The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) is an independent higher federal authority affiliated with the Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany. By the German Animal Diseases and Genetic Engineering Acts it has been assigned the tasks to carry out import-export examinations of animals or animal-derived products, to perform epidemiological analyses in the case of outbreaks of infectious animal diseases, to conduct research on infectious animal diseases and zoonoses as well as to act as national and/or community reference laboratory for notifiable diseases.
The FLI is organised in eleven departments (institutes) at five locations within Germany. At present, it maintains national reference laboratories for more than 70 notifiable infectious animal diseases as well as the WHO collaborating centre for rabies and the OIE reference laboratories for bovine leucosis, avian influenza, Newcastle disease, bovine herpesvirus type 1, and rabies. Furthermore the FLI took over the function of a reference centre of the FAO for influenza in animals and Newcastle Disease in 2011 and for Classical Swine Fever in 2012. The FLI houses laboratories and animal stables of all biosafety levels, including L4/S4 safety area. Therefore, one scientific branch particularly concentrates on research of zoonoses caused by flaviviruses (West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus), alphaviruses (American equine encephalitis viruses), bunyaviruses (Hanta-, Rift Valley fever virus, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus a.o.), hepaviruses (Hepatitis E virus), filoviruses (Marburg, Ebola viruses) and on Henipaviruses (Hendra, Nipah viruses).
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