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Institute of Epidemiology (IfE)

The Institute of Epidemiology conducts research on the epidemiology of endemic animal diseases (e.g. avian influenza, bluetongue disease, BSE, classical swine fever, rabies), the prevention of non-endemic infectious diseases (import risk assessment, early warning systems) and the biomathematical and epidemiological basis of risk assessment. Using modern epidemiological methods including mathematical models and geographic information systems we gain insights which are included into practical animal disease control.

Furthermore, the institute fulfils official tasks, particularly in connection with the animal disease reporting system (TSN) and the project TRACES of the member states of the European Union, and contributes to the development of electronic tools for animal disease management. The institute maintains a task force that is prepared to help with epidemiological investigations when animal disease outbreaks occur. Various working groups conduct epidemiological studies including laboratory diagnostic investigations. The evaluation of diagnostic procedures for epidemiological purposes and the fulfilment of reference functions on the national and international level are an important precondition for an optimal validity of the study results.

Research focuses on epizootic animal diseases, but also on other animal diseases which are of economic and/or zoonotic relevance, such as Q fever, chlamydiosis, salmonellosis, infections with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, echinococcosis. The reservoir function of different animal populations for animal pathogens and economically important diseases of domestic animals is investigated.

The IfE houses the National Reference Laboratories (NRL) for notifiable