Influenza database EpiFlu™ facilitates global cooperation in the fight against influenza pathogens

The influenza database EpiFlu™ is of global importance and has been operated by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) since 2011. The database is intended to help accelerate the development of vaccines for use in human or veterinary applications and is therefore of equally great importance for both veterinary medicine and human medicine.

Scientists from over 180 countries enter genetic and epidemiological information on influenza viruses, and in particular on new or little-explored pathogens, in the database; there is no charge for the service and the database is freely accessible. The success of EpiFlu™ is based on the global networking which is making research increasingly effective and which enables safety measures to be developed before pathogens can spread on a global scale. The international symposium hosted by the BLE in Bonn on 11 October 2011 gave scientists and participants from around the world an opportunity to exchange their views on options for action and use of the database and was also designed to encourage other partners to become involved.

Influenza researchers joined together in 2006 to form the so-called GISAID Initiative (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data) in order to analyse available data on influenza pathogens jointly and in close cooperation. The corresponding influenza database was jointly developed by the GISAID Foundation, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute for Animal Health (FLI), the Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik (MPII) and the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).

In April 2010, State Secretary Dr. Robert Kloos and GISAID President Peter Bogner paved the way for the database to be operated by the BLE by signing a cooperation agreement between the former Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) and the international GISAID Foundation.


© Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture