI is assuring excellence in research and education. The research activities of the LBMI have focused on exploring host-pathogen interactions of neuroinvasive human pathogens like Borrelia burgdorferi, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Franciscella Sp., West Nile virus and tick-borne encephalitis virus and to intervene in their early pathogenesis. The agenda includes a broad range of highly specialized and specific research activities like: a) exploration of transcriptomic and proteomic response of host cells (forming the neurovascular unit) at the onset of pathogen attachment and entry, b) Identification of specific receptors and mapping of domains involved in ligand binding, c) Engineering of single domain antibodies (sdAbs) that can cross the blood-brain barrier and recognize pathogen receptors, and d) development of antimicrobial peptides. Furthermore, as a responsible contribution to worldwide SARS-COV2 (COVID 19) pandemic, LBMI has initiated work Slovak National project (APVV) on COVID 19 to reveal molecular interaction between COVID19 and cell receptors, and development of nanobody based therapeutics to interfere virus uptake.
We employ state of the art techniques at LBMI viz. next generation sequencing based RNAseq, high-throughput proteomics involving mass spectrometry based bottom-up and top-down approach, mutation detection techniques, high resolution melting (HRM) assays, direct DNA sequencing, quantitative real time PCR, transfection techniques, in vitro recombinant protein design and production, protein-protein interaction assays, phage display, affinity ligand binding, pull-down assays and culture of 3D model of human blood-brain barrier (BBB).
Till date 12 PhD fellows has finished the doctoral study from LBMI. More than 30 researchers from several countries have visited LBMI to carry research in the field of display technologies, proteomics, translocation of pathogens across BBB etc.