UK flag France flag Germany flag Spain flag Italy flag

CEA - Centro Encefalopatie Animali - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte Liguria e Valle d’Aosta

CEA - Centro Encefalopatie Animali - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte Liguria e Valle d’Aosta

#20 - BSE Italian Reference Laboratory

Dr. Maria Caramelli


Team Leader: Dr. Maria Caramelli
Via Bologna 148
Torino, I- 10154, Italy
Contact: Dr. Maria Caramelli
Tel: +39 11 2686296
Fax: +39 11 2686360
Institute website:

Main area of research

  • Neuropathology: neuropathological confirmatory diagnosis and characterization of animal prion diseases by histological, immunohistochemical and immunobiochemical methods and in TSEs differential diagnosis as well.
  • Genetics: research on animal TSE genetic susceptibility, gene expression studies, PrP gene analysis in different animal species, PrP genotyping for the national breeding program.
  • TSE rapid testing: the laboratory coordinates the Italian rapid testing activity, carries out laboratory inspections and training of technicians an veterinarians involved in the active surveillance system. It has a wide experience in rapid tests evaluation and is involved in European rapid test batch testing.
  • Surveillance, epidemiology and risk analysis of animal TSE: the epi team maintains several national databases e.g. on passive and active surveillance of animal TSEs, on feed controls for MBM and on the national breeding program; provides health authorities with (a) statistical and epidemiological analyses and reporting and (b) scientific opinions based on risk assessment.

Research Team Picture

Research Team

  • Researchers: 14
  • Technicians: 12
  • Postdocs: -
  • PhD/MD Students: -
  • Young researchers: 4

Facilities and Equipment

  • Laboratories: BSL1, BSL2
  • General equipment: Pathology, Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Histology, Imaging, Epidemiology, Risk assessment
  • Special equipment: PMCA equipment, 2D-electrophoresis equipment, automatic sequencer, pyrosequencer, realtime PCR platform, video confocal microscopy

Main references

  • Ru G, Maurella C, Ponti AM, Ingravalle F, Caramelli M. (2007) Epidemiological study of the decline of BSE in Italy. Vet Rec. 161(15), 511-4.
  • Acutis PL, Bossers A, Priem J, Riina MV, Peletto S, Mazza M, Casalone C, Forloni G, Ru G, Caramelli M (2006) Identification of prion protein gene polymorphisms in goats from Italian scrapie outbreaks J Gen Virol 87:1029-1033
  • Casalone C, Corona C, Crescio MI, Martucci F, Mazza M, Ru G, Bozzetta E, Acutis PL, Caramelli M (2005) Pathological Prion Protein in the tongues of sheep infected with naturally occurring scrapie. J Virol 79: 5847-9
  • Casalone C, Zanusso G, Acutis P, Ferrari S, Capucci L, Tagliavini F, Monaco S, Caramelli M. (2004) Identification of a second bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy: molecular similarities with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101(9), 3065-70.
  • Agrimi U, Ru G, Cardone F, Pocchiari M, Caramelli M (1999): Epidemic of Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in sheep and goats in Italy. Lancet, 353, 560-561.

Back to Italy