HR Excellence in Science

MSc. Natalie (Natasha) Rudenko, Ph.D.

Position Research Scientist - Laboratory of Molecular Ecology of Vectors and Pathogens
Disease Vectors and Pathogens
Institute of Parasitology

Contact details +420 387775468


Research interests

Molecular biology and ecology, mechanisms of infectivity and pathogenesis of Lyme disease spirochetes, tick-host-pathogen interactions, transmission of microogranisms, tick immune response, immune proteins and antimicrobial peptides and their potential use in drug design.

Researcher ID: J-8571-2012
SCOPUS ID: 56207687000
ORCID: 0000-0002-0506-2249
Biology Centre v.v.i., AS CR, Institute of Parasitology,
Branisovska 31, 37005, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
office: +420-387775446; cell: +420-776408587; ;
URL for web site:
Reseacrh Gate:

Academic background:

  • 2010-2016 – intermittent professional training at U.S. National Tick Collection and James H. Oliver Jr. Institute for Coastal Plain Sciences (GSU, Statesboro, GA, USA)

  • 2006-2009 – intermittent postdoctoral training; Georgia Southern University, James H. OliverJr. Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology (Statesboro, GA, USA);

  • 2002 - PhD degree in molecular & cellular biology & genetics; University of South Bohemia (USB) & Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (AS CR);

  • 1986 - MSc. degree in Biology and Biochemistry, Kiev State University, Ukraine;

  • 1984 - Bc. degree in Biology and Biochemistry, Kiev State University, Ukraine.

  • Technical, professional, commercial or relevant training:

  • 2018 – Certificate of professional competence to design experiments and experimental projects under Section 15d (3) of Act No 246/1992 Coll., on the protection of Animals against Cruelty, as amended, registration number of certificate CZ 03644.

  • 2013 – Certificate; practical courses on Molecular evolution, molecular phylogenetics, phylogeography; International Workshop of Molecular Evolution, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.

  • 2010 – Certificate of Technology Transfer Manager; EU educational project CZ.1.07/2.4.00/12.0082.

  • 2005 - 6 months training course on Borrelia glycosylation proteins in term of the efficiency of the infection dissemination; Institute for Biological Sciences, NRC, Ottawa, Canada;

  • 2004 - practical course on Basic and Advanced PCR Techniques in Molecular Biology (Etten-Leur, Holland)

  • 2003 – EMBO Course on Microarray Techniques: Applications in Biomedical Research (Tokyo, Japan)

  • 2002 - training production of recombinant proteins in term of their use as vaccine candidates; Institute for Biological Sciences, NRC, Ottawa, Canada;

  • 2001- 2002 - 6 months training course on molecular mechanisms of vector-pathogen interactions; Center for Ecology and Hydrology (Oxford), Great Britain;

  • 1999 - 2 months training course on modern techniques for detection and identification of the causative agent of Lyme disease; State University of New York at Stony Brook (Stony Brook), USA;

  • 1999 - 2 months training on molecular cloning and production of recombinant proteins; Brookhaven National Laboratory (Brookhaven), NY, USA;

  • 1989 – 1 months training on cultivation of retroviruses, Institute of Molecular Genetics, Prague, Czech Republic

Work experience:

  • 2012 - 2021: Deputy Head of Laboratory of Molecular Ecology of Vectors and Pathogens, Biology Centre CAS, Institute of Parasitology (Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic);

  • Since 2007 - till present: Group Leader, Project Leader, Biology Centre CAS, Institute of Parasitology and Faculty of Science, USB (Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic);

  • 2005 - 2007: Group Leader, Project Leader, Institute of Parasitology and Faculty of Science, USB, (Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic);

  • 2000 - 2005: Senior Research Scientist, Institute of Parasitology, AS CR and Faculty of Biological Science, USB (Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic);

  • 1996 - 2000: Research Scientist, Institute of Parasitology, AS CR and Faculty of Biological science, USB (Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic);

  • 1994 - 1995: Research Scholar, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University (Philadelphia, USA);

  • 1991 - 1994: Research Scholar, University of California at Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Los Angeles, USA);

  • 1987 - 1990: Junior research worker, Department of Biosynthesis of Nucleic Acids, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (Kiev, Ukraine);

  • 1982 - 1986: Laboratory assistant, Department of Biosynthesis of Nucleic Acids, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (Kiev, Ukraine);

  • 1979 - 1982: Technician, Institute of Botany, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (Kiev, Ukraine).

Membership in professional bodies/professional registration

  • European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID)

  • European Study Group for Lyme Borreliosis (ESGBOR)

  • European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)

  • American Society of Microbiology (ASM)

Scholarships and prizes

  • 1982-The best young scientist of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, honorary award (Ukraine)

  • 2012 - The Georgia Lyme Disease Association, honorary award of appreciation (Georgia, USA)

Track record of selected grants and funding

COST Action project " CA21170 Prevention, Anticipation and Mitigation Of Tick-Borne Disease Risk Applying The Dama Protocol (PRAGMATICK)" 2022- 2026. Co-PI, Member of Management Committee.

