Research and projects

Here below some information about research activities and collaboration projects of the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease.

Main research areas and activities

The main research areas are:

  • development of vaccination strategy, evaluation of vaccine efficacy and identification of vaccine candidates against epidemic strains;
  • development and validation of innovative diagnostic assay for AI and ND;
  • evaluation of evolutionary dynamics of AI and ND viruses during epidemics;
  • pathogenesis studies of AI and ND viruses in birds and mammals.

Additionally, the AI/ND EURL collaborates with international institutions (e.g. UN-FAO, IAEA, EU, EFSA, WHO) for the selection of vaccine candidates, the definition of virus genotype nomenclature and for organizing training activities.

EU funded projects

Over the last five years the AI/ND EURL has been and/or still is involved in the following research projects:

  • Arimnet2-Aviamed – AVIAn viral disease prevention and control with plant vaccines for the MEDiterranean area | Website >
  • DELTA FLU under H2020-EU. – Increasing production efficiency and coping with climate change, while ensuring sustainability and resilience – Dynamics of avian influenza in a changing world | Website >
  • ParNewVac – Development of improved vaccines with DIVA and therapeutic properties against two animal paramyxoviruses: peste des petits ruminants and Newcastle disease
  • FP7-PREDEMICS – Prediction and Prevention of Emerging Zoonotic Viruses with Pandemic Potential using Multidisciplinary Approaches | Website >
  • FP7-FLUPIG – Pathogenesis and transmission of influenza in pigs | Website >
  • EMIDA Era-Net EpiSeq – Molecular epidemiology of epizootic diseases using next generation sequencing technology
  • ANIHWA Era-Net NADIV – Co-circulation of avian influenza and velogenic Newcastle disease viruses – impact on pathogenesis, immune response and disease prevention | Website >
  • Participation to the EU Twinning project Mise a niveau des laboratories de l’Institut National de la Medicine Veterinaire aux Standards Europeens et Internationaux (DZ/13/ENP/HE/17 P3a Algeria): between Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise G. Caporale (IZSAM) and Institut National de la Médecine Vétérinaire (INMV), Algeria

WOAH (OIE) Projects

OIE Twinning project Italy – Nigeria (2017- ongoing)

“Improving NVRI laboratory capacity for a better control of the avian Influenza virus at national and regional level” between the IZSVe and the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Regional Support Laboratory for Animal Influenzas and other Transboundary Animal Diseases, Nigeria. The project is intended to make the expertise available to the NVRI so that it could improve the scientific and technical capacity for the early detection, characterization and control of AI.

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OIE Cooperation project Italy - People's Republic of China (2014-2016)

“Capacity development for implementing a Geographic Information System (GIS) applied to surveillance, control and zoning of avian influenza and other emerging avian diseases in China”: 4 years of cooperation project between IZSVe and the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine (CAIQ), China. The project was aimed at providing expertise to allow designing and implementing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) applications for surveillance, disease control, and zoning for issues related to AI and other emerging avian diseases in China.

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OIE Twinning project Italy – Iran (2013-2016)

Between the IZSVe and the Central Veterinary Laboratory/Iranian Veterinary Organization (CLV-IVO), Iran.
The project purpose was to improve scientific and technological capacity of the CVL for the early detection and diagnosis of AI and ND and other major viral diseases of poultry (e.g. IBV, IBDV) through trainings, seminars and exchange of information and scientists; as well, the project was concentrated on the development, optimisation and validation of nucleic acid techniques for the rapid detection and characterization of the targeted viruses.

Participation to the OIE Twinning project Italy - Lebanon (2013-2015)

“Strenghtening capabilities of Veterinary Services”   between the Italian Ministry of Health through the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise G. Caporale (IZSAM) and the Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon. IZSVe organized the trainings and a workshop on avian diseases with particular reference to risk analysis techniques and the tools for surveillance of animal diseases.

OIE Twinning project Italy – Cuba (2008-2010)

A collaboration between the IZSVe and the National Center for Animal and Plant Health, La Habana (CENSA), Cuba. Main objective of the project was to upgrade CENSA diagnostic capabilities in AI and NDV diagnosis to a level comparable to OIE reference laboratory standards.

Website >

OIE Twinning project Italy – Russian Federation (2007-2008)

Between the IZSVe and the Russian Federal Centre for Animal Health (FGI-ARRIAH), The Russian Federation. The aim of the project was to strengthen and sharing expertise on AI managing and control.