Foto del docente

Erica Leoni


Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences

Academic discipline: MED/42 Hygiene and Public Health

Curriculum vitae

Academic qualifications

Degree in Biological Sciences, University of Bologna, 1976; Specialization in Microbiology, University of Parma, 1982; Degree in Medicine, University of Bologna, 1989.


University career

Researcher, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bologna, 1983-2000.

Researcher, Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Bologna, 2000-2001.

Associate professor of General and Applied Hygiene, Faculty of Movement Sciences, University of Bologna, 2001-2006.

Full Professor of General and Applied Hygiene, Faculty of Movement Sciences, University of Bologna, from November 1st 2006.

From the A .Y. 2012-13, with the implementation of the Law 240/2010 on the new organization of Italian Universities, is part of the Department of  Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences.


Didactic activity

She has a continuative didactic activity in the fields of General and applied Hygiene at first on the degree courses of the Faculties of Medicine, Biological Sciences, and Biotechnology. From 2000/01 her main teaching activity was carried out on the degree courses of the Faculty of Movement Sciences. From the Academic Year 1991/92 she has taught regularly Applied Hygiene and Epidemiology in the following Schools of Specialization of Bologna University: Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Sport Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Toxicology. She has also taught Epidemiology on the Advanced Courses of Programming, Management and Evaluation of Health Services, Evidence based Health Care and Master of Programming, Management and Evaluation of Health Services.


Scientific activity

Her main lines of research include environmental microbiology, epidemiology and promotion of health.


  • Environmental microbiology . In this area her research concerned the assessment and control of infection risk due to the contamination of water, air and aliments, from pathogenic or opportunistic microorganisms. Of particular importance are her scientific contributions regarding the environmental prevalence of Legionella pneumophila in artificial water environments (domestic, hotel and hospital hot water systems; swimming pools and spas; spa environments; dental units) and the assessment of measures to apply for risk control.
  • Epidemiology . In relation with the research on the microbiology of water, prevalence and case-control epidemiological studies were carried out on nosocomial and community acquired pneumonia from Legionella pneumophila, and on infections from swimming pools. Investigations were also made, through retrospective epidemiological studies, on the risk factors associated with epidemic outbreaks of food-borne infectious diseases, such as salmonellosis and viral hepatitis A.
  • Health promotion . After various prevalence studies aimed at assessing the life styles of children and teenagers, campaigns for the promotion of motor activity were planned, performed and evaluated in primary schools, in children from the third to fifth class, involving the introduction of a programme of physical activity during school hours, regularly distributed throughout all days of school attendance. The assessment of the campaigns was made by means of pre-post and prospective prevalence studies, examining the anthropometric characteristics (BMI) and motor skills through standardized tests.


Her research activity has been supported by the pluriennal funding of the Italian Ministry for Universities and Scientific research. From 1993 she has been responsible for studies for which she obtained funding destined for Oriented Fundamental Research from Bologna University and has participated in significant projects of national importance coordinated by MURST on the “environmental diffusion of legionella and the assessment of the frequency of infection and of its risk factors" (PRIN 2000-2002) and on the “strategies for the surveillance, prevention and control of legionellosis" (PRIN 2002-2004). She is a member of the Società Scientifica Nazionale di Igiene e Medicina Preventiva (SItI) and the study group SItI for Motor Sciences with which she promoted and participated in the translation of the Guidelines of the World Health Organisation for coastal and fresh waters (2006) and swimming pools and spas (2003).

Her research activity is documented by about 200 scientific contributions in national and international journals. In 2007 she gained the award of the Italian Foundation for Spa Scientific Research for her medico-scientific research in spa environments. 


Other institutional activities

President of the Degree Course on Movement Sciences, Campus of Rimini, University of Bologna, from 2007-08 to 2012-13 Academic Years, and Faculty Representative in the Council of Rimini Campus.

Faculty Representative for the International Relations and President of the Commission for International Exchanges of the Faculty of Movement Sciences.

President of the Commission for student work placement in the degree courses in Movement Sciences of Rimini Campus.




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