University of Insubria - Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences (DiSTA)
The aim of our studies is to understand the interactions between organisms/microorganisms used in the biological control and insect models
potentially harmful to the environment.
Many species of insects (phytophagous) damage crops and urban greenery, others represent a real danger to human and animal health (vectors);
in both cases, the main form of containment and elimination of dangerous species is, even today, the use of pesticides.
In our lab we investigate the immune defenses of insects infected by parasites or bacteria conventionally used as bioinsecticides as well as the
effects of environmental temperature changes on these processes.
The host immune responses are monitored in both naive and infected/parasitized insect larvae, with or without priming or immunomodulatory
Some animal models we are using are Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera, parasite of the hives), the spotted wings Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii),
the choleoptera Red Palm Weevil (Rynchophorous ferrugineus) and the biotransformer Black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (diptera).
Deepening the knowledge of host-parasite relations (insects-bioinsecticides) provides the fundamental basis for the improvement of biological
control methods, methods that if used correctly, will allow a significant reduction in the use of pesticides.
Particularly, we are studying:
Dept. of Theoretical and Applied Sciences (DiSTA) - University of Insubria - via J.H. Dunant 3. 21100 Varese (Italy)