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Laboratory of Viral Hepatitis

Elena Esaulenko - Head of Laboratory Professor, Doctor of Medicine,

Phone: (812) 232-90-68, office 7, email: esaulenko@pasteurorg.ru


The Viral Hepatitis Laboratory was founded on December, 30 1986.

During the first 19 years (until 2015) the Laboratory was run by Professor, Doctor of Medicine, Serguey Mukomolov.


The study of the epidemiological characteristics of chronic and acute viral hepatitis has been at the center of the Laboratory's research activities.


A completely new aspect in this field was the study of viral hepatitis C which became the subject of the thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medicine of S. Mukomolov.


The subject of the thesis was: "Viral Hepatitis C. Clinical, Epidemiological and Laboratory Characteristics". Its defense took place in 1994; the thesis was recognized as a pioneer research.


The laboratory has developed a new diagnostic product that equals to second-generation foreign products of the same category and which has been used as a basis for the experimental manufacturing process of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system for the detection of antibodies to HCV (EPR 433-93, VFC 42-391ВС-93), approved by the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation on 06.05.93. Since 1993 the product is manufactured industrially.


In total, between 1986 and 1994, 25 publications, including those in foreign periodicals, were brought out and research results were presented at international conferences.


In 1996, the State Committee of the Russian Federation for Epidemiological Surveillance, based on the work of the Viral Hepatitis Laboratory of the St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute, decided, in accordance with the Order of N 134 of 28.08.1996, the establishment of the Regional Reference Center for the Epidemiological Surveillance of Viral Hepatitis.


In the same year, by the Order of the Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for the Epidemiological Surveillance of the Russian Federation N 185-2 of 27.09.96, the functions of the Center were extended to the federal level.

Professor S. Mukomolov is responsible for the management of the Center.

Since 1996 Professor L. Shliakhtenko has continued her professional activities at the St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute where, for several years, she was actively involved in the development and operation of the Center.


Under the direction of Professor S. Mukomolov and with the assistance of Professor L Shliakhtenko, the Center developed:

  • The principles and Program of Action of the Center;

  • The algorithm for the collection and analysis of information for the epidemiological surveillance of viral hepatitis (in total, 10 tables). This algorithm provided the basis for the database used since 2010 until today in conjunction with the Federal Reference Center for Viral Hepatitis (Central Institute for Research in Epidemiology, Moscow);

  • The system for collecting information on the epidemiology of viral hepatitis in the territory of the Russian Federation, organized with the assistance of the Rospotrebnadzor Territorial Agencies (Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing);

  • The first edition of the analytical overview "Viral Hepatitis in the Russian Federation" was published in 1997.


Between 1997 and 2016, 10 editions were published, with a detailed analysis of the epidemiological character of chronic and acute viral hepatitis throughout the Russian Federation in general and its peculiarities in the specific regions.

Since 1998 the Viral Hepatitis Laboratory has been actively participating in international organizations.

It is funded by the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation among Researchers, within the framework of the COPERNICUS program.


1999 was marked by the creation of a Working Group on the molecular epidemiology of viral hepatitis in the countries of the Baltic region.

This Working Group brought together the activities of leading specialists from Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Estonia.

The Laboratory begins its work within the framework of this project.

Young researchers have the opportunity to do their internships in leading laboratories around the world.

Many innovative data on the molecular epidemiology of hepatitis A, B and C are collected. The first articles written with foreign colleagues are published.

The first monograph published abroad on viral hepatitis is published in 2011 under the direction of Professor S. Mukomolov.


19 PhD and three doctorate theses are defended during the existence of the Laboratory.


Since November 2015, Professor E. Esaulenko is the head of the Laboratory of Viral Hepatitis and the Reference Center for the Epidemiological Surveillance of Viral Hepatitis.