Partners : CAA

Centro Agricoltura Ambiente "G.Nicoli" Bologna, Italy (CAA)

Via Argini Nord 3351, 40014 Località Castello dei Ronchi - Crevalcore (BO)

Phone: 051/6802211; Fax: 051/981908; e-mail: 

The Centro Agricoltura Ambiente “Giorgio Nicoli” (CAA) is a public company committed in developing new techniques for controlling blood-sucking arthropods and applying the most advanced integrated environment-friendly biological pest control technologies aimed to control mosquito populations in large scale territory.

Centro Agricoltura Ambiente “Giorgio Nicoli” relies on specialised personnel with multidisciplinary qualifications (biology, ecology, chemestry, geology, statistics) organized in a highly professional manner. Our technicians are under continuous upgrading process in Entomology, Geographic Information Systems Softwares (Arcview, ArcGis, MapInfo, Quantum GIS), GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and Software linking with GPS (OziExplorer, WayPoint)

The Biosafety Level 3 (BL3) Laboratory ofthe Medical and VeterinaryEntomology Dept. at the C.A.A. G. Nicoli was designed in accordance with guidelines of the Italian Ministry of Health.

This facility has special engineering and containment features that allow investigators to work safely with known or possible human pathogens classified at level 3 (Allegato XII, 626/94) transmitted by mosquitoes, that have high risks for the lab personnel but low risks for the community.

Entry to the BL-3 Laboratory is restricted to individuals who have obtained prior approval. The Lab is equipped with three climate chambers that allow to control essential parameters (temperature, humidity and lighting) for mosquitoes rearing such as Culex pipiens molestus (Common Mosquito) anA Aedes albopictus (Tiger Mosquito).

The mosquitoes rearing includes all the stages of the biological cycle (egg-larva- pupa-adult) and no alive animals are used for the blood feeding. Before going outside, the air inside the lab passes through a filter in order to prevent the accidentally exit of mosquitoes.

The infrastructure mass-rearing unit at the Centro Agricoltura Ambiente (CAA) in Crevalcore has a capacity of 100,000 males of Aedes albopictus per week. The facility comprises three climate-controlled chambers (with complete control of temperature, relative humidity and photoperiod) and a fully equipped entomological laboratory. Sexual sterilization of males can be performed by gamma irradiation of the pupae in water using a Co gamma ray source at the Calliope plant at the ENEA Casaccia Research Centre and the Cs irradiator at the Health Physics Department of S. Anna Hospital in Ferrara.

This facility will offer to external users support in the form of low-mid and high-level production for Anopheles gambiae and Aedes albopictus. Two levels of production are anticipated and will be adjusted as needed for specific projects. Mosquitoes provided by the users will be expanded on site and transported via express courier either alive (eggs or pupae on wet paper) or preserved as needed for the research activity. The users will also have the possibility to spend some time at the production facilities to become familiar with issues related to insect mass production.

The Mass rearing Laboratory Installation at Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G. Nicoli will provide access to:

Activity 4) Medium scale production of Ae. Albopictus (multiples in thousands)
Activity 5) Medium scale production of An. gambiae (multiples in thousands)
Modality of access and work

Existing mosquito lines already available in the INFRAVEC mosquito repository  or provided by users will be expanded to provide up to 20,000 individuals that will be dispatched as eggs, larvae and pupae or as non-sexed adults.

Indigenous mosquitoes

Standardised mapping of larval breeding sites and subsequent data recording MAPINFO and ARCVIEW software;

Organisation of integrated biological mosquito control projects based primarily on territorial management systems, the use of selective larvicides with a low environmental impact (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) and predators (Gambusia holbrooki, Aphanius fasciatus);

Coordination, technical direction and scientific supervision in mosquito control campaigns over large areas, in collaboration with public authorities and service providers.

Consulting services to public authorities planning to issue calls for tenders, to aid them in formulating specifications for the provision of control services and supply of products;

Quality control of treatments performed by companies under public contract.

Assessment of mosquito control projects results using standardised adult monitoring systems and cost/benefit analyses;

Laboratory and field researches using new techniques and products with the aim of improving currently available control strategies;

Continuous maintance of mosquito colonies in climate-controlled cells for experimental purposes, without the use of laboratory animals

Aedes albopictus

Technical direction of control programs tailored on the local condition and requests;

Monitoring with standardized ovitraps and procedures;

Public awareness campaigns aimed at improving community participation;

Research activities on new products and techniques, including the Sterile Insect Technique