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Institute of Infectology (IMED)

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Foto: Architektur Insel Riems 2014
Main Building, Insel Riems (© FLI)

Within the scope of its official tasks, the Institute of Infectology (IMED) conducts research on infectious diseases of selected domestic animals. The focus of the institute’s research and development activities lies on the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and control of infectious diseases of economically relevant aquatic animals (fish, molluscs, crustaceans), and bees. Furthermore, the institute investigates sanguivorous arthropods as possible transmitters of pathogenic agents. Research aims at gaining profound insights into the interactions between pathogen and host/vector which will provide the basis for the development of immunoprophylactic measures, specific and sensitive animal diagnostics, and efficient control strategies. To this end, the institute uses virological, bacteriological, mycological, electron microscopical, molecular biological, immunological, and epidemiological methods.

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

  • fish diseases (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis, Infectious Salmon  Anemia, Koi Herpesvirus infection of carp, Epizootic Hematopoietic Necrosis)
  • mollusc diseases (infections with Bonamia excitosia, Bonamia ostreae, Marteilia refringens, Microcytos mackini, Perkinsus marinus)
  • crustacean diseases (White Spot Disease, Taura Syndrome, Yellow Head Disease)
  • bee diseases (American Foulbrood, Small Hive Beetle Infestation, Tropilaelaps Infestation of Honey Bees)
  • enzootic bovine leukosis, caprine arthritis/encephalitis and Maedi/Visna


The Laboratory for medical entomology deals with arthropods relevant in veterinary medicine, which may play a role in the epidemiology of animal diseases and zoonoses as transmitters of disease (vectors) and as pathogenic agents (ectoparasites). Current scientific projects deal with investigations on the vector competence of insects and ticks.

In association with the official tasks of the reference laboratories, scientists of the IMED provide advice to national and international authorities and associations with regard to the diagnosis and control of infectious diseases of fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and bees, and to the risk assessment of endemic or invasive arthropods occurring in Germany as potential vectors of animal diseases and zoonoses.