The Ministerial Decree of October 4, 1999 (Article 6) identifies the National Reference Centre for Equine Horses (CERME) at the Rome Headquarters, recognizing the technical and scientific expertise of the institute, consolidated over decades. Since its inception, the head of CERME is Dott.ssa Maria Teresa Scicluna, in charge of the Virology Department.
CERME is called upon to carry out activities on diseases of different aetiology (bacterial, viral and parasitic). For this, in addition to the tasks referred to in Article 2 of the aforementioned Decree, common to all national reference centres, particular attention has been dedicated to a specialized diagnosis of most of the infectious equine disease that are endemic or at risk of introduction. For this, second level methods were developed in favour of institutional users and other stakeholders with the aim to extend the activity not only for confirming and/or for excluding a disease but also to provide differential and etiological diagnosis and have tool for carrying out their monitoring.
In this perspective, the focus was on developing diagnostic, especially simultaneous, methods for multiple pathogens responsible for respiratory, reproductive, nervous and anaemic-haemolytic syndromes.
In accordance with O.M. January 13, 1994, CERME manages the information flow of analytical activities for to the “National Control Equine Plan for Equine Viral Arteritis”.