Prof. Irene Ricci

Associate Professor of Parasitology


School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine (SBVM)

University of Camericno (UNICAM), Italy




ROLE IN THE RESEARCH: Coordination of the SymbioVec project











Jovana Bozic - Agricoltural Engineer from Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

MS in Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management (Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes) Bari, Italy, 2011.

PhD course in Environmental Sciences and Public Health at SAS, UNICAM

Topic: Study of fungal symbiosis in vector mosquitoes and evaluation of its potential impact in the control of vector borne diseases - It is well accepted that the symbiotic relationships insects have established with several microorganisms have had a key role in their evolutionary success. ‘Symbiotic control’, a new multifaceted approach that uses symbiotic microorganisms to control insect pests or reduce vector competence, seems particularly promising. One approach is the manipulation of symbionts that can express anti-pathogen molecules within the host (pratransgenesis).


Priscilla Mensah

Priscilla Mensah - Molecular Biologist from Sekondi, Ghana.

MS in Biological Sciences (Molecular Diagnostic and Biotechnology), Camerino, Italy, 2014.

PhD course in Life and Health Sciences - Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology, SAS, UNICAM




Topic: Characterization of microbial symbiosis in vector mosquitoes and evaluation of its potential impact in the control of mosquito borne disease- Microbial symbiosis in mosquitoes holds promise for development of Symbiotic Control for mosquito borne diseases. Possible SC strategies propose the disruption of microbial symbionts required by insect pests or the introduction of exogenous microbes that affect life-span and vector capacity of the hosts in insect populations. Particularly critical is the evaluation of SC impact in the field, thus it is essential to performed semi-field and pilot filed studies to move from bench to reality.



Leone De Marco - Bioinformatician from Milano, Italy.

MS in Bioinformatics, University of Bologna, Italy, 2014

PhD course in Life and Health Sciences - Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology, SAS, UNICAM




Topic: Bioinformatics approach to explore microbial symbiosis in the control of mosquito borne diseases (MBD). The objectives of this research topic are the managing of molecular methods applicable for studying microbial communities, such as the recent metagenomic resources and, the NGS and bioinformatics tools concerned with microbial phylogenetic diversity. The aims of the potential upcoming information are the development of molecular methods applicable for in field application of innovative symbiotic control strategies of MBD.






PhD in Environmental Science and Public Health – Develoment of biotechnology for Environmental Sciences and Public Health, University of Camerino, Italy, 2009


Molecular characterization of W. anomalus genes potentially involved in the antimicrobial activity.


Dr. Valentina Cecarini

PhD in Ageing and Nutrition, University of Camerino, Italy, 2010


Purification and characterization of antimicrobial toxins from the yeast W. anomalus and their possible applications in the biological control of mosquito borne diseases



Dr. Aida Capone

PhD in Environmental Science and Public Health- Programme on Malaria and Human Development, University of Camerino, Italy, 2012.


Characterization of yeast-parasite interactions in the mosquito vectors.



Dr. Matteo Valzano

PhD in Environmental Science and Public Health-Programme on Malaria and Human Development, University of Camerino, Italy, 2013.


Study of the anti-parasitic activity of yeast toxins in the malaria murine model.



SYMBIOVEC Assistant Researchers



expert in the malaria murine model and involved in the management of the stabulary and insectary.




Dr. Dario Pediconi

expert in yeast genetic manipulation and microbiology.





Patrizia Scuppa

expert in dissection of mosquito' organs at microscope.




Marco Paniccià

involved in the management of insectary and stabulary.






Many students of the School pf Bioscences & Veterinary Medicine have been involved in experimental activities of the SymbioVec project during their stages, under the supervision of the PI and a team member*:

E. Polimanti and C. Lucchetti (A. Cappelli*), C. Santinelli and L. Weiki (M. Valzano*), G. Jinghui (A. Capone*), R. Valentini (M. Valzano*), L. Shuang (A. Capone*), S. Jiang (V. Cecarini*), F. Frank (V. Cecarini*), F. Lattanzi (A. Capone*), E. Pelliccioni (M. Valzano*), A. Bellucci (A. Capone*), X. Guo (MV. Mancini*), E. Buratti (A. Cappelli*), R. Marcoccia (A. Cappelli*).....

Apart from people enrolled to the SymbioVec project, my team can benefit from the presence at Host Institution of the Molecular Parasitology group leaded from Guido Favia, Full Professor of Parasitology at SBVM.








Maria Vittoria Mancini

PhD Student in One Health (Supervisor Prof. G. Favia).

She studyes the diverse aspects of the Bacterial Symbiotic Control of mosquito vectors. Her principal interest is the transition from the laboratory evidences of this strategy to the actual field application for the control of vector-borne diseases.


Marco Panniccià, Dario Pediconi, Jovana Bozic, Claudia Damiani, Aurelio Serrao, Matteo Valzano, Priscilla Mensah, Aida Capone, Alessia Cappelli, Maria Vittoria Mancini, Irene Ricci, Guido Favia.



Collaborators from other UNICAM Research Units


DR. Dezemona Petrelli

Research Assistant in Microbiology, she contributes to isolation, identification and characterization of bacterial symbionts of W. anomalus strains isolated from different sources (environment, mosquitoes, clinical samples).



Prof. Anna Maria Euleri

Associate Professor of Biochemistry, she is involved in the biochemical characterization of the antimicrobial activity of W. anomalus.




Prof. Mauro Angeletti

Associate Professor of Biochemistry, he is involved in the structural study of yeast killer toxins.




Collaborators from other Universities


Dr. Davide Sassera

Researcher at University of Pavia, Italy and co-supervisor of the PhD student Leone De Marco. He collaborates in the bioinformatics study of W. anomalus.





Dr. Sara Epis and Elena Martin

Researcher and PhD student at University of Milan, Italy (on right and left in the picture, respectively). S. Epis is coordinator of a National FIR project on killer yeasts and killer peptides as experimental models for the control and the therapy of vector-borne diseases.








Simona De Simone

SymbioVec Project Manager.





Children are my delight and inspiration!

 She is my doughter Elena doing extraordinary lab work cheeky