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Measles viruses. Source: Gelderblom, colouring: Schnartendorff/RKI

Prevention of infection

The tasks of the Robert Koch Institute include the monitoring of emerging diseases and risk factors in the general population as well as the provision of scientific research. This allows appropriate measures to protect the general public health to be taken in a rapid and effective way. These tasks make the RKI the central institution and the coordination centre for the Federal Ministry for Health for applied and basic research in the areas of

  • infectious diseases, including infection epidemiology
  • epidemiology of non-transmissible diseases.

On this basis, the RKI is in the position to suggest measures for intervention and prevention, to fill gaps in the knowledge and ensure the quality of health screening and care. The RKI takes part in the preparation of guidelines, recommendations and expert opinions for the federal government, the parliament, the scientific sector and other health-related political issues.

An extensive knowledge base is a prerequisite for the above tasks and the RKI ensures that this is up-to-date and continuously extended. Currently, the RKI is responsible for a pilot study to prepare for a complex health survey in children and adolescents between the ages of 0 and 18 years. (

Additional information on these issues are available at the respective German internet section.