HR Excellence in Science

MSc. Astrid Sibylle Holzer, Ph.D.

Position Head of Laboratory - Laboratory of Fish Protistology
Fish Parasitology
Institute of Parasitology

Contact details +420 387775424


Date/Place of Birth: 29.04.1974, St. Gallen (Switzerland) 
Nationality: Austrian
Academic titles: 
PhD in Aquatic Veterinary Pathology (University of Stirling, UK), 2005. 
MSc in Biological Sciences (University of Vienna, Austria), 1999. 
BSc in Biological Sciences (University of Vienna, Austria), 1996.
Former and current positions: 
Since March 2011 - Head of Laboratory of Fish Protistology, Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic)
2010 (6 months) - Research fellow, Department of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Vienna (Austria) 
2008–2010 - Juan de la Cierva research fellow, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia (Spain)
2005–2007 - Marie Curie experienced researcher, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia (Spain)
2004–2005 - Research assistant, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling (UK) 
2000–2005 - PhD researcher, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling (UK) 
1999–2000 - Associate Researcher, Institute of Hydrobiology and Ichthyology (now: Clinic for Avian, Reptiles and Fish), University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna (Austria) 


  • Complex characterisation of myxozoan mitochondria: Genome, proteome and utrastructural approaches. Czech Science Foundation (21-29370S, 2021-2023).
  • Myxozoan cystatins and fish host cathepsins: Revealing potential crosstalk during infection. Czech Science Foundation (21-16565S, 2021-2023).
  • AQUAGal: An α-GAL based in-feed treatment for aquaculture. Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Gama II program (2020-2022).
  • Unravelling the role of the antibody responses in the interaction of myxozoan parasites with teleost hosts. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic, program Inter-Excellence/Inter-Action (LTAUSA19108; 2019-2022).
  • AQUAPARA-OMICS: Aquatic parasitism meets biomics - addressing key biological questions using novel datasets and modern analytical tools. Czech Science Foundation (19-28399X, 2019-2023).
  • Inhibitors of cysteine proteases crucial for myxozoan pathogenicity and their interaction with the fish host. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic, program Inter-Excellence/Inter-Action (LTAUSA17201; 2017-2021)
  • ParaFishControl - Advanced tools and research strategies for parasite control in European farmed fish.  European Commission RIA - Research and Innovation Action, H2020 SFS-2014-2 Sustainable Food Security (project reference 634429, 2015-2020).
  • Testing parasiticidal and immunomodulatory substances to combat myxozoan infections in aquaculture using novel in vitro and  in vivo models. Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TG02010016; 2016-2018).
  • Large scale fish and water environment screening to assess the biodiversity of the Myxozoa: A metagenomic approach. Czech Science Foundation (16-20744S; 2016-2018).
  • ECIP - European Centre for Ichthyoparasitology. Center of Excellence, Czech Science Foundation (505/12/G112; 2012-2018).
  • MODBIOLIN - Use of model organisms to resolve crucial biological problems on the path to innovations. European Commission, FP7-REGPOT-2012-2013-1 (project reference 316304, 2013-2015).
  • Novel Approaches for comparative study of myxozoan life cycle stages - Identifying genes as well as cellular components of biological relevance for parasite proliferation. Czech Academy of Science Program for International Collaboration (M200961205; 2012-2014).
  • Molecular study of emerging myxozoan diseases in new aquaculture candidate species belonging to the family Sparidae. Council of Education of the Valencian Autonomous Government, Spain (GVPRE/2008/185, 2008-2009).
  • Evolution of the family Polymorphidae (Acanthocephala) in aquatic birds and marine mammals: diversity, biogeography and ecomorphology. Ministry for Science and Education, Spain (CGL2007-63221/BOS; 2008-2011).
  • Parasite pathogens of the sharpsnout seabream: Risk evaluation of transmission to seabream cultures. Ministry for Science and Education, Spain (AGL2005-01221/ACU; 2003-2008).
  • Marine zoology for the public. Ministry for Science and Education, Spain (CCT005-06-00254; 2007-2008).
  • PARAQUAM - Parasite pathogens in new species of Mediterranean aquaculture. An experimental approach. European Commission (project reference: 3175; 2004-2007).
  • Myxozoans and leukocytes of chub (Squalius cephalus L.) and carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) in cell culture. Vienna Anniversary Foundation for Higher Education (H86/99, 1999-2000).

