Projects carried out in 2018

  • Project to assess the potential risk of arbovirus epidemics in the Canton of Ticino and to investigate the presence of viruses potentially transmitted by mosquitoes through the use of the innovative method with FTA maps (2017-2019). The project is financed by the Office of the Cantonal Doctor and the Federal Office of Public Health.
  • As part of an optimisation of the methods for detecting viruses in FTA cards, a sensitivity check of the method using the Zika virus was also carried out. In addition, the search for a possible molecular marker for the detection of tiger mosquito DNA on FTA maps continued.
  • The collaboration between the virology laboratory of Spiez (O. Engler) and the Tropen Institut of Basel (P. Müller and N. Wipf) continued for the finalization of the publication "Surveillance of mosquito-borne viruses in low-prevalence areas using honey-baited nucleic acid preservation cards", which was published in Ticino in 2016.
  • The validation of the rapid method for the analysis of mycobacteria (Mycobacterium spp.) by mass spectrometry MALDI-TOF and identification with the database MBT Mycobacteria Library (Bruker Daltonics) continued with the drafting of a report, sent to the funding body (Crivelli Foundation). On the basis of the results, additional analyses are not excluded and will be carried out during 2019.
  • Collaboration continued with DT-SPAAS for the development of a B protection concept: definition and assessment of possible biological threats found in the cantonal territory; preparation of standard operating procedures for the management of events arising from the analysis of hypothesized scenarios; consultancy and training in the biological field for the Operational Unit for accidents (NOI) of SPAAS, the first aid agencies and the ABC specialist teams.
  • Mould in buildings (indoor mould): study of fungal populations in various inhabited environments and variations according to the seasons". The theme of indoor mold is relevant for the LMA, as these organisms are present in environments built with problems of humidity, also can cause health problems such as allergies. Preliminary tests were carried out in 2018, while sampling will take place in 2019 and 2020.