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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Animal health, environment and food safety

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.04.00  Biotechnical sciences  Veterinarian medicine   
4.03.00  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production   

Code Science Field
B000  Biomedical sciences   

Code Science Field
4.03  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Veterinary science 
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Keywords
animal health, environment, food safety, infectious diseases, new pathogens, vectors, foodborne zoonoses, biofilm forming capacity, insects as a source of proteins, pets, indicators of environment contamination, bees and wild pollinators, animal welfare, diagnostics, metagenomics
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Points
15,405.38
A''
328.27
A'
6,262.27
A1/2
8,873.11
CI10
7,472
CImax
517
h10
36
A1
51.42
A3
178.43
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on January 31, 2023; A3 for period 2016-2020
Data for ARRS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  778  9,007  8,099  10.41 
Scopus  893  10,270  9,240  10.35 
Researchers (69)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  28448  PhD Jana Avberšek  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  107 
2.  21401  PhD Zlatka Bajc  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  80 
3.  33139  PhD Petra Bandelj  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  50 
4.  35374  PhD Katja Bezek  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  77 
5.  15199  PhD Majda Biasizzo  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  123 
6.  00357  PhD Franci Aco Celar  Plant production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  324 
7.  08602  PhD Vesna Cerkvenik Flajs  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  169 
8.  53582  Marko Cvetko  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023 
9.  31553  Danijela Černe    Technician  2020 - 2023  120 
10.  04576  PhD Martin Dobeic  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  253 
11.  12003  PhD Jožica Dolenc  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  87 
12.  39877  Tamara Dolenšek  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020  50 
13.  11184  PhD Alenka Dovč  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  452 
14.  52322  Marjeta Dremelj    Technician  2020 - 2023 
15.  18096  Boštjan Flajnik    Technician  2020 - 2023 
16.  30378  PhD Majda Golob  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020 - 2023  173 
17.  17569  PhD Mitja Gombač  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  195 
18.  14880  PhD Igor Gruntar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  107 
19.  28275  PhD Urška Henigman  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  81 
20.  51854  Jaka Jakob Hodnik  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  54 
21.  08321  PhD Peter Hostnik  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  400 
22.  18592  PhD Breda Jakovac Strajn  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  203 
23.  25841  PhD Urška Jamnikar Ciglenečki  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  113 
24.  04272  PhD Vlasta Jenčič  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  431 
25.  21704  PhD Jožica Ježek  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  295 
26.  04630  PhD Polona Juntes  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  424 
27.  39657  Maja Kavalič    Technician  2020 - 2023 
28.  18888  PhD Andrej Kirbiš  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  210 
29.  38142  PhD Tanja Knific  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  61 
30.  23320  PhD Uroš Krapež  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  164 
31.  11132  PhD Branko Krt  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  225 
32.  28450  PhD Urška Kuhar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  99 
33.  24296  PhD Darja Kušar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  177 
34.  16346  PhD Tadej Malovrh  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  319 
35.  22714  Boštjan Medved    Technician  2020 - 2023 
36.  11879  PhD Jasna Mičunovič  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020 - 2023  84 
37.  32994  PhD Nina Mlakar Hrženjak  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020 - 2023  32 
38.  11133  PhD Matjaž Ocepek  Veterinarian medicine  Principal Researcher  2020 - 2023  460 
39.  38144  PhD Bojan Papić  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  82 
40.  54722  Katarina Pavlin  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  14 
41.  24778  PhD Katarina Pavšič Vrtač  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  57 
42.  16213  PhD Štefan Pintarič  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  254 
43.  24598  PhD Tina Pirš  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020 - 2023  82 
44.  15315  PhD Metka Pislak Ocepek  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  142 
45.  38981  Jan Plut  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020 - 2023  45 
46.  17027  PhD Klemen Potočnik  Animal production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  532 
47.  24115  PhD Joško Račnik  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  337 
48.  36307  Petra Raspor Lainšček  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  34 
49.  22446  PhD Brigita Slavec  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  184 
50.  23944  PhD Jože Starič  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  446 
51.  55731  Petra Šenica  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023 
52.  50526  PhD Laura Šimenc  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  29 
53.  24901  Andrej Škibin  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020 - 2023  26 
54.  55729  Maruša Škrbec  Biotechnical sciences  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023 
55.  54723  Manja Šolinc  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023 
56.  19156  PhD Marina Štukelj  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  191 
57.  39088  PhD Sabina Šturm  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  26 
