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Q-GAPS - Q fever GermAn Interdisciplinary Program for reSearch researches and works on epidemiology, immunology, pathogenesis, monitoring and control of Coxiella burnetii.


The interdisciplinary consortium Q-GAPS (Q fever GermAn Interdisciplinary Program for reSearch) has set itself the task of working on and researching previously unsolved questions concerning the epidemiology, immunology, pathogenesis, monitoring and control of Coxiella burnetii. To achieve this goal, human and veterinary physicians and biologists work together in the sense of the "One-Health-Concept".

Focus of work

Q-fever: disease surveillance, control, management and research
Development of a conceptual design for an "Active Monitoring and Surveillance System (MOSS) for detection and characterisation of C. burnetii in small ruminant herds". Conduct epidemiological, longitudinal, cohort and intervention studies.
Implementation of an internet-based information platform for C. burnetii and Q-fever and an interactive database to inform the public and health authorities about the disease in a timely manner.

Improvement of Q-fever management in the public health system both on the human and veterinary side and establishment of a Q-fever guideline.

To increase knowledge of the C. burnetii pathogenesis and infection pathways. Analysis of the virulence potential of C. burnetii isolates in relation to different host species. To explore the role of ticks as possible reservoirs and vectors for C. burnetii.

The implementation-relevant "products" of the network work for the ÖGD include

  • Establishment of a Q-fever guideline
  • Development of a Q-fever risk barometer
  • Creation of a Q-fever information platform

Issues dealt with by the Q-GAPS network

  • Does the interaction of C. burnetii with different host species lead to the modulation of virulence and immune defense strategies?
  • Does the pathogenic potential of C. burnetii correlate with certain sequences in the genome and/or host tropism?
  • What role do ticks play in the spread of C. burnetii and how do ticks transmit the pathogen?
  • What effects does susceptibility/immunity have on the development of clinical diseases in animals?
  • Is it possible to establish an active monitoring and surveillance system (MOSS) for detection and characterisation of C. burnetii in herds of small ruminants?
  • How can we usefully combine the reporting data from human and veterinary medicine?
  • Is there chronic fatigue syndrome induced by Q-fever in Germany?
  • Are chronic Q-fever cases diagnosed too rarely in Germany?
  • Are the generally used disinfectants effective against the spore-like particles of C. burnetii?


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Anja Lührmann
University Hospital Erlangen
Institute of Microbiology
Wasserturmstr. 3-5
91054 Erlangen, Germany

E-Mail: anja.luehrmann(at); info(at)

Tel. +(0)9131 85 22577


Prof. Dr. med. vet. Martin Ganter, Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, Klinik für Kleine Klauentiere und Forensische Medizin und Ambulatorische Klinik
Apl. Prof. Dr. med. vet. Martin Runge, Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (LAVES), Lebensmittel- und Veterinärinstitut Braunschweig/Hannover

Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. vet. habil., Dipl. ECVPH Amely Campe, Abt.-Leitung “Tiergesundheit” Institut für Biometrie, Epidemiologie und Informationsverarbeitung (IBEI), WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training for Health at the Human-Animal-Environment Interface, Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover

Dr. med. vet. Klaus Henning, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institut für bakterielle Infektionen und Zoonosen (IBIZ)
Dr.  rer. nat. Katja Mertens, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institut für bakterielle Infektionen und Zoonosen (IBIZ)

Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Katharina Boden, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie

Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Dimitrios Frangoulidis, Institut für Mikrobiologie der Bundeswehr

Priv.-Doz. Dr. rer. nat. Michael R. Knittler, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institut für Immunologie
Dr. rer. nat. Christian Berens, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institut für molekulare Pathogenese

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Anja Lührmann, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Medizinische Fakultät, Institut für Klinische Mikrobiologie, Immunologie und Hygiene

Prof. Dr. med. Silke Fischer, Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart, Abt. 9, Landesgesundheitsamt

Priv.-Doz. Dr. rer. nat. Sebastian Ulbert, Fraunhofer-Institut für Zelltherapie und Immunologie, Leipzig

Prof. Dr. rer. nat.Thomas Dandekar
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Lehrstuhl für Bioinformatik
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Konrad Förstner
TH Köln
Fakultät für Informations- und Kommunikationswissenschaften/
ZB MED – Informationszentrum Lebenswissenschaften
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Köln