Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI)

The FLI is an independent higher federal authority under the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture of Germany. The most important aspects of work at the FLI are farm animal health and welfare and the protection of humans from zoonoses. The FLI has numerous National Reference Laboratories and is the host of various FAO, OIE, and WHO reference laboratories for notifiable epizootic diseases. Within the FLI - Institute of Diagnostic Virology (IVD) laboratories and animal stables of BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-3+ are available. The FLI has more than 1250 different cell lines available in its archives. The IVD operates 4 different platforms for automated nucleic acid extraction, and more than 10 real-time PCR cyclers, including digital PCR. In addition, 2 ABI 3130 capillary sequencers are available. Moreover, a fully equipped laboratory for next-generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray analysis with currently an Ilumina MiSeq, an Ion Torrent, and a MinION , automated library preparation, as well as an Axon Genepix 4400A microarray reader within the institute.

Webpage: https://www.fli.de/en/home

Key publications

  • Hoffmann B et al. Novel Orthobunyavirus in Cattle, Europe, 2011. Emerg Infect Dis (2012) 18:469-72.
  • Goller KV et al. Schmallenberg virus as possible ancestor of shamonda virus. Emerg Infect Dis (2012) 18:1644-6
  • Wernike K et al. Schmallenberg virus infection of adult type I interferon receptor knock-out mice. PLoS One (2012) 7:e40380
  • Hoffmann B et al. A Variegated Squirrel Bornavirus Associated with Fatal Human Encephalitis. N Engl J Med (2015) 373:154-62
  • Höper D et al. High definition viral vaccine strain identity and stability testing using full-genome population data – The next generation of vaccine quality control. Vaccine (2015) 33:5829-37
  • Hanke et al. Spatio-temporal Analysis of the Genetic Diversity of Arctic Rabies Viruses and Their Reservoir Hosts in Greenland. PLoS Negl Trop Dis (2016) DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004779
  • Jenckel M et al. Quasispecies composition and diversity do not reveal any predictors for chronic classical swine fever virus infection. Arch Virol (2016) DOI:10.1007/s00705-016-3161-8
  • Pfaff F et al. A novel astrovirus associated with encephalitis and ganglionitis in domestic sheep. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (2017) DOI: 10.1111/tbed.12623
  • Pfaff F et al. A novel alphaherpesvirus associated with fatal diseases in banded penguins. J Gen Virol (2017) DOI:10.1099/jgv.0.000698


Staff involved in HONOURs

Prof Dr. Martin Beer


Prof. Dr. Martin Beer is WP2- Leader and head of the Institute of Diagnostic Virology of FLI. Expert in virus discovery, viral metagenomics, veterinary viral infections, zoonotic viruses, diagnostics, animal models, virus-host interaction. Martin Beer will guide ESR-12.

Dr. Dirk Höper


Dr. Dirk Höper is head of the Laboratory for NGS and diagnostic microarrays. Expertise in all steps of next-generation sequencing with a focus on sample preparation and data evaluation, virus discovery, viral metagenomics, in-depth sequence analysis and high-resolution phylogeny. Dirk Höper will guide ESR-3. 

Dr. Kerstin Wernike

       Kerstin Wernike

Dr. Kerstin Wernike is head of the German National Reference Laboratories for BVD/MD and SBV. Expertise in working with animal viruses under high containment conditions up to BSL 3+ with special emphasis on in vivo characterization, diagnostics, and genetic characterization. Kerstin Wernike will guide ESR-12



Host switching pathogens, infectious outbreaks and zoonosis; a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 721367.