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Regional Reference Centre for Virological Surveillance of Influenza  

Principal Investigator:

Prof.ssa Elena Pariani


Mr. Anselmi Giovanni

Dr.ssa Cristina Galli

Dr.ssa Laura Pellegrinelli


The group’s research activity is focused on:

The Reference Centre for virological surveillance of influenza in Lombardy operates within the national surveillance network InfluNet (https://www.iss.it/site/RMI/influnet/default.aspx). The center, which is equipped with multi-purpose laboratories, has been validated and accredited by the National Influenza Centre (NIC) for the diagnosis of epidemic/pandemic viruses and avian viruses with pandemic potential.

The main purpose of the surveillance is the characterization of different types and subtypes of influenza viruses circulating in the geographical area of interest. The research group carries out molecular and phylogenetic studies designed to monitor viral evolution, to identify the emergence of drug-resistant viral variants and to assess the homology between vaccine strains and circulating viruses. The results of these investigations are promptly sent to the NIC, which makes them available to both national reference agencies (Ministry of Health) and international ones (World Health Organization), providing an essential contribution to the annual update of vaccines.

During each influenza season (from November to the end of April), in collaboration with Direzione generale sanità (DGS) regione Lombardia, weekly reports on the epidemiological and virological surveillance in Lombardy are published (available at the following link: http://www.regione.lombardia.it/wps/portal/istituzionale/HP/DettaglioServizio/servizi-e-informazioni/enti-e-operatori/sistema-welfare/promozione-della-salute/ser-informazioni-influenza-influnews-2014-2015-sal

Currently, the research has its primary focus on two major research lines:

- Topic 1. Molecular epidemiology and prevention of respiratory viruses and, in particular, influenza viruses, including:

-       virological and molecular characterization of circulating respiratory viruses;

-       development of diagnostic algorithms for the early detection of emerging viruses with pandemic potential;

-       phylogenetic analysis aimed at the study of evolutionary mechanisms and epidemiological dynamics of respiratory viruses.

-       surveillance of human and swine influenza viruses in the one health project

-       estimation of influenza vaccine effectiveness

- Topic 2. Evaluation of immunogenicity of influenza vaccination in groups at risk of complications, such as people with chronic diseases, pregnant women and immunocompromised patients.


Recent/relevant Publications

  1. Pariani E, Amendola A, Piatti A, Anselmi G, Ranghiero A, Bubba L, Rosa AM, Pellegrinelli L, Binda S, Coppola L, Gramegna M, Zanetti A. Ten years (2004-2014) of influenza surveillance in Northern Italy. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 2015; 11(1):198-205.
  2. Ebranati E, Pariani E, Piralla A, Gozalo-Margüello M, Veo C, Bubba L, Amendola A, Ciccozzi M, Galli M, Zanetti AR, Baldanti F, Zehender G. Reconstruction of the evolutionary dynamics of A(H3N2) influenza viruses circulating in Italy from 2004 to 2012. PloS ONE, 2015;10(9):e0137099.
  3. Rizzo C, Bella A, Alfonsi V, Puzelli S, Palmieri AP, Chironna M, Pariani E, Piatti A, Tiberti D, Ghisetti V, Rangoni R, Colucci ME, Affanni P, Germinario C, Castrucci MR. Influenza vaccine effectiveness in Italy: Age, subtype-specific and vaccine type estimates 2014/15 season. Vaccine. 2016;34(27):3102-8.
  4. Piralla A, Rovida F, Girello A, Premoli M, Mojoli F, Belliato M, Braschi A, Iotti G, Pariani E, Bubba L, Zanetti AR, Baldanti F. Frequency of respiratory virus infections and next-generation analysis of influenza A/H1N1pdm09 dynamics in the lower respiratory tract of patients admitted to the ICU. PLoS ONE 2017;12(6): e0178926.
  5. Chiapponi C, Ebranati E, Pariani E, Faccini S, Luppi A, Baioni L, Carta V, Merenda M, Affanni P, Colucci ME, Veronesi L, Zehender G, Foni E. Genetic analysis of human and swine influenza A viruses isolated in Northern Italy during 2010-2015. Zoonoses and Public Health, 2017. doi: 10.1111/zph.12378.
  6. Pellegrinelli L, Bubba L, Galli C, Anselmi G, Primache V, Binda S, Pariani E. Epidemiology and molecular characterization of influenza viruses, human parechoviruses and enteroviruses in children up to 5 years with influenza-like illness in Northern Italy during seven consecutive winter seasons (2010-2017). Journal of General Virology 2017;98:2699–2711.



-  Prof.ssa Elena Pariani – Phone +39 02 503 15132, email: elena.pariani@unimi.it

-  Sig. Giovanni Anselmi - Phone +39 02 503 15127, email: giovanni.anselmi@unimi.it

-  Dott.ssa Cristina Galli - Phone +39 02 503 25071, email: cristina.galli@unimi.it

-  Dott.ssa Laura Pellegrinelli - Phone +39 02 503 25071, email: laura.pellegrinelli@unimi.it

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