Personal research grants:

  • Study of the brain parasite Cardiocephaloides longicollis in cultures of sharpsnout seabream (Diplodus puntazzo) and gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) in the Mediterranean (JDCI2007-1054-1215; 2008-2010); Juan de la Cierva researcher, Ministry for Science and Education, Spain.
  • Study of mechanisms of probiotic action (BEST/2010/140; 2010 – 6 months); Abroad fellowship at Department of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine of the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, funded by Council of Education of the Valencian Autonomous Government (Spain).
  • Study of the brain parasite Cardiocephaloides longicollis in cultures of seabream and sharpsnout seabream in the Mediterranean (APOSTD/2007/106; 2007 terminated after 6 months due to other funding obtained); Postdoctoral research fellowship, Council of Education of the Valencian Autonomous Government (Spain).
  • Parasite pathogens in new species of Mediterranean aquaculture European Commission, Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge postdoctoral fellowship (MTKD-CT-2004-003175, within FP6; 2005-2007).
  • Seasonality, pathology and control of mixed myxozoan infections in farmed salmonids. Research fellowship by the External Facilities of the Institute of Aquaculture of the University of Stirling (UK; 2004-2005).
  • Characterisation, life cycle and pathology of myxozoans in cod (Gadus morhua L.) from Machrihanish. Research fellowship by the External Facilities of the Institute of Aquaculture of the University of Stirling (UK; 2007).
  • Molecular studies on Sphaerospora truttae and other freshwater myxozoans. DOC stipend, Austrian Academy of Sciences (Austria; 2000-2003).

Scientific contributions:

ORCID: 000-0002-4916-3172

ResearcherID reference: E-2531-2011

Peer-reviewed papers - 62

Book chapters - 4

Citations - 1092, H-index -19

Applied research outputs: Patent - 1, Functional/Utility model -1

Teaching activity: supervisor of 5 PhD and 7 MSc theses (complete

Lecturing at previous appointments:

  • MSc Aquaculture (University of Valencia, Spain): 2009/2010, topics: fish parasitology, aspects of fish welfare.
  • MSc Biodiversity: Conservation and Evolution (University of Valencia, Spain): 2009/2010, topics: evolution and phylogeny of vertebrates.
  • BSc Biology (University of Valencia, Spain): 2008/2009, topic: human and veterinary parasitology.

Editorial services and advisory boards:

  • Section Editor of Parasitology Research (ongoing), previously also of Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences (2014-2017). Guest Associate Editor for Comparastive Immunology @ Frontiers of Immunology (Topic Editor: Learning from Parasites – New Lessons on the Evolution of Adaptive Immunity in Teleosts) 
  • Member of scientific board of Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences 


