Zebo replaces provincial team-mate Felix Jones, who took a knock to the knee and will be unavailable to train this week as Ireland, who currently sit top of the Championship, look to bounce back from defeat against England at Twickenham last time out.
Winger Tommy Bowe will not be considered for the game against Italy as he continues his rehabilitation after a groin injury, while injury worries Peter O'Mahony and Jonny Sexton are named, as is Luke Marshall.
Among those not considered for next weekend's game at the Aviva Stadium is Tommy O'Donnell, who received a stinger while playing for Munster at the weekend.
Another notable inclusion is Ulster centre Darren Cave, who produced an impressive man-of-the-match performance against the Dragons, while Donnacha Ryan could challenge for a second row place.
Ulster's Robbie Diack and Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss also join Joe Schmidt's squad, while centre Brian O'Driscoll is not regarded as a major doubt after overcoming cramp.