The project

The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is a vector of several arboviruses (West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya) of disabling or lethal human and animal diseases. Climate change, trade and human movement facilitate its spread, causing hazardous conditions for emerging epidemics. The mosquito’s massive presence, aggressiveness, high potential for viral dissemination associated with the increasing frequency of imported cases of viruses are serious cause for health concern (National Institute of Health, WHO, ECDC) especially in anticipation of EXPO 2015.

An outbreak of 200 cases, some fatal, of Chikungunya was recorded in the province of Ravenna (2007). In September 2014, 20 cases of West Nile were reported in Northern Italy (5 in the province of Pavia), and there have been cases of Dengue. In the absence of vaccines and effective drugs, prevention of epidemics is based almost exclusively on the control of populations of Aedes albopictus using chemical insecticides. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these chemicals is mitigated by the emergence of resistance in populations of the vector.

Our mission is to use innovative biotechnological methods to monitor and to fight the tiger mosquito. Strategies for monitoring and more efficient control will reduce the risk of epidemics and the effect of annoying bites.

We are developing:

  • Methods that interfere with the mosquito’s ability to recognize host odors. Having already characterized the chemosensory system, we intend to identify new highly attractive or repellent molecules, essential for monitoring and control using traps.
  • New bioinsecticides using soil bacteria and exploring RNAi strategies to silence genes essential for the development of the insect.
  • DNA markers to identify the source of new outbreaks of Ae. albopictus and to develop risk maps.

Partner:

University of Pavia
Prof. Antonio Torroni

University of California, Irvine
Prof. Anthony James
Dr. Mariangela Bonizzoni

Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China
Prof. Xioaguang Chen

University of London, Imperial College
Prof. Andrea Crisanti

University of Perugia
Prof. Christos (Kitsos) Louis

European Bioinformatics Institute (Vectorbase)
Dr. Daniel Lawson

University of Yale
Prof. Serap Aksoy (University of Yale)

Centro Agricolturaambiente “Giorgio Nicoli” (www.caa.it)
Dr. Romeo Bellini

Institut Pasteur, Paris
Prof. Anna-Bella Failloux

Istituto Superiore di Sanità (http://www.iss.it)
Dr. Roberto Romi

FAO/IAEA Agricoltural and Biotechnology Laboratories – Seibersdorf, Vienna, Austria

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Dr. Gioia Capelli

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna
Dr. Michele Dottori

Fondazione Edmund Mach
Dr Annapaola Rizzoli

Co-financing and Sponsors:

Fondazione Bussolera Branca
Ministero della Salute
NAICONS

Dr. Margherita Sosio

Ferbi Srl, Mosciano S. Angelo (TE)


LINK

http://www-3.unipv.it/webbio/labweb/medfly/lotta.htm
http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/vectors/mosquitoes/Pages/aedes-albopictus.aspx
http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/chikungunya_fever/communication-toolkit/Pages/Communication_toolkit.aspx
http://www.infravec.eu http://www.izsler.it/izs_home_page/chi_siamo/00000199_Sezione_di_Reggio_Emilia.html
http://www.cdc.gov/dengue/resources/30jan2012/albopictusfactsheet.pdf

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Team

Visualizza CV

Anna R. Malacrida

Professor | Founder

Anna R. Malacrida

Professor | Founder
Curriculum Vitae

Anna R. Malacrida, Professor of Entomology, has established a research group on invasion genomics of insects of economic and sanitary importance with the scope of monitoring and controlling their populations. She has experience in the functional analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data to develop tools to interfere with insect reproduction and their capacity to recognise hosts. Given this experience, she has co-ordinated the Pavia group within numerous National and International projects funded by the FAO/IAEA, EU, Ministero della Salute, NIH etc. She is a member of the EU-INFRAVEC project that created a new European Infrastructure for studying the genomics and biology of the Tiger mosquito, and to translate research into effective control measures. She has a grant from the Ministero della Salute for the control of Aedes albopictus. She participated in the Tsetse fly genome sequencing project together with the University of Yale and has WHO and NIH grants for the control of Trypanosomiasis in Africa. She is a member of the EFSA panel for GMO risk assessment, and has been a consultant for the IAEA, the Fogarty Foundation and the EU.
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Giuliano Gasperi

Professor

Giuliano Gasperi

Professor
Curriculum Vitae

Giuliano Gasperi, Professor of Zoology, is interested in studying the invasive Tiger mosquito using genome-wide and functional approaches, in order to provide tools to control their populations and to impede the spread of viral epidemics. For these ends, he has attempted to integrate different expertise to translate basic and applied research into effective control measures. In this context, together with the University of California, Irvine and the Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China, he created the "tiger mosquito net” with the aim of increasing research co-operation among the most important international mosquito laboratories working on biology, virology, ecology, transgenesis etc. The first meeting of this net was held at the University of Pavia in 2013. Due to its success, the next meeting will be in Guandong China in March 2015. He was invited to coordinate the Pavia group within the EU-INFRAVEC project that created a new European Infrastructure for studying the genomics and biology of the Tiger mosquito. He is one of the group leaders for the mosquito genome annotation. He has acted as the co-ordinator of numerous National and International projects funded by the FAO/IAEA, EU. He has acted as a consultant for the FAO/IAEA, the EU and the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC).
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Ludvik M. Gomulski

Dr.

