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Anthrax: a hidden threat to wildlife in the tropics

Anthrax, a disease so far not associated with tropical rain forests, is common in the Ivory Coast’s Taï National Park and is posing a serious threat to wild­life there. The bacterium could soon even cause the extinc­tion of local chim­panzee popu­lations. This is revealed in a study by an inter­national team led by RKI researchers which is now being published in Nature („Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wild­life mor­tality in a tropical rain­forest“, Nature, 3.8.2017). The results demon­strate the im­portance of long-term studies of infectious diseases and their effects on wild­life. They help to better protect endangered species. At the same time, infections in great apes are often indicators of diseases that can also affect humans. The work high­lights the One Health approach that sees human and animal health as in­timately connected and stresses the need for considering them jointly.

Date: 03.08.2017

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What we do

The Robert Koch Institute is the public health institute in Germany. Around 1,080 people including 450 scientists work here. Learn more about the tasks and projects of the institute’s departments and units.

International Activities

International Activities

The Robert Koch Institute is a global health hub. The institute cooperates closely with partner countries and institution from all over the world in order to investigate pathogens, tackle outbreaks, provide reliable diagnostics, train staff and more.

Health reporting

Health reporting

Robert Koch Institute's federal health reporting continuously informs about the health status of people in Germany - in various reports as well as in the Journal of Public Health (available also in English).

Virus Explorer image database

Virus Explorer image database

The Virus Explorer for diagnostic electron microscopy (DEM) is an offline database by RKI containing images of viruses relevant in infectious diseases of humans. It can be used for diagnostic as well as training and teaching purposes.

History of the Robert Koch Institute

History of the Robert Koch Institute

The Robert Koch Institute is one of the oldest bio­medi­cal re­search institutes in the world. Learn more about its his­tory and its first direc­tor, Robert Koch.

German Centre for Cancer Registry Data

German Centre for Cancer Registry Data

The German Centre for Cancer Registry Data at RKI combines, checks and analyses data from the population-based cancer registries of the German federal states.