Sandra Urbanelli


Titolo Pubblicato in Anno
Historical samples reveal a combined role of agriculture and public-health applications in vector resistance to insecticides PEST MANAGEMENT SCIENCE 2022
Cuticle modifications and over-expression of the chitin-synthase gene in diflubenzuron-resistant phenotype INSECTS 2022
Cannibalism and necrophagy promote a resource loop and benefit larval development in insects of temporary waters INSECTS 2021
Evolution of adaptive variation in the mosquito Culex pipiens. Multiple independent origins of insecticide resistance mutations INSECTS 2021
Identification and detection of a novel point mutation in the Chitin Synthase gene of Culex pipiens associated with diflubenzuron resistance PLOS NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES 2020
Paternal leakage and mtDNA heteroplasmy in Rhipicephalus spp. ticks SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2019
Focal distribution of diflubenzuron resistance mutations in Culex pipiens mosquitoes from Northern Italy ACTA TROPICA 2019
Insecticide exposure triggers a modulated expression of ABC transporter genes in larvae of Anopheles gambiae s.s. INSECTS 2019
Gene silencing through RNAi and antisense Vivo-Morpholino increases the efficacy of pyrethroids on larvae of Anopheles stephensi MALARIA JOURNAL 2019
Ancient hybridization and mtDNA introgression behind current paternal leakage and heteroplasmy in hybrid zones SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2019
Cannibalism in temporary waters. Simulations and laboratory experiments revealed the role of spatial shape in the mosquito Aedes albopictus PLOS ONE 2018
Biological compatibility between two temperate lineages of brown dog ticks, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (sensu lato) PARASITES & VECTORS 2018
Exploring protandry and pupal size selection for Aedes albopictus sex separation PARASITES & VECTORS 2018
Transcriptome of larvae representing the Rhipicephalus sanguineus complex MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR PROBES 2017
The choreography of the chemical defensome response to insecticide stress. Insights into the Anopheles stephensi transcriptome using RNA-Seq SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2017
Quality control and data validation procedure in large-scale quantitative monitoring of mosquito density. The case of Aedes albopictus in Emilia-Romagna region, Italy PATHOGENS AND GLOBAL HEALTH 2017
Does Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) play any role in Usutu virus transmission in Northern Italy? Experimental oral infection and field evidences ACTA TROPICA 2017
Population genomics of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. Insights into the recent worldwide invasion ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION 2017
Gene expression modulation of ABC transporter genes in response to permethrin in adults of the mosquito malaria vector Anopheles stephensi ACTA TROPICA 2017
How heterogeneous is the involvement of ABC transporters against insecticides? ACTA TROPICA 2016


  • LS8_2
  • LS8_4
  • LS8_6


  • Life-science technologies & biotechnologies

Interessi di ricerca

Research activity. My main interests are focused on the understanding of the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that promote the genetic diversity of natural populations, the starting point for the control and management of biological resources. I am also interested in using evolutionary genetic principles to reconstruct the past and current history of vectors to inform control strategies.

The main lines of research include:
Genetic polymorphisms, in relation to different physiological and ecological parameters;
- molecular interactions and adaptive polymorphisms in parasite-host systems;
- the role of natural selection in the process of speciation;
- hybridization as the source of variability in animal populations;
- distribution of species of medical-health interest;
- influence of maternally inherited endosymbiont bacteria on the genetic and ecological characteristics of host populations;
- improvement of breeding programs and strategies for the conservation of germplasm;
- development and application of eco-compatible control strategies as a potential alternative or support to pesticide strategies for pest management.

A large portion of my work has been devoted to the genetics and ecology of arthropod populations for the development and application of control strategies that allow the reduction of environmental burden and health risks from pesticides. The study systems are mosquitoes (Culex pipiens, Aedes caspius, Aedes albopictus, Anopheles stephensi) and ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Riphicephalus sanguineus sensu lato). In this context, the researches are aimed on one hand to rationalize the use of chemicals in pest control programs, on the other hand, to develop biological strategies to be used in alternative or conjunctly to chemical control. I have been using population genetic approaches of pest insects to gain information about the appropriate geographical scale of control programs and about the risk of the appearance and spread of resistance alleles, testing a system of autocidal control based on sterile insect techniques in Aedes albopictus and investigating the role of cellular defence mechanism against pesticides, focusing on the possibility to inhibit these defenses to improve the efficacy of chemical control and to reduce the amount of pesticides used in the field.


adaptive resistance
insect vectors
insecticide detoxification

Laboratori di ricerca

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