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Unit 31: Infectious Disease Data Science Unit

Hermann Claus
Göran Kirchner

The main tasks of unit 31 'Data Management' of Department 3 include the administration and editing of all infection-related epidemiological data (e.g., surveillance data regulated by the Protection against Infection Act (IfSG) and the Transfusion Law (TFG), Sentinels, ...)


  • Technical supervision of the network responsible for the transmission of the IfSG-imposed surveillance data

    • Administration of the data base at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
    • Import and maintenance of the surveillance data
    • Support of the Public Health Sector
  • Editing of the surveillance data for publication

    • for routine analyses, for instance in the epidemiological bulletin or disease- or pathogen-specific semi-annual or annual reports,
    • for the development of web applications allowing the access of current data on the internet
    • for the development of outbreak detection algorithms

  • Modelling in context of Public Healthcare:

    • Creation of models for considering specific epidemiologic issues, especially concerning pandemic influenza preparedness planning
    • Evaluation of external, modelling related policy recommendations
    • Appraisal of anthropogeographic or demographic parameters as well as analysis of social and demographic activities and their intergration an the modelling context

  • Further development of the SurvNet@RKI, application, which serves to manage the IfSG-generated data at the RKI, the State Health Authorities as well as a number of local health authorities, in collaboration with the company picoware
  • Definition of the protocol for the exchange of surveillance data between local and State Health Authorities, and the RKI
  • Development of interfaces for data collection as well as data analysis in different projects, for instance data management for the BMBF project "Emerging Foodborne Pathogens in Germany" at the RKI
  • Editing of the IfSG-imposed surveillance data for further communication in a European context
  • Providing advice to other units regarding study design and statistics
  • Maintenance and further development of several other databases at the RKI
  • Maintenance of the database server

Date: 01.01.2018


  • Fähnrich C, Denecke K, Adeoye OO, Benzler J, Claus H, Kirchner G et al. (2015): Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management System (SORMAS) to support the control of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa.
    Euro Surveill. 20 (12): pii=21071. more

  • Diercke M, Benzler J, Schöneberg I, Mücke I, Altmann D, Claus H, Gilsdorf A; Mitarbeiter der Abteilung für Infektionsepidemiologie (2014): Falldefinitionen für die Surveillance meldepflichtiger Infektionskrankheiten in Deutschland, Ausgabe 2015.
    Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 57 (9): 1107-1110. Epub Aug 6. doi: 10.1007/s00103-014-2023-3. more

  • Benzler J, Kirchner G, Diercke M, Gilsdorf A (2014): Das Projekt DEMIS – Konzeptionelle und technische Vorarbeiten für ein elektronisches Meldesystem für den Infektionsschutz.
    Der Hygieneinspektor 16 (2): 20–29. more

  • Bayer C, Remschmidt C, an der Heiden M, Tolksdorf K, Herzhoff M, Kaersten S, Buda S, Haas W, Buchholz U (2014): Internet-based syndromic monitoring of acute respiratory illness in the general population of Germany, weeks 35/2011 to 34/2012.
    Euro Surveill. 19 (4): pii=20684. more

  • Haller S, Eckmanns T, Benzler J, Tolksdorf K, Claus H, Gilsdorf A, Abu Sin M (2014): Results from the first 12 months of the national surveillance of healthcare associated outbreaks in Germany, 2011/2012.
    PLoS ONE 9 (5): e98100. Epub May 29. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098100. more

  • Bernard H, Höhne M, Niendorf S, Altmann D, Stark K (2013): Epidemiology of norovirus gastroenteritis in Germany 2001–2009: eight seasons of routine surveillance.
    Epidemiol. Infect.: Epub Mar 21. doi: 10.1017/S0950268813000435. more

  • Werber D, Hille K, Frank C, Dehnert M, Altmann D, Müller-Nordhorn J, Koch J, Stark K (2013): Years of potential life lost for six major enteric pathogens, Germany, 2004–2008.
    Epidemiol. Infect. 141 (5): 961-968. Epub 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1017/S0950268812001550. more