One year of Schmallenberg virus in Germany
One year ago, the FLI first detected infections of cattle with Schmallenberg virus, a pathogen previously unknown in Europe. Since then, the virus has spread rapidly in 16 European countries from Italy to Norway. The FLI continues research in this field and publishes updated case numbers for Germany at weekly intervals. The most recent research results of the FLI have been published in the October issue of the scientific journal „Emerging Infectious Diseases“.
Asian bush mosquito conquers Germany
Scientists of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) on the Isle of Riems and of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Müncheberg, have detected a major population of the Asian bush mosquito Aedes japonicus in southern North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and northern Rhineland-Palatinate. They were able to trace the mosquito after they had received insect samples in the frame of the participatory project 'Mückenatlas'. The Asian bush mosquito is not only particularly aggressive; it also transmits West Nile virus and perhaps other viruses.
The Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida
Information brochure for download
The brochure (available in German language only) which has been prepared by FLI and CVUA provides information for beekeepers and veterinarians on the biology, diagnosis and control of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida. In Europe, the infestation of honey bees with Aethina tumida is notifiable. So far, this parasite has not been found in Europe; however, there is a serious risk that it might be introduced inadvertently in spite of import restrictions.
Research Prize of the German Veterinary Association for Prof. Heiner Niemann
In the frame of its annual conference in Bremen last Friday, the German Veterinary Association (DVG) awarded Prof. Dr. Heiner Niemann, Head of the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) in Mariensee, with the Martin Lerche Research Prize. With this prize Prof. Niemann was honored for his long-time scientific work in the field of reproduction and reproduction biotechnology of farm animals. The laudatory speech emphasized in particular the high international reputation of the prize winner.
UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO designates second Reference Centre at FLI
Insel Riems, 05 Oktober 2012
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO designated the FLI as Reference Centre for Classical Swine Fever. "Now the FLI runs two FAO Reference Centres and thus further intensifies its international activities.”, says Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Thomas C. Mettenleiter, President of FLI. Last year the institute had been designated as FAO Reference Centre for influenza in animals and Newcastle disease already.
FLI publishes the Annual Animal Health Report 2011
The FLI presents the Annual Animal Health Report 2011 with results of epidemiological and laboratory diagnostic tests, control measures and the risk assessment of selected animal diseases in 2011 (with summaries in English language).
German scientists support World Rabies Day
September 26, 2012
September 28 marks the 6th World Rabies Day, a day of action which is intended to raise awareness regarding this worldwide occurring infectious disease. Still several 10,000 people die every year of rabies, most of them in Asia and Africa. Since the start of this initiative in 2007, 182 million people worldwide have been informed of the dangers of this disease and 7.7 million dogs and cats have been vaccinated.
Delegation of the OIE visits Island of Riems
September 20, 2012
Today, a delegation of the World Organisation for Animal Health OIE visited the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), on the Island of Riems. Besides information on the history and current research of the institute, the 60 visitors took great interest in the institute's new laboratories and animal facilities.
President of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut elected as board member of the European Society for Veterinary Virology
On Thursday, 6th september 2012, at its General Assembly in Madrid, which is held every three years, the European Society for Veterinary Virology has elected its five board members. In addition to representants from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium, the President of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Thomas C. Mettenleiter, has been elected as new board member. The Society has more than 200 members all over Europe who conduct research on virus infections of animals.
FLI publishes Annual Report 2011 (German version)
The Annual Report 2011 of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut provides an overview of focal research points and current projects, scientific co-operations and other topics. It is published as e-version; please find the download of the full German version under this Link. The shortened English Annual Report 2011 will be available soon.
On July 12, 2012 the national reference laboratory for anthrax confirmed the detection of anthrax bacteria in samples from a cattle holding in the district Stendal, Saxony-Anhalt.
FLI and Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg present first „Loeffler-Lecture“ in Greifswald
On June 19, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) and the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg cordially invite the public to attend the first „Loeffler-Lecture“, a series of talks in English language. Prof. Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam will give a talk about influenza viruses and possible new pandemics at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg in Greifswald.
