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National Institute for Infectious Diseases “L. Spallanzani”

The Biobank of the “L. Spallanzani” National Institute for Infectious Diseases (INMI) is a repository of clinical samples from infectious disease patients, viral and bacterial strains and related nucleic acids. Biobank was established in 2000 and currently hosts a very large amount of biological materials (>400,000 samples) belonging to more than 100 different collection / research projects. It offers a service of sample preparation and long-term storage to researchers from the Spallanzani Institute as well as other research centres, in the framework of established collaborations. Sample preparation is carried out by adopting the highest standards of biosafety and biosecurity and the Quality Management System is certified according to ISO9001/2015 standard.

INMI will contribute to the project activities by providing a large collection of strains, genome sequences and clinical samples.

  • Some of the Gram-positive and Gram-negative multi-drug resistant strains will be also characterized by full genome sequencing.
  • INMI is routinely involved in the management of severe infections caused by ESKAPE pathogens and highly experienced in analysis of antimicrobial resistance determinants.
  • The Biobank is also in charge of the samples/strains stored in the biocontainment laboratories at INMI (BSL3 and 4) and has a longstanding collaboration with other institutions/international networks in sharing RG3 and 4 strain abiding to local and international laws limiting the distribution of biological materials.

Key persons

  • Dr. Antonino Di Caro
    Director of the INMI Biobank.
    Member of the Scientific Committee of MIRRI-IT.
  • Dr Stefania Carrara
    Responsible of the INMI Biobank activities.
    Member of the General Assembly of MIRRI-IT.
  • Dr Silvia Truffa
    INMI Biobank. Member of the General Assembly of MIRRI-IT.

Description of significant infrastructure
INMI has diagnostic, patient care and research facilities that include equipment for analyses of basic microbiology and molecular biology. Moreover, the available equipment allows to perform full range of genomic (including next generation sequencing platform and related bioinformatics aspects), transcriptomic and proteomic analysis, in addition to classical imaging (electron microscopy-based) cultural and immunological studies. The availability of high containment laboratories allows performing research activity on high threat (up to level 4) pathogens.

Relevant previous projects

  • EVA project (the European Virus Archive): INMI-Biobank become an associate partner of EVA project a coordinated and readily accessible collection of viruses that could be made available to academia, public health organisations and industry, initially within Europe, but ultimately throughout the world.
  • QUANDHIP (Quality Assurance Exercises and Networking on the Detection of Highly Infectious Pathogens): The biobank participated to relevant European projects as QUANDHIP being part of the RG4 agents European repository.

Contact info
Contact: Antonino Di Caro, INMI-Biobank Director

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