The Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna (IZSLER, www.izsler.it) is a governmental technical-scientific organization providing services as required by national and regional laws. IZSLER has a network organization with head-quarter and specialized laboratories in Brescia and 16 diagnostic laboratories distributed in Lombardia and Emilia Romagna regions in North Italy.
General activities comprise Research and Development, diagnosis of animal transmittable diseases and hygiene of foodstuffs. For what specifically concerns viral agents, diagnosis is performed for a variety of viral infectious diseases of domestic animals as well as zoonotic, arthropod- and food-borne diseases. IZSLER uses a Management Quality Control System based on UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025.
The IZSLER virology group is characterized by wide expertise in the production of monoclonal antibodies against a variety of viruses; mAbs are exploited to study antigenic and structural properties of viruses, as well as to develop diagnostic immunoassays for both antigen or antibody detection. A spectrum of ready-to-use ELISA kits, fast and friendly-user, for FMDV antigens and antibodies serotyping has been recently developed and provided on a world basis scale and in-house ELISAs based on mAbs are regularly used for diagnosis of several viral diseases. Also classic virology, enabling isolation and amplification of viruses in most appropriate cell systems, is well established within the IZSLER group. Specialized units for classic and next-generation sequencing, electron microscopy, production of recombinant proteins in different expression systems, proteins characterization, and a veterinary entomologic laboratory working on arboviruses are also available. Furthermore, IZSLER is equipped with BSL3+ labs and high containment facilities for small and large animal accommodation, suitable for conducting experiments with exotic and notifiable viral diseases.
Virologists of the Institute have been participating in several European Network and Research projects focused on viral diseases. The IZSLER virology group includes designated experts for the OIE reference laboratories for Foot and Mouth Disease, Swine Vesicular Disease, Swine Influenza, Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease and Myxomatosis.