Institute of Farm Animal Genetics successfully represented in DFG Transregio Collaborative Research Center
At the end of May, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved the establishment of a Transregio Collaborative Research Center (TR-SFB) on the subject „Biology of xenogenic cells and organ transplants: from the laboratory to the clinic“. The application was submitted jointly by the leading German organ transplant centres, among them the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics of the FLI.
Association of Friends of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut first awards research prizes
5th June 2012
At the occasion of its annual meeting of members held today at the Jena site of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), the Association of Friends of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut has first awarded research prizes to young scientists of the institute. This year’s prize winners are Dr. Tariq Abbas, Dr. Britta Möhl and Dr. Anne Wegelt.
President of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut re-elected as member of the Scientific Commission of the World Organisation for Animal Health
On May 25, 2012, at the occasion of its annual general session in Paris, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) elected the members of its Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases. Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Thomas C. Mettenleiter, President of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, was confirmed in his office as one of the six members of the Commission and will advise the OIE on questions of animal disease control and prevention for the next three years.
34th Workshop on Mycotoxins
May 14 to 16, 2012 at the Braunschweig civic centre
More than 200 German and international representatives from science, politics and economy will gather at the 34th Workshop on Mycotoxins to be held from May 14 to 16 at the Braunschweig civic centre. The agenda includes e.g. questions on the analytics and detection of mycotoxins and their occurrence in the food chain.
Mosquito atlas now online
Interested citizens can support research
Which mosquito species are present when and where in Germany? This is the question that interests scientists of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). From now on interested citizens may become active as “mosquito hunters” and send in biting midges that they have caught themselves.
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut and University of Lubumbashi (Congo) sign cooperation agreement on research
Scientists from Africa visit Isle of Riems
Infectious diseases which can be transmitted from animals to humans (zoonoses), are in the focus of the joint research activities of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI) and the University of Lubumbashi (UNILU) in the Democratic Republic Congo. Yesterday, a cooperation agreement on research in this field was signed in the institute’s historic Loeffler-Haus.
Bluetongue Disease in Germany
March 2012: On 15 February 2012 Germany has been declared as free from Bluetongue disease. The FLI conducted a risk analysis for the re-occurrence of Bluetongue disease in Germany.
Atypical BSE detected in Switzerland in a cow from Germany
In the beginning of March, the Federal Veterinary Office (BVET) in Switzerland detected atypical BSE in a cow born in Germany. The animal of the species German Angus was born in Germany in 2005 and sold to Switzerland at the end of 2006.
First visualization of Schmallenberg virus
Scientists of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) on the Isle of Riems have first succeeded in visualizing the so-called „Schmallenberg virus“. The work group for electron microscopy led by Dr. Harald Granzow of the Institute of Infectology of the FLI on the Isle of Riems has visualized the pathogen by high-resolution electron microscopic analyses of infected cells.
2012 – another bank vole and hantavirus year?
Joint information of the JKI, RKI, FLI and National Consiliary Laboratory for Hantaviruses at the Charité on the respective homepages
Scientists and forestry agencies have registered signs of a possible increase in hantavirus infections in 2012. As a rule, this infectious disease which is mainly transmitted by bank voles has a mild course with flu-like symptoms; in isolated cases however severe courses of disease with kidney failure requiring dialysis may occur.
Early detection and prevention of pandemics – Project start for „ANTIGONE“
In the frame of a research network for rapid detection and improved control of infectious agents which have the potential to become a threat to human health the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), Jena has started research on the intestinal bacterium EHEC O104:H4 which newly emerged last year, on the causative agent of Q fever Coxiella burnetii, and the causative agent of plague Yersinia pestis. These projects are part of the international research network „ANTIGONE“ (ANTIcipating the Global Onset of Novel Epidemics) supported by the EU with 12 million Euros from the EU research framework programme.
