Core Partner, BSL3, EU

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The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is Germany‘s national Public Health Institute. It is the central institution of the Federal Government in the field of surveillance, control and prevention of diseases and hence also of application-oriented biomedical research. A focal point is research on infectious diseases. Laboratory work on viruses causing infectious diseases was always an essential part of the task of the RKI hosting several national and international reference laboratories like influenza, Polio, TBE. The group of Matthias Niedrig has a strong focus on the diagnostic and analysis of immune response to flaviviruses including TBE, Yellow Fever, Dengue and West Nile. Since 1996 M. Niedrig is coordinating the European Network for Diagnostics of "Imported" Viral Diseases (ENIVD) consisting of 76 members from 42 countries working on improvement of viral diagnostics with financial support from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Based on the experience the group can help to facilitate the communication between EVA and European laboratories. The most important issues in bio banking at the moment are a) the proper inactivation of highly infectious viruses keeping the virus integrity and b) the evaluation of stabilizers for long term storage of biological material for preparing suitable standard material. The group has worked on both issues also as a contribution for establishing point of care diagnostic in developing countries where storage conditions are often a problem. Also we will facilitate the exchange to the RKI strain collection. As ENIVD coordinator and involved in other projects we will stimulate other laboratories to contribute actively to join the EVA platform for exchanging research reagents for viral investigations. One task of the ENIVD is the exchange of information and material to improve the diagnostic capacity and profile of the member laboratories. Therefore the quick support of laboratories by material exchange is a fundamental task to archive a timely response for emerging viruses.