Dipartimento di Scienze di SanitÓ Pubblica
Sezione di Parassitologia
UniversitÓ di Roma "La Sapienza"
P. le Aldo Moro, 5
00185, Rome

Tel: ++ 39 06 4991 4894
Fax: ++ 39 06 4991 4644


University of Rome 'La Sapienza':
1982, BSc in Biological Sciences
1986, PhD in Microbiology and Epidemiology


University of Rome 'La Sapienza':
1980 - 1981, Student
1981 - 1983, Collaborator
1983 - 1986, PhD student
1986 - 1990, Postdoctoral fellow
1990 - present, Senior Researcher

Membership of Societies

Italian Society of Parasitology
Italian Society of Ecology
Italian Society of Marine Biology
Italian Centro Studi Cetacei
Italian Society of Fish Pathology

Teaching and other experience

Since 1981, I have been associated with the Department of Public Health Science - Parasitology Section at the University of Rome "La Sapienza", collaborating with the group of Prof. L. Paggi and working on the systematics of parasites and their vectors using electrophoretic studies of gene-enzyme systems. In 1983, as the winner of a public examination, I became a PhD student in "Microbiology and Epidemiology", with Prof. Paggi as my supervisor. During 1985 I visited the Zoological Laboratory of the University of Bergen (Norway) and worked under the supervision of Prof. B. Berland on the biology and systematics of anisakid nematodes and discussed our future collaboration. In 1986 I went to the Department of Protozoan Genetics at the University of Edinburgh to learn from Dr D.Walliker the new techniques of molecular biology and their application in biochemical taxonomy. In 1987 I submitted my PhD thesis in 'Microbiology and Epidemiology', which was entitled: Studi elettroforetici dei sistemi gene-enzima su nematodi della famiglia Anisakidae (Ascaridoidea), parassiti degli animali e dell'uomo".

Between 1987 and 1990 I attended, as a teacher, the 'International Meeting on malaria vectors' organised by the Istituto Superiore di SanitÓ in Rome, giving lectures on the use of electrophoretic techniques in the systematics of parasites and vectors. In 1988 I attended, as a lecturer, the 'Corso di aggiornamento sulle parassitosi dei prodotti ittici' organised by the Istituto Superiore di SanitÓ. Since 1997 I have been invited each year by the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London, to give series of lectures within their course on 'Molecular Cellular Parasitology'. I also give lectures and seminars on 'General and Human Parasitology' as part of the Microbiology Course of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and 'Diagnostic Parasitology' in the Pathology course of the Scuole Specializzazione of the Medical Faculty. I have also been invited to give a series of lectures on 'General Parasitology,' 'Ecology of Marine Parasites' and 'Host-Parasite Co-evolution' within the course on Ecology at the Faculty of Biological Science of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of Tuscia University in Viterbo, Italy. In addition, I am collaborating, both in termind of research and teaching, with the Department of Environmental Science (Ecology Laboratory of Prof. Nascetti) at Tuscia University in Viterbo.

I have been supervisor of several MSc and PhD students within the Faculties of Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences of the University of Rome "La Sapienza".

Scientific background

My scientific background has concerned mainly the genetics, ecology, speciation, systematics and evolution of marine parasites of cetaceans, seals, fish-eating birds and fish using genetic, morphological, and morphometric approaches. I have used multilocus allozyme electrophoresis and, more recently, DNA molecular techniques, to address questions concerning the population genetics, evolutionary biology, host-parasite co-evolution, and relationships between genetic variability and habitat disturbance. I have been heavily involved with the use of allozyme electrophoresis to detect sibling species within anisakid nematodes, and to study population genetic , genetic diversity and hybridization in natural populations of parasites. The application of genetic markers for the identification of larval stages of anisakids, the etiological agents of human 'anisakiasis'. Recently, I have also become involved in the study of parasite community structure in marine fishes, the use of parasite species as 'biological tags' for stock assessment in fisheries, and the correlation between the genetic variability of parasites and both habitat disturbance and environmental quality.

Adult Anisakis
Anisakis larvae

Research Projects

My research is carried out in collaboration with Prof. L. Paggi and with both the Department of Environmental Sciences of Tuscia University (Prof. G. Nascetti) and the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" (Prof. L. Bullini and Prof. R. Cianchi).

I have actively participated in national projects (funded by the Italian Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, MURST cofin 97 and 99), concerning anisakid nematodes parasitic on fish and marine mammals, and the following EC projects:

CFP 96-051 "Genetic erosion and parasitic infections: new tools for the evaluation of the state of bluefin tuna and swordfish in the Mediterranean Sea";

FAIR CT-97 3494 "Genhake", "Genetic diversity and parasitic infections of European hake (Merluccius merluccius) as descriptors of fishing impact on Mediterranean and Atlantic stocks" (responsible for the evaluation of parasitic infections levels and parasitic community structure of European hake populations and population genetic studies on nematodes of the genus Anisakis);

QLK5 CT1999-1438 "HOMSIR" A multidisciplinary approach using genetic markers and biological tags in horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) stock structure analysis" (Responsible for the genetic identification of anisakid nematode parasites of T. trachurus and for their use as "biological tags" in stock structure definition).

Publication List

King Ludwig, November, 2001