Do you want to know the secrets of diseases transmitted by ticks, or learning about toxoplasmosis? What can happen inside the human body when it contracts the Anisakis, after eating raw fish or poorly preserved? Institute Zoo- prophylactic “A. Mirri” in Palermo was born the first Biobank of the Mediterranean, a huge reservoir (warehouse) of tissue samples, bacteria, viral, parasitic and serums and pathological anatomical findings of sanitary interest, useful for biomedical research. In the laboratories of the Institute, which works for over 80 years, has collected a vast archive of biological material, properly stored to ensure their conservation over time. “Over the years, biobanks have become an important resource for biomedical research, since the availability of samples has allowed the development of scientific studies in relevant fields of medicine”, explains Annalisa Guercio-director of the virologic diagnostics. “Within our organization we have already presented biological resource centers or laboratories can provide, maintain and store precious material, but now there was created a centralized unit for the safe storage of biological materials”. To explain the history of the Biobank of the Mediterranean are the special commissioner, Salvatore Seminara and the medical director, Santo Caracappa: “The project is one of the institution’s objectives”.
The Institute Zoo- prophylactic of Sicily joined the first veterinary networks internationally recognized OIE, World Organisation for Animal Health. The researchers from all over the world, through the network software (http://biowarehouse.net) may with a single “click” the samples retained for the study of the major diseases of animals and those that can be transmitted to humans. Examples of available biological resources are the building materials of tick-borne diseases (Rickettsioses, anaplasmosis), international reference strains and standards for Leishmaniasis animals and even the Anisakis and Toxoplasma. The biobank of the Mediterranean is an indispensable tool, a resource made available to those working in the field of research and preventive medicine, there is consider that the animal reservoir is the main source of pathogens in the emergence of infectious diseases and the diffusive food safety.