Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe)


WP 2 (Mosquito Biology)

The Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe, ) is a public veterinary Institute which conducts prevention, control and research activities in three main areas: animal health and welfare, food safety, and environmental protection.

The mission of the IZSVe is the preservation of public health, in terms of food safety and prevention of zoonoses, and animal welfare, in terms of animal health and living conditions.

The IZSVe promotes public health, it guarantees that controls on the foodproduction chain are performed, and fosters an improved coexistence between human beings and animals. This is achieved by focusing on four main areas: control of foodborne pathogens, prevention and control of animal diseases, technical and scientific research, training and communication.

The IZSVe carries out research activities in diverse fields in order to develop new diagnostic techniques (serological, virological and biomolecular), as well as vaccines and vaccination procedures. Most research activities regard animal-transmitted diseases, animal welfare, food safety, and epidemiology applied to programs of the National Health Service. Research programs are also planned and conducted upon request from national and international organizations (e.g., the Ministry of Health, regional and provincial governments, the National Health Service and the European Union) and other public and private entities.

The IZSVe has been appointed as: FAO and OIE reference laboratory (RF) for avian influenza and Newcastle disease, OIE RF for viral encephalopathy and retinopathy of marine fish, OIE RF for salmonella, OIE collaborating centre (CC) for epidemiology, training and control of emerging avian diseases, OIE CC for diseases at the animal/human interface and of 6 National reference Centre.

Connection with the internal research programmes and strategies

The aims of the current project fall into the Research Guidelines for research activity in the period 2012-2014, issued by the Ministry of Health (National Commission for Sanitary Research) in November 2012. In particular the activities of the projects match the project lines in the Chapter Animal Health, line1: “Studies on clinical and epidemiological aspects, relative risk factors and prevention of transmissible diseases, such as (point d.) vector-borne diseases” and line 17: “Development and validation of new protocols for the diagnosis and control/eradication of zoonotic pathogens”.

The aims of the project fall also into the Planning Report defining the development lines for IZSVe in 2011-2013, in particular: Development line 2 (Develop a new and modern medicine of eco-systems to individuate, through a correct epidemiological approach, the evolution of the health risks linked to the interaction man/animal/environment), strategic objective 1 (Develop technical/ scientific knowledge on emerging diseases in the human/animal/environment interface) , Operative Direction point b (Strengthen research and laboratory activities ("Vectors" laboratory, GIS models predictive diagnostic methods, chemical contaminants).

Description of the research group working on the project

Gioia CapelliThe team is directed by Gioia Capelli (DVM, PhD, DiplEVPC, professor of Veterinary Parasitology) head of the Parasitology Laboratory of IZSVe.
She is a parasitologist expert in epidemiology of zoonosis and vector-borne diseases and member of the regional vector work group, of the Summer Fever Surveillance Veneto group and of the world Canine Vector-Borne Disease (CVBD) forum. She was called by the ECDC (European Center for Disease Control) for the revision of the “Guidelines for the surveillance of invasive mosquitoes in Europe” launched 28 August 2012. The lab includes a Vector Unit focusing on vectors surveillance (mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies) and vector-borne diseases research. The Vector Unit is in charge of the entomological vector surveillance of the north-eastern territory for West Nile and Blue tongue diseases since 2002, and is collaborating with the regional authorities and local health units (ULSS) in the monitoring and control of the tiger mosquito.

The research activity in the field of vectors and vector-borne diseases is focused on biology/ecology of vectors, biomolecular identification of vectors, especially for the quick identification of invasive mosquitoes at risk of introduction, estimation of the rate of infection of vectors mainly for mosquitoes (West Nile virus, Usutu virus and other Flaviviridae, Bunyaviride, zoonotic dirofilariosis) and ticks (TBE, Lyme borreliosis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsie, Babesia/Theileria, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis).

The laboratory cooperate also as subcontractor with Entostudio ( directed by Simone Martini and Andrea Drago, agronomists. Entostudio is a private society that have been studying insects for years devising new control strategies but also honing old techniques. A dynamic and an ever up-dated team, also thanks to the close and continuous co-operation with the Agrarian Institute of Entomology of Padua University. Entostudio is part of the regional vector work group and consultant of the majority of the local health unit (ULSS) for the pest management and control.