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National Reference Laboratory for E. coli and shigellae

The NRL is accredited to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17025 as a test laboratory and to ČSN EN ISO 15189 as a public health laboratory by the Czech Accreditation Institute.

NRL for E.coli a shigellae


Head: Monika Havlíčková-Marejková, M.Sc., Ph.D. (maternity leave)

Deputy Head: Dr. Zuzana Ileninová, PhD.

The NRL was established by Prof. Raška as the NRL for Shigella in 1957 (first headed by RNDr. Eva Aldová, CSc.) and was confirmed as such by the Ministry of Health of the
Czech Republic on December 13, 1991.

  • focuses on laboratory diagnosis of infections caused by pathogenic strains of E.coli, Shigella and other intestinal bacteria  (Yersinia, Vibrio, etc.) and on the identification and typing of these agents possibly implicated in hospital infections;
  • detects strains of significant serotypes of enterohemorrhagic (Shiga toxin-producing) E. coli in the stool of patients with haemolytic uremic syndrome using immunomagnetic separation;
  • uses phenotypic and genotypic method to screen suspected enterohemorrhagic E.coli strains for Shiga toxin production and other virulence factors;
  • performs detailed identification of V. cholerae strains including the detection of cholera enterotoxin;
  • maintains the collection of enterohemorrhagic E.coli and V. cholerae strains classified among high-risk agents and toxins (HRAT) pursuant to Act No. 281/2002 on measures relevant to bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons ban;
  • carries out the surveillance of invasive diseases caused by Shigella and enterohemorrhagic strains of E. coli; see Regulation No. 275/2010 of 13 September 2010 amending Regulation No. 473/2008 on the epidemiological surveillance system for infections caused by enterohemorrhagic E. coli;
  • cooperates with epidemiologists in reporting cases of these disease to the European networks TESSy (the European Surveillance System) and EFSA (the European Food Safety Authority);
  • maintains the collection of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli for further analysis;
  • takes part in the laboratory proficiency testing within the WHO GFN EQAS on serotyping and susceptibility testing of Salmonella and Shigella strains and the EQAS for STEC/VTEC on sero- and virulence typing of Verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC);
  • cooperates with the National Consulting Laboratory for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, Institute for Hygiene, University of Münster in the area of genotyping of enterohemorrhagic E. coli strains.