Photo by BTA on 1 February, 2024

Scientists Track Stress Levels of Participants in Bulgarian Antarctic Expeditions

World News Agencies By BTA - Bulgarian News Agency • 1 February, 2024

Jerusalem, 1 February, 2024 (TPS) -- Biologist Kiril Kandilarov, co-founder of the Kandilarov Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, said in an interview for BTA that the stress levels of the participants in the Bulgarian expeditions to Antarctica are being tracked. The research will become more in-depth each year and it will continue for several years and then it will be seen, based on the collected data, where there is a change and how polar explorers are affected by the stressful environment, he said.

Kandilarov will track the different stress levels of the participants in the 32nd Bulgarian expedition to Antarctica. He will compare the results of the research conducted before, during and after the stay of the Bulgarian Antarctic participants on the Ice Continent.

Blood tests and stress levels

Kandilarov said that a database is being collected for each of the participants in the expedition, and the results of the tests are uploaded to an online platform where the doctor based on Livingston Island can track their condition. He said the results can be checked by both the lab technicians at the medical center in Bulgaria and the doctor at the Bulgarian Antarctic base.

Kandilarov explained how the participants’ blood tests and stress levels were measured before and during the expedition to Antarctica. If some of the indicators need to be more thoroughly examined in Bulgaria, there is a possibility that the blood can be frozen in a special refrigerator at a temperature of minus 20C and transported by the Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421), he said.

All participants are tested in the same way, and specific tests are run, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in men and breast cancer testing in women, Kandilarov noted.

Military commanders and RSV 421 officers had the highest stress levels recorded. Long travel also affects stress indicators, Kandilarov added.

On-site laboratory and consultations with Dr. Atanas Peltekov

Kandilarov said that the laboratory at the Bulgarian Antarctic Base is equipped every with the help of the RSV 421. He noted that thanks to the ship difficult to carry apparatus can be brought and returned and thus a variety of modern equipment can be made available and more types of research can be done.

Kandilarov pointed out that the Bulgarian Antarctic station on Livingstone Island has a blood test apparatus, biochemical and urine analyzer.

The idea of the medical laboratory is to monitor the health condition of the expedition participants and, if necessary, to carry out additional tests.

Kandilarov said that each research group has a doctor who has been trained to work with the equipment and the medical laboratory functions together with the doctors at the Bulgarian base in this expedition the laboratory cooperates with Dr. Atanas Peltekov. According to him, the base has a good internet connection and can maintain constant contact with the participants.

Joint work with Prof. Dr. Albena Alexandrova

Kandilarov said that his laboratory works together with Prof. Dr. Albena Alexandrova in the study of the Bulgarian expedition. She is tracking the multifactorial effect of the journey and stay on Antarctica on the participants, and investigating their physiological status before and after the mission to Livingston island. He added that the pre-departure studies were conducted at the Centre for Research and Applied Activity in Sports (CRAAS) at the National Sports Academy (NSA), where Prof. Alexandrova works.

Participation in the 31st Bulgarian expedition to Antarctica

Kandilarov participated in the 31st Bulgarian expedition to Antarctica at the invitation of prof. Christo Pimpirev, the Chairman of the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute (BAI), which is in partnership with the Kandilarov Laboratory. “We have been cooperating for 5-6 years carrying out the research of the expedition participants,” Kandilarov specified.

“It has always been a dream of mine to visit Antarctica,” he said and revealed that some of his colleagues from the Faculty of Biology at Sofia University had taken part in Bulgarian expeditions to Antarctica.

Kiril Kandilarov has more than 25 years of experience in business development in the healthcare industry. He is the co-founder and manager of Medical Diagnostic Laboratory Kandilarov, which he established in 1999 with his brother Dr. Naiden Kandilarov. Kiril Kandilarov is also the founder of the platform for online medical consultation, the so-called telemedicine, Healthyco. He graduated from the Faculty of Biology at Sofia University. He has a master’s degree in biotechnology.


During the 32nd Bulgarian expedition to Antarctica, which started on November 8, 2023, the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) is publishing interviews with Antarctic researchers. The Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA’s Log again provides coverage of the voyage of the Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii to Antarctica and back and its stay there, as it did during the 31st expedition between December 27, 2022 and May 2, 2023. Back then, only BTA had a correspondent, Daily News Editor Konstantin Karagyozov, who covered the 127-day expedition with text, video and photos during the entire voyage (including across the Atlantic in both directions) and throughout the stay in Antarctica. In June 2023, BTA published in Bulgarian and in English an issue of its LIK magazine “To Antarctica and Back under the Bulgarian Flag” dedicated to the historic expedition.

Again, all of BTA’s information on the Bulgarian scientific research in Antarctica and the support provided by the Bulgarian naval research vessel, as well as on the other activities at the Bulgarian Antarctic Base, will be available to all media outlets in Bulgarian and in English on BTA’s website in the Bulgaria – Antarctica: BTA’s Log section.

BTA has a National Press Club on board the ship and is planning to open a National Press Club at the Bulgarian Antarctic Base on Livingston Island.