Laboratory gnotobiology

lab.153_RNDr.Hana Kozáková

Head of the Laboratory: Hana Kozáková, PhD.

Phone: + 420 491 418 531



The laboratory is a detached unit of the former Department of Immunology and Gnotobiology of the Institute of Microbiology of the Academic of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The laboratory was founded in the 60s by Prof. Jaroslav Šterzl in Nový Hrádek at Orlicke Mountains. His aim was to establish the new unit for rearing and breeding of colostrum-free piglets. Pigs have special placentation which prevents transfer of maternal antibodies to offspring. For this reason, swine is an ideal model for developmental and immunologic studies. Similar germ-free technology was also adapted for rats, rabbits and mice. Currently, research scientists of laboratory use unique germ-free mice and piglets, allowing them to study the effects of single microbiota components on the development of physiological and immunological responses in experimental models of human diseases. An integral part of the research program is investigation of immune cell ontogeny in pigs.


International cooperation

Poland (Bozena Cukrowska, The Children’s Memorial Health Institute, Department of Pathology, Warsaw, Andrej Gamian and Sabina Górska, L. Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wrocław, Poland)

Austria (Ursula Wiedermann and Irma Schabussova, Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Armin Saalmuller, Veterinary Univerisity, Vienna, Austria)

Germany (Dirk Haller, Department of Nutrition and Immunology, Technical University of Munich, Wolfgang Holtmeier, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt Am Main, Germany)

France (François Leulier, Institut of Functional Genomics Lyon (IGFL), Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France)

Spain (Yolanda Sanz, Human Dietetics and Nutrition, University of Valencia, Javier Dominguez, Departamento de Biotecnologia, Instituto Nacional de Investigacio´n y Tecnologı´a Agraria y Alimentaria, Madrid, Spain)

Netherland (Jerry Wells, Host-Microbe-Interactomics Group, University of Wageningen, Netherland)

Italy (Paolo Trevisi, Department of Agricultural and Food Science (DISTAL), University of Bologna, Italy)

Great Britain (Huaizhi Yang, Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, Mick Bailey, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom)

Japan (Yoshihiro Muneta, National Institute of Animal Health, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan)

Canada (Klaus Nielsen, Canadian Food Inspection Agency Biologiste, Ottawa Laboratory, Fallowfield, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

USA (John E. Butler, University of Iowa, Koichi Kobayashi, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Texas A&M University, David Francis, South Dakota State University, Brooklin, South Dakota, Kelly Lager, Virus and Prion Research Unit, United States Department of Agriculture, Ames, Iowa, Joan Lunney, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Mariland, USA).


Main research topics

Study of effects of commensal bacteria on the development of innate and adaptive immunity

Mouse model of allergic sensitization to inhalant and food allergens

A mouse model of autoimmune uveitis

A mouse model of colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium

A murine model of Crohn’s disease (Nod2-deficient strain)

Study of effects of commensal and probiotic bacteria on enteric infection of piglets in the early postnatal period

Model necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm born gnotobiotic piglets

The role of αβ and γδ T cells in immunization of porcine naive immune system

Effect of commensal bacteria on the development of inflammation in piglets

Development and maturation of porcine B cells


The contemporary grant projects

The role of microbiota in the pathogenesis of autoimmune uveitis

Crohn’s disease: detection of critical microbial components and analysis of pathogenetic mechanisms

Commensal and probiotic bacteria in prevention of enteric infections in early postnatal period

Benefits and risks of probiotics for immunocompromised newborns: a study in experimental models

The role of γδ T cells in immunization of porcine naive immune system

Mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory effects of commensal and probiotic bacteria and their role in metabolism and drug pharmacokinetics

The development and maturation of porcine B cells

Pollen and food allergies know no borders! Joint research and education

Improving Allergy Risk Assessment Strategy for new food proteins (ImpARAS) (cooperation in in vivo experiments)


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