The Decree for the institution of the National Reference Laboratory for equine infectious anaemia (CRAIE) is of December 4th 1976, by which the Ministry of Health issued the provisions on “Prophylaxis of equine Infectious anaemia”, defining at the same time its location at the Laboratory of Pisa of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana. Subsequently, with the Decree of January 9, 2012 (Official Gazette of March 7, 2012, No. 56), the Ministry of Health reassigned these functions to the Laboratory of Rome of the same Institute. The Head of CRAIE is Dr. Maria Teresa Scicluna, in charge of the Virology Department.
Along with the institutional tasks established by art. 2 of DM 4 October 1999, CRAIE has been conducting for years researches aimed at deepening the knowledge of the epidemiology of the disease and improving the sensitivity of the diagnostic system. The results of these have contributed to the definition of the basis of the “National Surveillance Plan and Control for Equine Infectious Anaemia” (DM 2 February 2016), which provides for the modulation of the surveillance activities in the different areas of the territory in function of the estimated risk of diffusion of the infection.
For this purpose, with the contribution of the Epidemiological Unit, CRAIE manages and analyses the information flows related to the analytical activity of the other Institutes, useful for defining different levels of risk.
To provide to the Local and Regional Veterinary Services, Ministry of Health and the Regional Epidemiological Units, each for its own competence, a direct and efficient management tool for the fulfilment of the National Plan, a Web-Oriented System (CRAIE- WebGIS) was developed that permits reporting, verification and operational management of the planned actions. This system is currently also accessible by non-institutional users in its “public” version for verifying the national epidemiological situation.
Starting from 2016 (National Decree of February 2, 2016), the authorization for the use of kits for the serological diagnosis of infectious equine anaemia is subject to CRAIE’s verification of the compliance of the individual batches produced.