National Reference Centre / WOAH Reference Laboratory for Salmonellosis

National reference laboratory / OIE reference laboratory for salmonellosis

The IZSVe was designated as the National Reference Centre for Salmonellosis in 1999 by the Ministry of Health. In 2007, the Centre was recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) as a Reference Laboratory for Salmonellosis. The laboratory provides expertise, diagnostic services, training and support to WOAH member countries.

The Centre is part of the IZSVe Public health and risk analysis laboratory, and it has been accredited in accordance with ISO 17025.

Activities and servicesPublicationsContacts

Activities and services

The Centre performs phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of Salmonella strains isolated from samples of veterinary origin (animals, food, feed). Moreover, the Centre coordinates the Enter-vet net, which collects information on the results of Salmonella spp. typing at the national level. This net works in close collaboration the Enter-net system, which manages data on strains of human origin. The Enter-vet net involves all departments of the IZSVe, which provide the Centre with epidemiological data concerning all Salmonella strains; they also send all S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium strains for phage typing.

The Centre coordinates and manages national and regional monitoring and control programmes for Salmonella, in accordance with EC Regulation 2160/2003. The Centre collaborates with the Ministry of Health on developing national Salmonella monitoring and control programmes in animal populations. Experts working in the laboratory act as contact points for the Community reference laboratory of Bilthoven (NL), as well as for the EFSA Task Force on Zoonoses. The laboratory provides expertise to the European Commission and EFSA in the framework of different working groups.

The Centre organises annual ring trials for national laboratories, as external quality control for Salmonella serotyping and detection. The Centre performs sero – and phage-typing, as well as molecular typing for epidemiological investigations and subtyping of specific strains, and also for the study of antimicrobial resistance. Scientific and technical support is routinely provided to colleagues from different institutes, in both Italy and other countries, in the areas of:

  • implementation and management of monitoring and control programmes
  • diagnostic laboratory methods
  • innovative molecular methods, typing, antimicrobial resistance
  • cooperation with third countries (joint research projects, stages, training courses).

Reference strains are provided upon request.

Diagnostic capabilities

The Centre is in charge of studying and validating methods for Salmonella detection, typing and characterization.Specifically, the main methods applied are:

  • detection of Salmonella in samples collected at primary production, in food and feeding stuffs according to ISO 6579.
  • detection of Salmonella in food through Real Time PCR
  • serotyping according to the Kauffmann White Scheme
  • phage-typing
  • differentiation of S. Typhimurium and its monophasic variant and identification of the H1 antigenic complex through PCR
  • Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE)
  • Multiple-Locus Variable number tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA)
  • molecular serotyping through Luminex technique



Director of the National Reference Centre for Salmonellosis
Lisa Barco
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Director of the WOAH Reference Laboratory for Salmonellosis
Antonia Ricci
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Phone: +39 049 8084 137

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