Ludvik M. Gomulski

Dr.
Curriculum Vitae

Ludvik M. Gomulski is an Assistant Professor. He has acquired a great deal of experience in bio-informatic analysis of high-throughput, next generation sequencing technologies. He has used this expertise to explore the functional genomics of insects of agricultural and medical importance. He is involved in the annotation of three insect genomes (medfly, Tsetse fly and Tiger mosquito). For these projects he is collaborating with the University of Irvine, Imperial College, University of Perugia, Yale University and EMBL-EBI. He is studying the olfactory repertoire of the Tiger mosquito, in order to develop repellents and attractants for the control/eradication of this dangerous vector of arboviral diseases. To this end he is collaborating with Dr. Forneris' group. He was awarded research units for access to the EU-Infrastructure INFRAVEC project to perform RNAseq at Imperial College London and Bio-informatic analyses at EMBL-EBI (Cambridge, UK).
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Mariangela Bonizzoni

Associate Professor

Mariangela Bonizzoni

Associate Professor
Curriculum Vitae

Mariangela Bonizzoni will join the group as an Associate Professor after a long period at the University of California at Irvine. Her research agenda is focused on emerging or resurging infectious diseases transmitted through mosquitoes. She particularly works on different aspects of vector biology including the interaction with pathogens. The ultimate aim of her research is to identify ways of limiting or preventing disease transmission, mainly through innovative vector control strategies. Her work includes a combination of fieldwork, laboratory-based experiments and bioinfomatic approaches which is possible through extensive collaboration with colleagues, worldwide (China, Africa, USA). Her arrival in the team will great reinforce the competence and capacity of the group.
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Francesca Scolari

Dr.

Francesca Scolari

Dr.
Curriculum Vitae

Francesca Scolari is a Postdoctoral fellow mainly working on the genetics/genomics of insects, especially in the field of reproduction, biology of olfaction, insect transgenesis and its impact on fitness, insect physiology and behaviour. She has worked not only on basic research projects but also on the translation of results into practical biotechnological tools for the management of agricultural (the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata) and public health vectors of disease (Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus and the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans). Her experience will be effectively translated into the proposed project.
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Paolo Gabrieli

Dr.

Paolo Gabrieli

Dr.
Curriculum Vitae

Paolo Gabrieli, a Postdoctoral student, has applied molecular techniques to develop new strategies for the control of insects, particularly insect vectors of disease. He has studied sex determination system in insect to identify molecular targets and tools in order to develop sexing systems and strains that might be useful in vector control techniques, such as the Sterile Insect Technique. Subsequently, he joined a group based at University of Perugia and at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston to study the mating behavior of malaria mosquitoes, Anopheles gambiae. He is continuing his work on the development of techniques to fight mosquitoes and to collect data that will be of fundamental importance to design effective control strategies to limit the spread of Aedes albopictus and to avoid new disease outbreaks in Europe.
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Mosè Manni

PhD student

Mosè Manni

PhD student
Mosè Manni, a PhD student, focused his research on the invasion process of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), and pest fruit flies (medfly and oriental fruit fly). He developed powerful molecular markers to fingerprint individual insects to determine their geographic origins. In addition, he is involved in the characterization of the chemosensory system of the Tiger mosquito with Dr Forneris' group. He is performing heterologous expression and purification of the chemosensory proteins for their structural analysis to clarify their specific functions.
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Grazia Savini

PhD student

Grazia Savini

PhD student
Grazia Savini, a PhD student, is working on the cytogenetic characterisation of the Ae. albopictus chromosome complement to identify the sex chromosomes and genes involved in sex determination. She aims to identify early expressed genes and to determine their roles in male development in order to develop tools for vector control programmes.
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Alessandro Di Cosimo

PhD student

Alessandro Di Cosimo

PhD student
Curriculum Vitae

Alessandro Di Cosimo, a PhD student, has experience in Microbiology. He is involved in the identification of diagnostic molecular markers for sorting male and female Tiger mosquitoes at early embryonic and larval stages of development. These markers will be of great importance in terms of risk assessment to determine the proportion of each sex in relation to time, season and geographic location.
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Federico Forneris

Principal investigator of the newly-established Armenise-Harvard Structural Biology Laboratory in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Pavia

