Regarding Blue growth, Dr. Ciulli research deals with the aquatic animal health.
The main research focuses on etio-pathogenesis, molecular epidemiology, diagnostics and control of the major infectious diseases of aquatic animals with particular interest to those with viral etiology.
In the field of marine fish, are particularly studied viral encephalo-retinopathy, also known as viral nervous necrosis and lymphocysts, for which new diagnostic assays, epidemiological investigations and studies to develop control strategies (biosecurity plan and biocides). The investigations are conducted both at farm level with fish species of great commercial interest (sea bream and sea bass) and in natural environments (groupers, bivalve molluscs).
Regarding freshwater species, research are conducted on various viral diseases of fish species of great interest, such as rainbow trout (rhabdovirus, birnavirus, alphavirus) and sturgeons (NCLDVs, irido-like virus, herpesvirus, adenovirus). In particular, the research aims to investigate emerging infectious diseases in sturgeon species of commercial and environmental interest in order to clarify the role of the main viruses and bacteria detected during mortality outbreaks.
Concerning ornamental species, are investigating the infectious diseases of carp and of the main aquarium species, particularly diagnostic and study activity for Koi herpes virus, Carp edema virus, spring viremia of carp and genetic characterization of bacteria responsible for infections are carried out.
The research activity is conducted using classical virological methods, such as cell cultures together with bimolecular assays to detect (PCR-based methods), quantify (real time PCR) and characterize (sequencing and analysis of sequences) infectious agents.
Furthermore, in the blue growth area, studies on the immunomodulatory properties of food supplements, through in vitro analysis (cell cultures) and in vivo (tissue analysis taken during experimental tests) of the levels of gene expression of specific molecular markers are carried out.
Regarding One health area, studies are conducted on ruminant pestiviruses with particular interest in the genotyping of new viral variants and in the investigation of outbreaks characterized by atypical forms of Bovine Viral Diarrhea and Border Disease.
Finally, support activities are carried out in the food safety sector through the analysis of human pathogen viruses (HAV, Nov, HEV) in bivalve molluscs.