58.  18884  PhD Tanja Švara  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  211 
59.  07811  PhD Gabrijela Tavčar Kalcher  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  148 
60.  20040  PhD Ivan Toplak  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  507 
61.  12645  PhD Stanka Vadnjal  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  172 
62.  16214  PhD Gorazd Vengušt  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  236 
63.  11489  PhD Aleksandra Vergles Rataj  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  153 
64.  19720  PhD Matej Vidrih  Plant production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  483 
65.  33447  Urška Zajc  Veterinarian medicine  Technician  2020 - 2023  72 
66.  12682  PhD Irena Zdovc  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  452 
67.  08023  PhD Olga Zorman Rojs  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  404 
68.  24349  PhD Diana Žele Vengušt  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2020 - 2023  156 
69.  50525  PhD Zoran Žlabravec  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  33 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0406  University of Ljubljana, Veterinary Faculty  Ljubljana  1627139  9,698 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,093 
3.  2413  Universita del Litorale, Facolta di Scienze della Salute  Izola  1810014005  8,921 
Abstract
Interdisciplinary work within the research program will be conducted through six projects linked to animal health, environment and food safety. Surveillance of the causative agents of animal infectious diseases will complement our past research. Next generation sequencing will be the core research method in this field, with the focus on the whole genome analysis. This state-of-the-art typing method with the ultimate discriminatory power will enable rapid detection, characterization and phylogenetic analysis of currently present and emerging pathogens. Metagenomics of animal clinical samples will be a step further towards improved understanding of the aetiology of certain diseases. Innovative sampling methods will be implemented, along with studying vector-borne diseases which are gaining importance due to climate change. Numerous microbes are responsible for food- and waterborne infections which can be easily transmitted and constitute a global health problem. Infection control is hampered by the presence of microbes in diverse animal species and the persistence in the environment. We will study the presence of certain pathogens from farm to fork, their genetic characteristics and biofilm forming capacity. The possibility of using alternative agents and methods to decrease the bacterial load in the environment, host and food will be investigated. We will also study microbiological, chemical and environmental risks represented by the use of insects as a promising source of proteins in animal and human nutrition. Pet animals may transmit diverse infectious diseases to other animals and humans. The prevalence of multidrug resistant bacteria and parasites in pets will be investigated. Our goal is also to study free-range animals and plants as bioindicators of environmental contamination caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals, rodenticides and toxic heavy metals which may present a risk for human health in the case of consumption. For sustainable food production and the preservation of biodiversity in the environment, pollinators are urgently needed. The knowledge of disease transmission routes between honeybees and wild pollinators is the key for preventing and containing the disease; thus, we will detect the presence of certain pathogens and study the transmission between the pollinators. We will also evaluate the impact of acaricides to microbiota, the resistance to acaricides and assess the presence of toxic substances in bee products. Care for animal welfare is a moral obligation contributing to a better life for the animals in the least possible stressful environment. Non-invasive methods to detect infectious and metabolic diseases will be studied, along with monitoring the indicators of the oxidative stress. The research will also involve studying various forms of conflict behavior in farm animals, equine welfare focused on Slovenian breeds, tumor diseases and the impact of grazing on the abundance of microbes in pasture soil and cattle feces. hh
Significance for science
Monitoring the animal infectious diseases and novel pathogens, studying the alimentary zoonoses, the importance of pet animals for health and environment, the impact of environmental pollution, the health of pollinators and the animal welfare includes the research program into the fundamental scientific orientation and development of the Veterinary Faculty. Also, this is complemented by scientific research of other organizations implementing the research program (Biotechnical Faculty, Faculty of Health Sciences). The research program group performs basic scientific research, which is extremely important for the development of science and represents the starting point for planning and implementation of applicative research. With the obtained results we contribute to the advancement of veterinary medicine in Slovenia and internationally and successfully transfer the basic theoretical knowledge into practice, i.e. into the optimization and development of diagnostic methods for faster control and eradication of animal diseases, ensuring food safety and health of consumers, and sustainable use of environmental resources. From our research laboratories new findings are transferred to other institutions within the European Union and globally, also through close connections between the national reference laboratories and EU reference laboratories, thus contributing to the recognition of Slovenian science. By using rapid and innovative sampling methods, we will obtain important data on the presence, properties and persistence of the most important pathogenic microbes in susceptible species of animals, including pet animals, and in the environment, with the emphasis on the use of non-invasive methods for ensuring animal welfare. The concern for the latter is obligation of all those involved