Vaccine Technologies

Pipettieren in 96-Well-Platte
© Fraunhofer IZI

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.

Areas of Operation

Here you can find out more about our areas of operation.


We work closely with partners from science and industry. Find out more here.


Here we show you a selection of current projects.


Here you will find an overview of all publications that have emerged from the research work of our unit.


From 2011–2014 the unit was coordinating the EU (FP7) research consortium "WINGS: West Nile Integrated Shield Project: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Prevention of West Nile Virus in Europe"

Press Release


New procedure for manufacturing safe and effective vaccines

Press release, November 3, 2016: 


Fertey J, Bayer L, Grunwald T, Pohl A, Beckmann J, Gotzmann G, Casado JP, Schönfelder J, Rögner FH, Wetzel C, Thoma M, Bailer SM, Hiller E, Rupp S, Ulbert S. Pathogens Inactivated by Low-Energy-Electron Irradiation Maintain Antigenic Properties and Induce Protective Immune Responses. Viruses 2016, 8(11), 319; DOI:


The Vaccine Technology Unit is part of the Q fever German Interdisciplinary Program for Research (Q-GAPS). The BMBF funded consortium Q-GAPS has committed itself to investigate unsolved questions relating to the epidemiology, immunology, pathogenesis, surveillance and control of Coxiella burnetii.


West Nile Virus on the rise in Europe

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has been recording the rising spread of the virus in Europe and its neighboring countries for many years now.

In Germany, the virus was first detected in birds and horses in Saxony, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Bavaria in 2018.