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Leibniz Research Alliance
INFECTIONS in an Urbanizing World - Humans, Animals, Environments

Improved hygiene and better prevention and treatment have diminished the incidence of infectious diseases particularly in industrialised countries. However, increasing antibiotic resistance, emergence of new pathogens, together with changes in pathogen distribution due to altered climate and mobility are global challenges for humankind. The Leibniz Research Alliance (LRA) INFECTIONS aims to establish an interdisciplinary research agenda and opens up new avenues of communication across disciplines. New strategies and methods for early warning and outbreak management systems will be developed to control spread of pathogens.


  • Welcome to the team! New associated project in the Leibniz Research Alliance

    Since May, 31 we can be pleased about a new associated project in our alliance:


    More than 2 million children globally live with HIV, 90% of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Vitality is an EDCTP (European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership) funded clinical study in Zambia and Zimbabwe analysing the effect of vitamin D supplementation on health improvement of HIV-positive children.


  • Bacterial community signatures reveal how cities urbanize water sources

    Press Release of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fishery (IGB) , 25.07.2022 

    Bacterial communities are often well adapted and stable in a particular environment whether it be a human mouth or a lake. Humans are altering environments at an increasing rate, none more so than in cities and their surroundings in the process of urbanization. In a study published today in the journal “Science of the Total Environment“, led by scientists from IGB and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) as part of the Leibniz Research Alliance “Infections”, bacterial communities were examined in urban water bodies and wastewater in Berlin and compared to less anthropogenically influenced lakes from surrounding rural regions. The results reveal that urbanization introduces large amounts of nutrients, chemical pollutants and antimicrobial products, and thereby changes the makeup of the microbiome by favouring groups of bacteria that contain human pathogenic bacteria, with yet unknown consequences for ecosystem functioning and human and animal health.

  • German and Austrian deer thus far spared SARS-CoV-2 infections, unlike in North America

    Press Release of the Leibniz-Institut für Zoo- und Wildtierforschung (IZW) im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., 31.03.2022 13:40

    In North America, SARS-CoV-2 has spread from humans to white-tailed deer. The deer are now considered SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs and may even spill virus back to humans. A science team headed by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Charité have now shown that in Germany and Austria this has not happened as all deer tested were negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The research is reported in the journal “Microorganisms” in a special issue on Viruses of Wild Mammals.


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Prof. Dr. Ulrich E. Schaible
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T +49 4537 188 6000
Dr. Susanne Pätzold
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T 04537 188 5840
Public Relation
Britta Weller
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T 04537 188 2870

Dr. Anna Holst
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center (FZB)
T 04537 188 2690