From the first day of existence of the Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (IMV of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), many bright personalities worked in it. First of all, the founder and first director of the institute. It was academician Danylo Kyrylovych Zabolotny (1866-1929), a world-renowned scientist, the founder of epidemiology as a science, a student of the first laureate of the Nobel Prize in medicine, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov. Danylo Kyrylovych was not only a talented and courageous person, but also an excellent organizer of science, who created several research institutes and departments by 1928; On May 3, 1928, he was elected president of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, and already on May 31 of the same year, a government decree was issued on the creation of the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology in Kyiv, the legal successor of which today is the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology of the National Academy of Sciences. D.K. Zabolotny managed the institute for one and a half years, until his death on December 15, 1929. But the impetus he gave to the development of the institute, the principles of research work and relations between the specialists of his team, are preserved to this day.
During the 80 years of the existence of the National Academy of Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences, it was headed by many outstanding scientists: Mykhailo Ivanovich Stutser (1930), Mykola Vasyliovych Stadnichenko (1930-1933), corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR Hnat Omelyanovych Ruchko (1933-1937), Petro Yefremovich Marusenko (1937-1941), academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR Viktor Hryhorovych Drobotko (1944-1962), corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR Semen Mykytovych Moskovets (1962-1971), corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR Dmytro Hryhorovych Zatula (1971-1977), academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Valery Veniaminovych Smirnov (1977-2002). Since 2003, the institute has been managed by Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Valentin Stepanovych Pidhorskyi.
The first scientific problem of national importance, solved by the employees of the institute, was the disclosure in 1937 of the etiology of a disease of horses, which caused their mass death in the western regions of Ukraine and Belarus. P.Yu. Marusenko was involved in solving this problem. Marusenko (director of the institute and group leader), V.G. Drobotko (researcher of the group) and microbiologists: P.D. Pryiatel, D.G. Kudlai, B.Yu. Eisenman, M.H. Kolesnyk, M.M. Podoplichko and B.I. Kagan. A professional approach to solving the problem already in 1938 brought positive results: the causes of the disease were established, and soon its root was eliminated. In February 1939, the entire group that participated in the fight against the epidemic was awarded state awards of the Soviet Union. In the history of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, this was the first time when scientists were honored at the highest state level.
In 1944, when L.I. Rubenchyk became the head of the department of general and soil microbiology, under his leadership work was started on the study of ecology and geochemical activity of microorganisms. Soil bacteria were studied at the population and coenotic levels. Interesting data were obtained during the study of patterns of formation and functioning of soil microbial communities of various agroecosystems. The ability of microbial polysaccharides to bioprotect against humic acids was discovered. Mechanisms of interaction of micro-imacrosymbionts at the early stages of recognition were also revealed. As a result of research, a collection of biologically active streptomycetes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria was created, on the basis of which preparations for crop production were developed.
An important problem, on which, after returning from evacuation, the team of the institute began work in the post-war years, was obtaining and studying antibiotics produced by microorganisms, microscopic fungi and plants. The problem of creating new antimicrobial drugs was solved at the Institute of Medical Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences by using live cultures of bacteria for this purpose. It was a fundamentally new approach in which the principle of antagonism of different bacterial cultures was used for the first time in the treatment of infectious diseases. Soon, more than ten probiotic preparations were created on its basis for the treatment of various human, animal and plant diseases.
Since the 1960s, a new direction has been developed at the institute - the study of litho- and heterotrophic bacteria and micromycetes as factors of biocorrosion. The biogenic nature of corrosion of underground metal and concrete structures was established for the first time. It was proved that its main factor is thione and sulfate-reducing bacteria (E.I. Andreyuk).
Microscopic fungi are the main causes of damage to complex devices and works of art at enterprises of precision industries (instrument-building, optical, radio and telecommunications), as well as in storerooms of museums and libraries. The problem of microbial corrosion of industrial materials and the development of methods for its prevention is very complex, so some questions regarding its solution remain relevant even today.
У відділах сектора технічної мікробіології були вивчені мікроорганізми самих різних таксономічних груп: дріжджі, корінеподобние і молочнокислі бактерії, метан-іметанолокісляющіе мікроорганізми. Проведені масштабні дослідження можливості мікробіологічного синтезу білка з вуглеводнів нафти, природного газу та інших видів нехарчової сировини. Створено багато біотехнологій з отримання різних препаратів і продуктів харчування (Є.І. Квасников, В.С. Підгорський, Ю.Р. Малашенко, Н.К. Коваленко).