in animals, including in the poultry and pig farms which are characterized by multiple health problems. The use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) with the emphasis whole-genome sequencing (WGS) as the most discriminatory typing method, enables us to perform state-of-the-art scientific research and thereby to be involved in the European/global scientific environment. With WGS-typing of selected pathogens in animals, foods and environment, we can participate in the process of establishing an international database of pathogens that is already underway and is necessary for rapid epidemiological action in the case of human infection outbreaks caused by zoonotic agents. The NGS method will also enable us to comprehensively study the genetic characteristics of individual pathogens and to identify microbial communities in different ecosystems, which represents the broadest scientific approach to studying the causes of the disease. Data on the resistance to antimicrobial drugs and desinfectants, which is growing without control and represents one of the biggest threats to the assurance of health in the future, are an important scientific contribution on a global scale. We are also involved in the research on honey bees and wild pollinators, which represents a major contribution to science globally as studies are planned on topics that are generally not yet well researched (ways of disease spreading, pathogenesis, influence of drugs and pesticides, transmission of toxic substances in honey-bee products, possibilities for improving the health condition and survival of pollinators). We also investigate the effects of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A, heavy metals and rodenticides, and their impact on ecosystems, which is of great importance for ensuring the health of animals and humans and for the protection of the environment. The up-to-date of the research problem enables us to participate in domestic and international research projects and networking with the top-level research institutions. The result of the involvement of research program in the international cooperation are the high-profile joint publications, the organization of international scient
Significance for the country
One of the priorities of the research program is to intensely connect research institutions with the economy, as the obtained results will contribute to new adaptations and improvements in animal production and within the food processing industry, in Slovenia and abroad. It will enable better international recognition of the Slovenian economy and its contribution to the global concept of One Health. Improvements will lead to increased competitiveness and improvement in providing high quality and safe food, which will be available to Slovenian consumers and for export. Through care for animal welfare and based on the established links between persistence or characteristics of bacteria and breeding technology, we will find optimal solutions at the level of breeding in order to prevent animal diseases and by reducing the possibility of pathogen transfer to the human food chain. In addition, prevention of animal diseases is also beneficial in terms of reducing the consumption of antimicrobials for animal treatment, thereby preventing the development of resistant bacterial populations and the environmental burden with antimicrobials. Detection of pathogens in food and prevention of food spoilage has a significant sociological and economic impact, as well as an effect on public health care. The purpose of the latter is a decrease in the number of infections in humans and the ability to use alternative, environmentally friendly methods to lower numbers of bacteria in the environment, in animals, and in food. Furthermore, pathogen detection can prevent increased antimicrobial resistance to the most common disinfectants and therapeutics used for treatment in humans and animals. Knowledge of the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria is necessary for the determination of guidelines for rational use of antimicrobial substances in intensive farming systems. Studies on BPA, SGAR, and heavy metals will contribute to health improvement, improvement of animal and human welfare, and will lead to the protection of the environment and natural heritage (phytoremediation). Apart from scientific contributions, the project will also have a positive impact on apicultural and farming activity at the international level. Knowledge about the dynamics and pathogenesis of viral diseases as well as the potential negative effect of drugs on the health of domestic bees in combination with the determination of antimicrobial resistance will lower losses in bee farming. Preservation of various and multiple pollinators in the environment enables more successful pollination and therefore improvement in food production sustainability and land biodiversity. Preservation of bee farming and apiculture as a leisure, non-profit activity has a significant social and cultural impact, especially in the elderly population and for individuals with special needs. Apiculture played an important role in ancient Slovenian architecture (beehives), traditional art (painted bee hive frames), and in local cuisine (gingerbread). The strategy of the European Commission is to improve the welfare and living conditions of farm animals, companion animals, animals used for sports, therapeutic animals, experimental animals, wild animals, and animals in captivity. The concept of five basic animal welfare needs identifies topics on pain, injuries, and diseases as most important. Intensive farming systems can cause an eruption of several etopathies and technopathies that negatively affect animal health and welfare. Care for animal welfare is a moral obligation contributing to a better life for the animals in the least possible stressful environment. A long term positive effect is the economic improvement in animal breeding and sustainable farming. Sustainability and preservation of natural resources are crucial for further generations, and will ensure that Slovenian native breeds survive. Local animal breeds play a significant role in genomic diversity, and local farmers will be suppo
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