The aim of the European Virus Archive project is to create and mobilise a European network of high calibre centres with the appropriate expertise, to collect, amplify, characterise, standardise, authenticate, distribute and track, mammalian and other exotic viruses. The EVA project is establishing a web-based catalogue to advertise and distribute viruses in the collection as well as associated products. In addition the EVA network also produce associated reagents on demand, to laboratories throughout Europe and also worldwide.

EVA: European Virus Archive

EVA: European Virus Archive

EVA: European Virus Archive

UKB Bonn, DE

UKB Bonn, DE

Bonn Institute of Virology

Official Website of the Participant:

The Institute of Virology, University of Bonn Medical Centre, is one of the largest Medical Virology settings in Germany, serving a 1500 bed University hospital in the most populous area of the country. Its laboratories cover the maximal spectrum of known human viruses. Bonn is one of the focal points of clinical HIV- and hepatitis research in Germany, with a full serum sample archive dating back almost 20 years in the Virology laboratories. Another main focus of work is respiratory virus infections, for which extraordinarily large archives of documented respiratory specimens are kept. All virology laboratories have been incorporated in an independent new Institute of Virology, which was founded in 2007 with the election of Christian Drosten as a chairman. Drosten was based before at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg (BNI), where he headed the Clinical Virology section. Recent achievements included the primary diagnosis of critical imported virus infections (several hemorrhagic fevers, encephalitides, rabies) as well as the primary identification of SARS-Coronavirus.


Central contribution is to provide proven PCR protocols together with associated materials (synthetic RNA/DNA controls and inactivated virus material) for viruses from the project (WP1) and from UKB’s own repertoire. Another contribution is to provide access the UKB´s strain collection.


The group has contributed well-recognised diagnostic methods (in particular real-time PCR) in the zoonotic viruses field which have become international standard technology, recommended by organisations like WHO, and transformed into several industry diagnostic kits. External quality assurance studies are another major focus of work. Drosten is still under an association contract with BNI for which he co-ordinates the FP6 consortium RiViGene (SSPE-CT- 2005-022639), with 18 European partners. The Bonn Institute of Virology co-ordinates another EU consortium on respiratory viruses RespViruses (LSHM-CT-2006-037276) with 6 partners.

Christian Drosten and Marcus Panning keep about 120 validated RT-PCR protocols available, covering the whole field of human virology. The group has demonstrated several times that its PCR tests were instrumental in groundbreaking clinical and basic studies, e.g., Li, Nature 2003 (identification of SARS-CoV receptor) or Rezza, Lancet 2007 (identification of Chikungunyavirus local transmission in Italy). Requests for PCR protocols and associated materials (positive controls and internal controls) are received on average 3 times per week.

External quality assurance studies are another major focus of work. About 10 times per month requests for inactivated virus material are received, but many cannot be followed because only limited supply is available from earlier studies

Key staff members:

Prof. Christian Drosten, Physician/Molecular Biologist, Head of Bonn Institute of Virology, Co-ordinator of EU-Project RiViGene, Member of the Scientific Board of ENIVD.

Dr. Marcus Panning, Physician, Head of Molecular Diagnostics section in Institute of Virology.

Dr. Beate Kümmerer, Molecular Biologist, expert on plus strand virus reverse genetics; Member of DENFRAME project, head of molecular virology laboratories at University of Bonn Virology.

Dr. Felix Drexler, Research Physician at University of Salvador/Bahia, Brazil; will be relocated to Bonn from May 2008 as a co-coordinator of virus discovery programme.


Drosten C, Gunther S, Preiser W, Van Der Werf S, Brodt HR, Becker S, Rabenau H, Panning M, Kolesnikova L, Fouchier RA, Berger A, Burguiere AM, Cinatl J, Eickmann M, Escriou N, Grywna K, Kramme S, Manuguerra JC, Muller S, Rickerts V, Sturmer M, Vieth S, Klenk HD, Osterhaus AD, Schmitz H, Doerr HW. Identification of a Novel Coronavirus in Patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. N Engl J Med 2003;348:1965-74. Drosten C, Gottig S, Schilling S, Asper M, Panning M, Schmitz H, Gunther S. Rapid detection and quantification of RNA of Ebola and Marburg viruses, Lassa virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever virus by real-time reverse transcription-PCR. J Clin Microbiol. 2002 Jul;40(7):2323-30.

Luna LK, Panning M, Grywna K, Pfefferle S, Drosten C. Spectrum of viruses and atypical bacteria in intercontinental air travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection. J Infect Dis. 2007 Mar 1;195(5):675-9. Panning M, Grywna K, van Esbroeck M, Emmerich P, Drosten C Chikungunya Fever in Travellers Returning from the Indian Ocean Region, 2006 Emerg Inf Dis 2008, March (in press)

Rezza G, Nicoletti L, Angelini R, Romi R, Finarelli AC, Panning M, Cordioli P, Fortuna C, Boros S, Magurano F, Silvi G, Angelini P, Dottori M, Ciufolini MG, Majori GC, Cassone A; CHIKV study group. Infection with chikungunya virus in Italy: an outbreak in a temperate region. Lancet. 2007 Dec 1;370(9602):1840-6.