Federico Forneris

Principal investigator of the newly-established Armenise-Harvard Structural Biology Laboratory in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Pavia
Curriculum Vitae

Federico Forneris is the principal investigator of the newly-established Armenise-Harvard Structural Biology Laboratory in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Pavia. Forneris' lab has been established in January 2014, thanks to the prestigious funding from the Armenise-Harvard Foundation Career Development Award and the "Rita Levi-Montalcini" award for young scientists. In his research, Forneris merges multiple experimental approaches, ranging from molecular and structural biology, to biochemistry and biophysics, for the molecular characterization of enzymes and large macromolecular complexes and their biological interpretation. Interested in web writing, graphics and scientific communication, Forneris is also member of the executive board and the editorial committee of the International Association of Italian Researchers AIRIcerca. His experience in structural biology will be essential for the design of novel attractive and repellent molecules for the control of the Tiger mosquito.
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Alessandra Albertini

Full Professor of Genetics

Alessandra Albertini

Full Professor of Genetics
Curriculum Vitae

Alessandra Albertini, full Professor of Genetics, is the Head of the Department of Biology and Biotecnology “L. Spallanzani” and a member of the Academic Senate. Her research interests concern the expression and mutagenesis of heterologous proteins in bacteria. She was involved in the B. subtilis genome sequencing and systematic functional analysis. She also studies the molecular genetics of Bacillus thuringiensis entomopathogenic toxin. Her experience in microbiology will be essential for the design of novel bio-insecticides for the control of the Tiger mosquito.

Backers

  1. Lodigiani Alessandro Mirarchi
  2. Anonymous
  3. Marco Luigi Bernardi
  4. Immobiliare STAV S.R.L.
  5. S.T.A.V. Magenta S.R.L.
  6. Consorzio Autoservizi Lombardi
  7. Piazzardi s.p.a
  8. Rete CSE
  9. Ivano e Maria Tamanini
  10. Anonymous
  11. Anonymous
  12. Ileana Maestroni
  13. Ance Pavia Collegio dei Costru
  14. Serata Live di Raccolta Fondi a Spazio Musica
  15. Anonymous
  16. Anonymous
  17. Di Capua SRL
  18. NEWENERGY SRL
  19. Ruggero Ravizza
  20. Anonymous
  21. Rotary Club Pavia
  22. Bonomo Giacomo Mastroianni
  23. carlo angiolini
  24. Andrea Caprioglio
  25. Michele Bonfoco
  26. Anonymous
  27. carlo angiolini
  28. Alberto Cazzani
  29. Essegi Auto SRL
  30. Studio Associato Verzello Zobo
  31. Dario Mantovani
  32. Anonymous
  33. Bertoli Ginetta
  34. Padavan Roberto Ciprian Giul
  35. Fusco Avv Riccardo
  36. Francesco Cazzani
  37. Marco Gambon
  38. Matteo Scarabelli
  39. Anonymous
  40. Vigevano Diesel
  41. LEONARDO SRL
  42. Marco Curti
  43. Sandro Rossi Bruna Vielmi
  44. Pietro Brandolini
  45. Roberta Rivolta
  46. Paolo Galeotti
  47. Federazione Provinciale Coltivatori
  48. Roberto Bottinelli
  49. Michele Rostan
  50. giovanna fiorenza
  51. claudio coppola
  52. Anonymous
  53. alberto cazzani
  54. Paolo Maria Micheli
  55. Carlo Porcari
  56. PAOLO BARBE'
  57. Daniele Rimoldi
  58. S T A V
  59. Rotary Club Vigevano Mortara Tesoreria
  60. Confindustria Pavia
  61. Carlo Ganini
  62. Patrizia Marazza
  63. cristina niutta
  64. Luisa Iamele
  65. Anonymous
  66. Anonymous
  67. Giuseppe Pagani
  68. Gabriella Tait
  69. Gino Piazzera
  70. Michele Gallotti
  71. carlo leonardi
  72. Anonymous
  73. Pliniana
  74. Anonymous
  75. Anonymous
  76. Anonymous
  77. Maurizio Scazzina
  78. Riccardo Gamba
  79. IA E CP
  80. IA E CP
  81. Luisa Iamele
  82. Anonymous
  83. Gilberto Gasperi
  84. ALESSIO FERRETTO
  85. Anonymous
  86. Hugo de Jonge
  87. Anonymous
  88. Anonymous
  89. daiaco
  90. Marco Del Bo
  91. Massimo Spreafico
  92. Gennaro Carannante
  93. Luca Ferretti
  94. Anonymous
  95. Anonymous
  96. Anonymous
  97. Anonymous
  98. Fabio Salmoirago
  99. Catherine Humblet
  100. Anonymous
  101. Raffaele Albertini
  102. Anonymous
  103. ilaria cabrini
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