Project start: 3R methods to replace and refine legally-required animal studies
In many fields, test methods for immunological drugs are still based on animal studies. By means of the 3R concept (Replacement, Reduction und Refinement) the use and suffering of animals in legally-required animal studies can be reduced or completely avoided. For this purpose, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, and the Lehr- und Versuchsgut Oberschleißheim of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich cooperate in a research network supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Junior scientist from Argentina to stay at FLI for one year
Georg Forster scholarship holder Dr. Gaston Moré conducts research on parasites of cattle
Dr. Gaston Moré from La Plata, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, has recently taken up his work as guest scientist in the work group of Dr. Gereon Schares at the Institute of Epidemiology of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in Wusterhausen. He intends to develop new procedures for the detection and differentiation of different Sarcocystis species of cattle. The research stay of Dr. Moré is made possible by a Georg Forster scholarship for highly qualified scientists granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Invasive Mosquitoes in Germany
In the framework of a joint project on the nation-wide monitoring of culicid mosquitoes, scientists of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg, found three non-indigenous mosquito species in the Upper Rhine Valley, federal state of Baden-Württemberg. According to the data analysis, the mosquito females were trapped in July and August 2011. The results have been published in the scientific journal Eurosurveillance.
„Veterinary Journal“ prize for FLI doctoral student
As announced recently by the international scientific journal „The Veterinary Journal“, Dr. Judith Wagner, former doctoral student at the Institute of Molecular Pathogenesis of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut has been awarded the Junior Scientist Prize 2011 together with her co-authors. The prize has been awarded for her article on the consequences of an infection with PRRS virus which causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in pigs.
Project start: Significance of Clostridium botulinum in chronic disease
For quite some time, there has been controversial discussion in Germany on the cause of a gradual health deterioration observed in cattle herds. Therefore, the Hannover School of Veterinary Medicine (TiHo) and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) are now cooperating in a research network.
Information on ‛Schmallenberg virus’
The FLI provides up to date numbers of cases, maps and further information regarding ‛Schmallenberg virus’ on a special webpage. This page is updated continuously.
Publication on first detection of novel Orthobunyavirus, so-called ‛Schmallenberg virus’, in Europe available now
In the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientists of the FLI report on the first detection of a novel Orthobunyavirus, so-called ‛Schmallenberg virus’, in cattle in Germany at the end of 2011. The article is available online ahead of print now:
Factsheet on ‛Schmallenberg virus’
updated 20th January 2012
So far 32 cases of ‛Schmallenberg virus’ have been detected in Germany. Information of the FLI on ‛Schmallenberg virus’ regarding the infective agent, clinical signs and diagnosis are now available as download on this website.
Update - Information from the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut on ‘Schmallenberg Virus’
Accessions No of full-length sequences available
updated 16th January 2012
Information from the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut on ‘Schmallenberg Virus’
FLI makes Virus samples, information on virus genome and protocol for genome detection available to scientific institutions
After the discovery of the novel orthobunyavirus tentatively designated as ‚Schmallenberg Virus’ we received numerous requests for samples of the virus, for the protocol for our newly developed and in-house validated real-time RT-PCR as well as for disclosure of sequence information on the viral genome. As a research institute core-funded by the Federal Government of Germany and, thus, by the public, we feel it is appropriate to distribute samples of virus, the protocol for genome detection as well as sequence information on the viral genome to all serious researchers interested in contributing to analyze and understand this new infection.
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut closes down Tübingen research facility
Institute of Immunology will continue its work on the Isle of Riems
Isle of Riems, 21 December 2011. At the end of this year, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI) will close down its research facility in Tübingen. In the early 1950s, the Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals (BFAV) had been founded in Tübingen as the West German counterpart of the FLI on the Isle of Riems. The last institute located in Tübingen was the Institute of Immunology which will now continue its work at the FLI headquarters.