In 1954, on the initiative of V.G. Drobotko the study of plant viruses was started at the institute, and six years later, the department of virology was organized, which was headed by S.M. Moskovets. Research in this direction developed so rapidly that already in 1963 at the institute under the leadership of S.M. Gershenzon, a specialized sector of virology was created. In the same year, the institute was renamed the Institute of Microbiology and Virology named after D.K. Zabolotny Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. During the existence of the virology sector (1963-1967), many viruses of plants, animals and microorganisms were comprehensively studied. A modern at that time base for conducting virological research was created, viruses that cause diseases of the main agricultural plants on the territory of Ukraine were identified and studied, their structure, physico-chemical and antigenic properties, and the interaction of viruses with host cells were investigated. One of the results of this work was the creation of a collection of researched virus strains. Viruses of cyanobacteria and fungi, insect viruses were intensively studied, tools and recommendations for combating viral diseases were developed. Nowadays, viruses of plants, microorganisms and adenoviruses of humans and animals are studied at the Institute of Medical Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences. Under the leadership of N.S. Dyachenko conducted a comprehensive study of the components of adenoviruses and features of the expression of their genomes. Lymphotropic adenoviruses were established, and a model of mixed infection of lymphocytes with adenoviruses, human immunodeficiency virus, and Epstein-Barr virus was created for the first time. Original technologies for obtaining human and animal gamma interferons were also created (M. Ya. Spivak).
The stable work of the institute testifies to the correct selection of management personnel in the system of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the high level of relations within the staff of the National Academy of Sciences at all stages of its development. Among the main principles established under D.K. Zabolotny, in the first place are sensitivity, mutual understanding, mutual benefit. All this contributed to the fact that the institute raised the level of its research as much as possible from the first days of its existence and quickly gained authority among other research institutions of a biological profile both in the former Soviet Union and abroad. The establishment of this authority was also facilitated by the fact that such world-renowned scientists worked here as Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR N.G. Kholodnyi (1936-1938), corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR N.M. Podoplichko (1931-1975), corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR V.Y. Bilay (1935-1994), academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR B.L. Isachenko (1944-1948), academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR M.M. Sirotynin (1944-1948), corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR L.I. Rubenchik (1944-1975), corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine M.S. Dyachenko (1963-2003), corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Yu.R. Malashenko (1959-2006), corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences E.I. Andreyuk (1927 -2013).
Currently, the corresponding members of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine B.P. Matselyukh, I.H. Skripal, N.K. Kovalenko, M.Ya. Spivak are working.
Significant achievements of the institute team in the past are the basis for its development in the future. The experience of the institute's scientists determines the need for an immediate solution to many theoretical issues related to the development of new biotechnologies and the improvement of existing ones, the protection and improvement of the environment, and the solution of problems posed to microbiological and virological science by agriculture, industry and health care. In this regard, the main attention is now paid to research, the purpose of which is to study the mechanisms of biological activity of microorganisms and viruses as a basis for the development of the latest biotechnologies to create the necessary producers and substances and products important to humans. Taking into account the catastrophic state of the environment in Ukraine, the pollution of soils, rivers and other bodies of water, research focused on the development of microbiological means of cleaning soils, waste water of enterprises and agriculture from anthropogenic pollution has been developed.
The study of the primary structure of genomes and the phylogenetic analysis of microorganisms and viruses should become the basis for improving their taxonomy. Traditionally, microorganisms are considered as probable producers of antibiotics, enzymes, vitamins, lectins, polysaccharides and other biologically active substances. The basis for these studies in this area is the Ukrainian collection of microorganisms and viruses, created and maintained at the institute. Today, the collection contains more than 20,000 strains of microorganisms, many of which may be promising for obtaining the latest drugs or food additives, conducting molecular biological and genetic engineering research.
Advanced works on cytology and the study of the ultrastructure of cells of microorganisms. Special attention is paid to the study of the structure of the cell wall, its outer membrane and glycocalyx in order to study the mechanisms of interaction of cells of microorganisms with tissues of humans, animals, plants and abiotic surfaces.
In recent years, about 40 licenses for various biotechnologies have been sold to other countries. In 1978, for achievements in fundamental and applied research, the institute was awarded the Order of the Labor Red Banner, which is the only such case in the former USSR for academic microbiological institutions of general biological profile.