1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University 1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University GiardiaLab
ptumova 09.11.2022

Research Interest

Our Giardia research at a glance 34

We focus on the unicellular, parasitic eukaryote  Giardia intestinalis , which is responsible for a gastrointestinal  disease, affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Since 2004, giardiasis has been included in the WHO's Neglected Diseases Initiative (Savioli et al. 2006) . Treatment refractory giardiasis cases are increasing in prevalence, indicating the existence of so far uncovered parasite drug-resistance mechanisms.

The overall aim of our research group is to characterize Giardia genomic and organellar segregation during cell division. We are currently investigating the components of the Giardia kinetochore, a key multiprotein device assorting precise distribution of genetic material to daughter cells. Segregation errors lead in Giardia to aneuploidy, a common feature of Giardia karyotype which may contribute to drug resistance development, as shown in other parasitic protists. To investigate karyotypes and genomes of drug treatment resistant Giardia, we collected clinical isolates from cases  of treatment refractory giardiasis and put our efforts towards their genetic characterization.

We also focus on cellular and organellar changes occurring during cell division of Giardia trophozoites. Together with our international collaborators we employ the state-of-the-art imaging techniques, such as focus ion-beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) to follow (i) remodeling of Giardia adhesion structures, and (ii) segregation and biogenesis of the reduced mitochondrial organelles, so-called mitosomes, in Giardia trophozoites and cysts. For this purpose, we developed and published our own FIB/SEM methodology, suitable also for use with other unicellular eukaryotes.
we utilized our knowledge on Giardia karyotype and together with our collaborators we worked on adaptation of a CRISPR/Cas9 knock-out method for efficient gene-editing in Giardia as a promising tool for a future Giardia research.


Join us!

Are you an enthusiastic (future) Master's or Ph.D. student, searching for a bright opportunity to explore the realm of microbiological research, on topics similar to ours?
i.e., genetic manipulation and variation, protein expression and localization, and drug resistance of the world's most common intestinal parasite?
Then you've found the right place!

Contact us at pavla.tumova (at) lf1.cuni.cz

Our New Publications

Hardin WR, Alas GCM, Taparia N, Thomas EB, Steele-Ogus MC, Hvorecny KL, Halpern AR, Tumova P, Kollman JM, Vaughan JC, Sniadecki NJ, Paredez AR.
The Giardia ventrolateral flange is a lamellar membrane protrusion that supports attachment Plos Pathog. Apr 2022 ; 28;18(4):e1010496. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010496. (IF= 7.464)

Horáčková V, Voleman L, Hagen KD, Petrů M, Vinopalová M, Weisz F, Janowicz N, Marková L, Motyčková A, Najdrová V, Tůmová P, Dawson SC, Doležal P. Efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption in the tetraploid the protist Giardia intestinalis. Open Biol. 2022 Apr;12(4):210361. DOI: 10.1098/rsob.210361. (IF= 7.124)

Tůmová P, Nohýnková E, Wanner G. In situ visualization of a simple bipartite kinetochore with a single microtubule attachment in Giardia intestinalis (Metamonada). Eur J Cell Biol. 2022 Apr;101(2):151217. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2022.151217. (IF= 6.02)