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National Research Platform for Zoonoses

The National Research Platform for Zoonoses is an information and service network for all scientists active in the field of zoonoses research in Germany, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). With more than ten years of experience and over 1000 members (as of 10/2019), it is an established pillar of the zoonoses research community in Germany. Besides the BMBF, the platform is also supported by the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg).

Zoonoses are infectious diseases

Zoonoses include the oldest known diseases, such as rabies, plague or tuberculosis, numerous food-borne diseases and diseases transmitted by so-called vectors (mosquitoes, ticks etc.), such as malaria. In recent years, new diseases such as SARS or BSE have also been added. What they have in common is that they can be transmitted between animals and humans. Zoonoses can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites or prions and do not respect national borders.

Research

Research into zoonoses aims to detect, cure and control zoonoses more rapidly, which is an essential contribution to the health of humans and animals. This is an essential component of the One Health approach, which emphasises the link between human, animal and environmental health. In research into zoonoses, it is essential that human and veterinary physicians cooperate closely and contribute their specialist knowledge. The National Research Platform for Zoonoses supports this professional exchange and interdisciplinary cooperation.

Aims and tasks

The aim of the Zoonoses Platform is the cross-institutional exchange and interdisciplinary work at the interface of human and veterinary infection research on a national and international level. It is committed to expanding research activities in the field of zoonoses research and to promoting the networking of human and veterinary medicine.

This shall be achieved by:

  • Organisation and implementation of joint events (workshops, zoonoses symposia, events for young scientists), which serve to maintain contacts and the interdisciplinary exchange of experience,
  • Registration, harmonisation and standardisation of existing resources, including a register of zoonoses researchers in Germany and various priority regions (e.g. Africa or Central Asia)
  • Provision of information to the public on zoonotic infectious diseases,
  • Initiation and implementation of innovative pilot projects, interdisciplinary doctoral projects and networking cross-sectional projects
  • Promotion of communication and national, European and international cooperation,
  • Support and assistance in the planning and implementation of research activities in the field of zoonoses

As a central point of contact, the Zoonoses Platform provides policy-makers and the public with fact-oriented and transparent information on all aspects of zoonoses research. It promotes the continuous and intensive exchange of experience with scientists from all over the world.