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Infection Research

What happens in the case of infection waves and pandemics? How can viruses be prevented from spreading throughout the body after infection? Infection researchers at the DPZ are investigating viruses such as HIV and influenza as well as bacteria that lead to diseases such as syphilis. In addition, they study so-called prions, the cause of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. With their research, the scientists pave the way for the development of effective therapies and vaccines.

Research on infectious diseases in primates mainly focusses on virus infections like HIV/SIV-infections, herpes virus infections and diseases induced by hepatitis viruses. Pox virus infections and other antigens like malaria appear on the agenda and new emerging diseases for example transmissible encephalopathies (BSE, CJD, vCJD) are studied in primates, too. General aims of the research in infectious diseases are the investigation of pathogenetic mechanisms in close-to-human animal models and the development of effective therapeutical and prophylactic concepts.

Primates are ideal animal models for these studies as various human pathogens can be transmitted experimentally due to their close phylogenetic relationship. The evolutionary relationship allows us to draw conclusions to the corresponding physiological mechanisms in humans.

Das Labor der Abteilung Infektionsbiologie

Infection Biology Unit

The Infection Biology Unit analyzes virus-host interactions at the molecular, cellular and organismic level. The research is focused on viral entry into host cells and on control of viral infections by the interferon system. We are studying human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and emerging viruses, particularly Influenza, Ebola and SARS-coronavirus.
Infection Biology Unit

The heart of a mouse in MRI. Photo: Susann Boretius

Laboratory Animal Science Unit

The Department of Laboratory Animal Science focuses on cardiovascular diseases in primates. Risk factors such as diabetes mellitus or abnormally elevated blood lipid levels are also addressed. At the same time, the researchers work closely with the animal husbandry unit in order to better understand the needs of the experimental animals and to continuously improve aspects relevant to animal welfare such as husbandry, conduct of experiments and medical care.
Laboratory Animal Science Unit

Section's Speaker

Prof. Dr. Stefan Pöhlmann

Prof. Dr. Stefan Pöhlmann Infection Biology Unit +49 551 3851-150 +49 551 3851-184 Contact

Information on animal experiments

One of the methods used by the researchers in our Infection Research Unit is animal experimentation with rhesus monkeys. Here you can learn more about animal experiments in general and at the DPZ.

Animal Experimental Research