Department of Infectious Diseases
Head of the department: prof. dr. Auksė Mickienė
The academic personnel of the infectious diseases department consists of 1 professor, 1 associated professor, 4 lecturers, and 2 assistants. 1 doctoral student and 6 residents are enrolled in the department.
The center for the infectious diseases academic and clinical activities is PI Kaunas Clinical Hospital. The clinic is composed of two Infectious diseases wards (50 beds in total) and an infectious diseases outpatient department. On average, about 1800 patients are treated in the hospital, and about 10000 outpatients are consulted annually.
The Infectious diseases department was established in 1950. Its first head was assoc. prof. A. Žiugžda. From 1952 to 1956, the department was run by assoc. prof. S. Šimanskaja, 1956-1972 - prof. S. Gruodytė, 1973-1991 - prof. J. Dievaitienė. In 1991, the Kaunas Medical Academy’s Infectious Diseases Clinic was established. From 1991 to 2007 its head was prof. A. Laiškonis, from 2008 – prof. A. Mickienė.
During the years, numerous well-known, respected clinicians and scientists were working in the department: prof. S.Gruodytė, prof. V. Bagdonienė, prof. J. Dievaitienė, prof. A. Laiškonis, assoc. prof. J. Gimžauskas, assoc. prof. V. Stankaitytė, assoc. prof. V.M. Bareišienė, assistants D. Gradauskienė, A. Vasiliauskas, S. Tumosienė, E. Čepulis, among others. They set the direction for the scientific studies of intestinal infectious diseases, epidemiology of viral hepatitis, its diagnostics and treatment; began to explore the pathogenesis of infectious diseases.
The main areas of the scientific work conducted in the department are studies on CNS infections and influenza treatment and vaccine effectiveness studies. The results of the research work have been presented in various international conferences and medical congresses. During the period of 5 years (2013-2017), 4 PhD dissertations were defended (3 at Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and 1 at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden)).
The employees of the department are experts in the Baltic/Nordic and European working groups for tick-borne diseases; reviewers for international medical journals for Infectious diseases; members of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), Association of the Baltic-Nordic infectologists, and Association of the French infectologists.
In 2008-2017, researches from the department published 21 articles in the ISI Web of Science database, and 16 articles in medical journals, referenced in international medical databases.
Infectious diseases courses for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th year students of the medical faculty, 3rd year students of the nursing faculty, 4th year students of the odontology faculty, and 2nd year students of the public-health department and the masters-degree students of this department.
From 2010, there is an actively functioning Infectious disease club in the department. During their post-graduate studies, residents of neurology, dermato-venereology, internal medicine and family medicine continue the infectious disease course.
The Department of Infectious Diseases is the center for education and training of infectious diseases residents and doctoral students. In the department, various LUHS doctoral students take the infectious disease course; infectious diseases specialists and family doctors participate in regular continuous professional education courses.
International partnerships and cooperation
The department has a close partnership with the Infectious Diseases Department at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), the Infectious Diseases Department at Uppsala Universitet (Sweden), The Department of Infectious Diseases of Goteborg University (Sweden), The Clinic of Infectious and Traveler’s Diseases at the Grenoble University (France), The Clinic of Infectious Diseases at the Medical University of Bialystok (Poland), Infectology Center of Latvia and the Clinic of Infectious Diseases, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS (Latvia).
Through cooperation with the aforementioned institutions, joint scientific research is carried out; internships for residents, doctoral students, doctors and nurses are set-up; international conferences are hosted.
- EU-TICK-BO (European Genetics Study of Tick-borne Encephalitis; multicentral study coordinated by Graz University (Austria),
- An observational case-control study to measure seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness in hospitalized patients in Lithuania (joint project with I-MOVE (Integrated Monitoring of Vaccines Effects in Europe) consortium (funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 634446).
- A prospective study on the long-term outcome and pathogenesis of tick-borne encephalitis (in cooperation with the Department of Infectious Diseases and Department of Pharmacology and Physiology of Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the Department of Infectious Diseases of Göteborg University, Sweden). Funded by Pfizer as a grant for the Independent Investigator Initiated Research Proposal (Project Code/PO/Tracking Number WI236259).
- European Network for Collaboration on Encephalitis Investigations & Follow-up (multicentral study coordinated by Grenoble University, France).