Ministry of Health of the Czech republic, project NV19-05-00191" Importance of non-spiral forms of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes in the pathogenesis of Lyme borreliosis and post-Lyme disease syndrome", duration 4 years, 2019-2022.Role. Co-PI.

TACR GAMA 2, project 7620/100046 " Genetic markers of persistent spirochetal infection: molecular tools to study latent chronic Lyme disease", duration 2,5 years July 2020-December 2022.Role: PI.

Czech Academy of Sciences, Mobility project with Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) ( University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine ), "Cultivation of emerging human pathogens Borrelia miyamotoi and Lyme disease spirochetes from tick vectors and rodents in new MKP-F medium", duration 3 years, 2019-2021 (extended due to COVID till December 2022). Role: PI.

Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech republic, project QK1920258 " Changes in distribution of ticks and tick transmitted diseases: new and neglected risks for domestic animals, livestock and humans", duration 3 years, 2019-2021. Role: co-PI.

Ventura Grant from Mount Allison University (Canada), 2017-2019. Role: Co-PI.

European Commission (FP7 Cooperation), 01.11.11 -31.10.2016, ANTIGONE, ANTIcipating the Global Onset of Novel Epidemics, project number 278976 FP 7 Role: Co-PI

Czech Science Foundation Grant, 01/2011-12/2013, Antimicrobial proteins in immune system of competent and incompetent vectors of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes: search of borreliacidal factor. Role: Key member

POSTICK, FP7 EU – PEOPLE-ITN-(Marie Curie), 2010-2013 Role: Key member.

OP cross-border collaboration with Bavaria (=interreg/”Cíl-3”), 2009-2011. Role: Key member

CRDF/NIH/NIAID Grant CZB1-2966-CB-09, 07/2010-12/2011, Distribution and diversity of Borrelia bissettii in the southeastern United States and in Europe. Role: PI

CRDF/NIH/NIAID Grant CZB1-2963-CB-09, 07/2010-12/2011, Population structure of the Lyme borreliosis spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi ss in the southeastern United States and in Europe Role: Co-PI

Czech Science Foundation Grant 206/09/1782, 01/2009-12/2011, Interaction of LB spirochete and salivary glands of Ixodes ricinus tick: the role of Borrelia ospC protein.” Role: Key member

Technology transfer activities (Co-investigator in applied research projects)

  • Dynex CZ Ltd./Eureka, Development and Production of in vitro diagnostic tests for Lyme borreliosis; EUREKA – Development of PCR diagnostics.

  • Inpharmatica Ltd., UK, Selective Drug Discovery: from Target to Candidate, database of target tick molecules.

  • GEN-TREND s.r.o. - technology development, processing, production and delivery of recombinant proteins in appropriate quality and quantity, hybrid fusion proteins.

  • Baxter International Inc., “A New Approach to a Lyme Disease Vaccine”.

  • Vidia spol. s r.o. – Production of recombinant proteins for complete diagnostics of human viruses and other infectious agents, production of antibodies.