Total found: 44 records
Alama Bermejo G., Holzer A. (2021) Advances and discoveries in myxozoan genomics Trends in Parasitology 37: 6.
DOI: 10.1016/
Bartošová-Sojková P., Kyslík J., Alama Bermejo G., Hartigan A., Atkinson S.D., Bartholomew J., Palenzuela O., Picard-Sánchez M., Faber M.N., Holland J.W., Holzer A. (2021) Evolutionary Analysis of Cystatins of Early-Emerging Metazoans Reveals a Novel Subtype in Parasitic Cnidarians Biology 10: 110.
DOI: 10.3390/biology10020110
Holzer A., Piazzon M.C., Barrett D., Bartholomew J., Sitjà-Bobadilla A. (2021) To React or Not to React: The Dilemma of Fish Immune Systems Facing Myxozoan Infections Frontiers in Immunology 12: 734238.
DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.734238
Holzer A., Pimentel Santos da Conceiҫão J. (2021) Sphaerospora molnari. In: A. Sitja-Bobadilla, J.E. Bron, G. Wiegertjes, M.C. Piazzon (Eds.), Fish Parasites. A Handbook of Protocols for their Isolation, Culture and Transmission. European Association of Fish Pathologists (EAFP)/5M publishing, Sheffield 174-188.
Kyslík J., Kosakyan A., Nenarokov S., Holzer A., Fiala I. (2021) The myxozoan minicollagen gene repertoire was not simplified by the parasitic lifestyle: computational identification of a novel myxozoan minicollagen gene BMC Genomic 22: 198.
DOI: 10.1186/s12864-021-07515-3
Alama Bermejo G., Myer E., Atkinson S.D., Holzer A., Wisniewska M., Kolísko M., Bartholomew J. (2020) Transcriptome-wide comparisons and virulence gene polymorphisms of host-associated genotypes of the cnidarian parasite Ceratonova shasta in salmonids. Genome Biology and Evolution 12: 1258–1276.
DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evaa109
Eszterbauer E., Sipos D., Kaján G.L., Szegő D., Fiala I., Holzer A., Bartošová-Sojková P. (2020) Genetic diversity of serine protease inhibitors in myxozoan (Cnidaria, Myxozoa) fish parasites Microorganisms 8: 1502.
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms8101502
Ganeva V.O., Korytář T., Pecková H., McGurk C., Mullins J., Yanes-Roca C., Gela D., Lepič P., Policar T., Holzer A. (2020) Natural feed additives modulate immunity and mitigate infection with (Myxozoa:Cnidaria) in common carp. Pathogens 9: 1013.
DOI: 10.3390/pathogens9121013
Hartigan A., Kosakyan A., Pecková H., Eszterbauer E., Holzer A. (2020) Transcriptome of Sphaerospora molnari (Cnidaria, Myxosporea) blood stages provides proteolytic arsenal as potential therapeutic targets against sphaerosporosis in common carp BMC Genomics 21: 404.
DOI: 10.1186/s12864-020-6705-y
Lisnerová M., Blabolil P., Holzer A., Jurajda P., Fiala I. (2020) Myxozoan hidden diversity: the case of Myxobolus pseudodispar Gorbunova, 1936 Folia Parasitologica 67: 019.
DOI: 10.14411/fp.2020.019
Lisnerová M., Fiala I., Cantatore D., Irigoitia M., Timi J., Pecková H., Bartošová-Sojková P., Sandoval C.M., Luer C., Morris J., Holzer A. (2020) Mechanisms and Drivers for the Establishment of Life Cycle Complexity in Myxozoan Parasites Biology 9: 10.
DOI: 10.3390/biology9010010
Yanes-Roca C., Holzer A., Mráz J., Veselý L., Malinovsky O., Policar T. (2020) Improvements on Live Feed Enrichments for Pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) Larval Culture Animals 10: 401.
DOI: 10.3390/ani10030401
Alama Bermejo G., Holzer A., Bartholomew J. (2019) Myxozoan Adhesion and Virulence: Ceratonova shasta on the Move Microorganisms 7: 397.
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms7100397
Korytář T., Wiegertjes G.F., Zusková E., Tomanová A., Lisnerová M., Patra S., Sieranski V., Šíma R., Born-Torrijos A., Wentzel A.S., Blasco-Monleon S., Yanes-Roca C., Policar T., Holzer A. (2019) The kinetics of cellular and humoral immune responses of common carp to presporogonic development of the myxozoan Sphaerospora molnari Parasites & Vectors 12: 208.
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3462-3
Kosakyan A., Alama Bermejo G., Bartošová-Sojková P., Born-Torrijos A., Šíma R., Nenarokova A., Eszterbauer E., Bartholomew J., Holzer A. (2019) Selection of suitable reference genes for gene expression studies in myxosporean (Myxozoa, Cnidaria) parasites. Scientific Reports 9: 15073.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-51479-0
Bartošová-Sojková P., Lövy A., Reed C., Lisnerová M., Tomková T., Holzer A., Fiala I. (2018) Life in a rock pool: Radiation and population genetics of myxozoan parasites in hosts inhabiting restricted spaces PLOS ONE 13: e0194042.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194042
Cantatore D.M.P., Irigoitia M., Holzer A., Bartošová-Sojková P., Pecková H., Fiala I., Timi J. (2018) The description of two new species of Chloromyxum Mingazzini, 1890 from skates in the Argentine Sea reveals that a limited geographic host distribution causes phylogenetic lineage separation of myxozoans in Chondrichthyes Parasite 25: 47.
DOI: 10.1051/parasite/2018051
Holzer A., Bartošová-Sojková P., Born-Torrijos A., Lövy A., Hartigan A., Fiala I. (2018) The joint evolution of the Myxozoa and their alternate hosts: A cnidarian recipe for success and vast biodiversity. Molecular Ecology 27: 1651–1666.
DOI: 10.1111/mec.14558
Patra S., Bartošová-Sojková P., Pecková H., Fiala I., Eszterbauer E., Holzer A. (2018) Biodiversity and host-parasite cophylogeny of Sphaerospora (sensu stricto) (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) Parasites & Vectors 11: 347.
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2863-z
Yanes-Roca C., Mráz J., Born-Torrijos A., Holzer A., Imentai A., Policar T. (2018) Introduction of Rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) during pike-perch first feeding Aquaculture 497: 260–268.
DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2018.08.004

More publications


Biology Centre CAS
Branišovská 1160/31
370 05 České Budějovice
Data box: r84nds8


+420 387 775 111 (switchboard)
+420 387 775 051 (secretariat)
+420 778 468 552 (for media)

Staff search

Biologické centrum Google mapa

Login to the intranet

To log into the intranet enter your login details