IZSLER - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lombardia Emilia Romagna

Among the main activities carried out by the Institute there are: the diagnostic service of animal diseases and zoonoses;  control activities of food products intended for humans and animals; analytical and technical support for the creation and implementation of prophylactic plans; applied research for the hygiene of rearing conditions and the improvement of animal production and animals welfare; epidemiological surveillance of animal health, hygiene of zootechnical products, hygiene of food products of animal origin, applied research in veterinary field and food production.

The National Reference Centre for Cell Substrata is part of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna (IZSLER) and it is one of the partners of Superpig project. The Centre is located in Brescia and since 1979 is working with the aim of setting up, collectecting and checking cell cultures of different origin. This activity has led to the establishment of a cells bank which now includes about 41,000 frozen vials.

Initially, the interest was focused on the cell culture used in the veterinary sector and then, substrates used in biomedical field have been also included. At the present, the laboratory is a center of reference for all those working in cell culture.

The collection consists of stabilized lines (over 500 types), tumor cell lines, hybridomas (61 types). In addition to the propagation of cell cultures, the lab is also carrying out quality assessment tests to check for the absence of viral, bacterial and fungal agents. Furthermore,  the absence of neoplastic characteristics and the relative verification of the species of origin are evaluated.

Dr Maura Ferrari is responsabile of the centre, she has been involved for many years in several research projects both in veterinaty (looking for viruses in biological materials, development of innovative viral vaccines) and human (stabilizing of cells from patients affected by Alzheimer) sectors. Within the present project, Dr. Ferrari, is offering her skills and expertice in the development of cell cultures and controls relating to them.

In the same department, the Cell Immunology Lab is also based which is under the direction of dr. Massimo Amadori, who is working, since 90’s, on veterinary immunology in particolar to issues related to viral deseases in swine and bovine. His experience in developing diagnostic tests will be relevant for the immunoenzymatic tests required within the project.

Dr. Silvia Dotti (Veterinarian, specializes in swine pathology, PhD in Veterinary biotechnology),  and Dr. Sabrina Renzi (Biothecnologist in Veterinary Science) and dr. Riccardo Villa (Biologist, Specialised in Clinical Biochemistry, PhD in Medical Biothecnology) are department staff, working on cell lines tests, immunological and virological analysis, and on molecular biology methods. Their expertice developed within several research projects on the topics mentioned above, allows the development and the improvement of all those techiniques required. Furthermore, Mr  Antonio Cristiano, Mrs Cinzia Mantovani, Annalisa Ghizzardi e Giovanna Ferrari, all lab technicians, with their skills are supporting the analysis required.