Language skills:
Mother language(s): Russian, Ukrainian


Total found: 64 records
Golovchenko M., Opelka J., Vancová M., Sehadová H., Králíková V., Dobias M., Raska M., Krupka M., Sloupenská K., Rudenko N. (2023) Concurrent infection of the human brain with multiple species of Lyme disease spirochetes International Journal of Molecular Sciences 24: 16906.
DOI: 10.3390/ijms242316906
Kazimírová M., Mahríková L., Hamšíková Z., Stanko M., Golovchenko M., Rudenko N. (2023) Spatial and temporal variability in prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s. l. and occurrence of genospecies in Ixodes ricinus ticks in three habitat types of Slovakia Microorganisms 11: 1666.
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms11071666
Lesiczka P.M., Rudenko N., Golovchenko M., Juránková J., Daněk O., Modrý D., Hrazdilová K. (2023) Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) play an important role in the propagation of tick-borne pathogens Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases 14: 102076.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2022.102076
Rudenko N., Golovchenko M., Horák A., Grubhoffer L., Mongodin E.F., Fraser C.M., Qiu W., Luft B., Morgan R.G., Casjens S.R., Schutzer S. (2023) Genomic confirmation of Borrelia garinii in the USA Emerging Infectious Diseases 29: 1.
DOI: 10.3201/eid2901.220930
Strnad M., Rudenko N., Rego R. O. M. (2023) Pathogenicity and Virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi Virulence 14: 2265015.
DOI: 10.1080/21505594.2023.2265015
Berthold A., Faucillion M-L., Nilsson I., Golovchenko M., Lloyd V., Bergström S., Rudenko N. (2022) Cultivation methods of spirochetes from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex and relapsing fever Borrelia Journal of Visualized Experiments 189: e64431.
DOI: 10.3791/64431
Hrnková J., Golovchenko M., Musa A.S., Needham T., Italiya J., Ceacero F., Kotrba R., Grubhoffer L., Rudenko N., Černý J. (2022) Borrelia spirochetes in European exotic farm animals Frontiers in Veterinary Science 9: 996015.
DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2022.996015
Hrnková J., Schneiderová I., Golovchenko M., Grubhoffer L., Rudenko N., Černý J. (2021) Role of Zoo-Housed Animals in the Ecology of Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens—A Review Pathogens 10: 210.
DOI: 10.3390/pathogens10020210
Rudenko N., Golovchenko M. (2021) Sexual transmission of Lyme borreliosis? The question that calls for an answer Tropical medicine and Infectious Disease 67: 87.
DOI: 10.3390/tropicalmed6020087
Rudenko N., Grubhoffer L., Golovchenko M. (2021) Climate impact on Lyme borreliosis and its causative agents In: P. Nuttall (Ed.) Climate, Ticks and Disease chapter 49.
DOI: 9781789249637
Sgroi G., Iatta R., Veneziano V., Bezerra-Santos A., Lesiczka P., Hrazdilová K., Annoscia G., D’Alessio N., Golovchenko M., Rudenko N., Modrý D., Otranto D. (2021) Molecular survey on tick-borne pathogens and Leishmania infantum in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from southern Italy Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 12: 101669.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2021.101669
Sloupenská K., Dolezilkova J., Koubková B., Hutyrova B., Racansky M., Horák P., Golovchenko M., Raska M., Rudenko N., Krupka M. (2021) Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Tick‐Borne Pathogens in Czech Patients with Suspected Post‐Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome Microorganisms 9: 2217.
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms9112217
Černý J., Lynn G., Hrnková J., Golovchenko M., Rudenko N., Grubhoffer L. (2020) Management Options forIxodes ricinus-AssociatedPathogens: A Review of Prevention Strategies International Journal of Environmental Researchand Public Health 17: 1830.
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17061830
Gupta A., Arora G., Rosen C.E., Kloos Z., Cao Y., Černý J., Sajid A., Golovchenko M., Rudenko N., Munderloh U., Hovius J., Booth C.J., Jacobs-Wagner C., Palm N.W., Ring A.M., Fikrig E. (2020) A human secretome library screen reveals a role for peptidoglycan recognition protein 1 in Lyme borreliosis PLOS Pathogens 16: e1009030.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009030
Heglasová I., Rudenko N., Golovchenko M., Zubriková D. , Miklisová D., Stanko M. (2020) Ticks, fleas and rodent-hosts analyzed for the presence of Borrelia miyamotoiin Slovakia: the first record of Borrelia miyamotoi in a Haemaphysalis inermistick Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 11: 101456.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101456
Majerová K., Hönig V., Houda P., Papežík P. , Fonville M., Sprong H., Rudenko N., Golovchenko M., Černá Bolfíková B., Hulva P., Růžek D., Hofmannová L., Votýpka J., Modrý D. (2020) Hedgehogs, Squirrels, and Blackbirds as Sentinel Hosts for Active Surveillance of Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi Complex in Urban and Rural Environments Microorganisms 8: 1908.
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms8121908

Documents to download:
Majerova_2020_Microorganisms (pdf)
Rudenko N., Golovchenko M., Kybicová K., Vancová M. (2019) Metamorphoses of Lyme disease spirochetes: phenomenon of Borrelia persisters. Parasites & Vectors 12: 237.
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3495-7
Věchtová P., Štěrbová J., Štěrba J., Vancová M., Rego R. O. M., Selinger M., Strnad M., Golovchenko M., Rudenko N., Grubhoffer L. (2018) A bite so sweet: the glycobiology interface of tick-host-pathogen interactions Parasites & Vectors 11: 594.
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-3062-7
Cutler S., Rudenko N., Golovchenko M., Cramaro W., Kirpach J., Savic S., Christova I., Amaro A. (2017) Diagnosing Borreliosis Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 17: 2-11.
DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2016.1962
de la Fuente J., Antunes S., Bonnet S., Domingos A., Estrada-Peňa A., Johnson N., Kocan K., Mansfield K., Nijhof A., Papa A., Rudenko N., Villar M., Alberdi P., Torina A., Ayllón N., Vancová M., Golovchenko M., Grubhoffer L., Caracappa S., Fooks A., Gortazar C., Rego R. O. M. (2017) Tick-pathogen interactions and vector competence: identification of molecular drivers for tick-borne diseases Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 7: 114.
DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00114

More publications


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