The unit develops diagnostic assays and prevention strategies for infectious diseases, in human and veterinary medicine. A strong focus is on zoonoses and (re-)emerging viral infections. All state-of-the-art methods in virology, microbiology, molecular biology and immunology are well established, and the unit includes a BSL-3 laboratory with animal facility. Pathogens worked on in the lab include, among others, flaviviruses (West Nile virus, dengue virus, Zika virus), Influenza, PRRSV, and spore-forming bacteria. In addition, methods for the control of ectoparasites are being developed.
In order to inactivate pathogens for vaccines or other applications, we are developing a novel irradiation technology, together with three other Fraunhofer Institutes. Project partners include pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies as well as funding organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer IZI, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has developed a more efficient, faster and environmentally friendly way of producing vaccines than conventional methods - and has been awarded the Fraunhofer Prize for "Technology for People and the Environment". The award ceremony took place during the annual conference of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft on May 5, 2021.