New Orthobunyavirus detected in cattle in Germany
The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), has first detected a virus of the genus Orthobunyavirus in cattle in Germany. Comparative analyses of the genetic material lead to the assumption that the virus belongs to the group of Akabane-like viruses. Based on the geographic origin of the sample, the virus was provisionally named „Schmallenberg virus". Further investigations for characterization of the virus and epidemiological investigations will follow.
President of the FLI elected to the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine
Isle of Riems, 15 November 2011
At its fall session in Brussels, the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine has elected the President of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Prof. Thomas C. Mettenleiter, as foreign corresponding member (membre correspondant étranger). He will be a member of Section VI of the Academy “Veterinary Sciences”.
Updated Risk Assessment on HPAI H5N1 (Bird Flu) in Germany
According to the updated risk assessment of the FLI, the risk of introduction and occurrence of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of the subtype H5N1 (HPAIV H5N1) in poultry holdings in the Federal Republic of Germany has not changed over the past eight months. Although new outbreaks have been registered since February 2011 in poultry and wild birds in Cambodia, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar and the Palestine Autonomous Region, no new cases have occurred in Europe. In addition to evaluating the risk for Germany, the risk assessment provides an overview of the current situation.
Occurrence of Usutu virus in Southern Germany
Usutu virus (USUV) was identified in a blackbird found dead in Southern Germany (Southern Hesse). The virus was detected on September 13, 2011 at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNI) in Hamburg. On September 14, 2011 USUV was also detected by the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in 4 dead blackbirds from the Mannheim area. Investigations to clarify whether this infection is associated with the increased mortality of blackbirds observed in this region are ongoing.
English version of the annual report 2010 published
The Annual Report 2010 of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut provides an overview of focal research points, official tasks and publications. It is a shortened version of the German Annual Report and is published as e-version.
FLI designated as Reference Centre of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO
Insel Riems, 29 August 2011. With immediate effect the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI) takes over the function of a Reference Centre of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO for influenza in animals and Newcastle disease. “This will intensify our cooperation with the FAO and help strengthen our international activities”, explains the President of the FLI, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Thomas C. Mettenleiter. The cooperation is set up for four years and can be extended if assessed positive.
Zinc-finger enzymes knock out endogenous gene in pigs
New possibilities for organ transplantation and treatment of diseases
Insel Riems, 15 August 2011. Pigs and humans share important features of physiology and anatomy. This makes pigs a preferred species for creating models for research on human diseases and for development of new therapeutic approaches. Thus, pigs are e. g. a potential source of organs for human transplant. For this purpose it is however necessary to suppress the organ recipient’s strong rejection response to the porcine transplant. Scientists of the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) in Mariensee in cooperation with the American biotechnology company Sangamo have now first succeeded in permanently suppressing the gene for the most important rejection factor in the genetic material of pigs using so-called zinc-finger enzymes and to breed pigs lacking this factor.
FLI publishes the Annual Animal Health Report 2010 online
The FLI presents the Annual Animal Health Report 2010 with results of epidemiological and laboratory diagnostic tests, control measures and the risk assessment of selected animal diseases in the past year. An english summary is provided for each animal disease.
"Cradle of Virus Research"
An exhibition on 100-year history of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut is opened regularly
At the "Loeffler-Haus", the oldest building of the FLI at the main site Insel Riems, the institute presents information on the FLI's founder Friedrich Loeffler as well as the eventful history of the institute. All information is provided in German language. Since August 2011, the "Loeffler-Haus" is opened regularly for interested visitors. Due to limited space and for tours in english registration is required.
Ring trial echinococcosis 2011
Report on a ring trial on echinococcosis diagnosis 2011 is available now (in German language only).
FLI publishes Annual Report 2010 (German version)
The Annual Report 2010 of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut provides an overview of focal research points and current projects, scientific co-operations and other topics. It is published as e-version for the first time; please find the download of the full German version under this Link. The shortened English Annual Report 2010 will be available soon.
Outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza in North Rhine-Westphalia
On 27 May 2011 the National Reference Laboratory for Fowl Plague at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) confirmed the suspicion of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) of the subtype H7 in a poultry breeding farm with 20,000 broiler breeders and 400,000 hatching eggs in the district Gütersloh. On the same day, the suspicion of avian influenza (AI) was notified for three further farms in Gütersloh. In all three cases, LPAI of the subtype H7 was confirmed by the FLI.
Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) /
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)
Information of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut
Kick-off for laboratory relocation at the FLI
First workgroups move into new laboratories
Insel Riems, 06 June 2011. On the island of Riems, final preparations for the relocation of workgroups to the newly constructed laboratory building of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI) are in full swing. Beginning Thursday, the first research groups, among them colleagues from the FLI site in Tübingen, will move into their new laboratories. According to the schedule it is planned to relocate all laboratories of safety level 2 to the new building until this fall.
AI/ND Ring Trial 2011
The NRL AI will again organize a national ring trial this year. The main target group are the veterinary diagnostic authorities of the federal states. Diagnostic laboratories of university institutes, private diagnostic laboratories and laboratories of other federal agencies are also invited to participate. The ring trial is carried out in cooperation with the NRL ND and includes samples for investigation by PCR, classical serological methods and virus isolation.
Ring Trial on BVD diagnostics 2011
Results are available now
During the first quarter of 2011, the national reference laboratory for BVD/MD carried out the second ring trial on BVD diagnostics for the responsible veterinary diagnostic authorities of the federal states. A total of 53 public, private, university and industrial laboratories participated in this ring trial, among them also laboratories from Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, and France.
36th International Herpesvirus Workshop
July 24-28, 2011, Gdansk, Poland
Organized by Krystyna Bieńkowska-Szewczyk (Professor for Molecular Virology at the University of Gdansk) and Thomas C. Mettenleiter (President of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut) the “International Herpesvirus Workshop” will take place in Gdansk, Poland from July 24 to 28, 2011. This means that for the first time in its 36 year history the IHW is organized in an Eastern European country which nowadays is a member of the European Union but two decades ago still belonged to the Eastern bloc.
Opinion on the vaccination against bluetongue disease
Updated: May 2011
The FLI recommends to continue the vaccination in Germany on a voluntary basis during 2011. If only parts of the population can be vaccinated, unvaccinated offspring should be immunized preferentially. Since sheep suffer especially badly from BTV-8 infection, their vaccination is particularly recommended.
5th Workshop of the NRL Psittacosis: Chlamydia and Coxiella Infections of Farm Animals – from apathogen to zoonotic
May 19 to 20, 2011 at Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Jena.
The workshop which has been organized in cooperation with the NRL for Q fever presents recent information on Chlamydia and Coxiella infections of farm animals. The focus is laid on the pathogen prevalence in farm animal holdings, animal-to-animal and animal-to-human transmission routes, pathogen-host-interactions and molecular pathogenicity mechanisms, status of diagnostics, development of new detection methods, and reports from the veterinary authorities.
5th Annual Meeting EPIZONE 300 Participants, scientists and stakeholders, from 25 countries are expected!
The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut is partner institute in EPIZONE
EPIZONE, funded by the European Union, plays a key role in research on prevention detection and control of high-impact diseases such as, foot-and-mouth disease, avian influenza, classical swine fever and bluetongue. The slogan “Science on alert” relates to the outcomes of the EPIZONE network of excellence, contributing to the excellent science performed by international collaboration in relation to new developments in food safety and climate change.
Expert Meeting on African Swine Fever
Under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection BMELV two expert meetings have taken place with representants from Russia, the Ukraine, Italy (ASF has been present on the island of Sardinia since 1978), Spain, the FAL, the OIE, the EU Reference Laboratory for ASF and scientists of the FLI.
On Avian Influenza 2011
February 2011: Assessment of the risk of re-introduction and occurrence of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV H5N1) in domestic poultry holdings in the Federal Republic of Germany