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Unit 36: Respiratory Infections

Walter Haas
Stefan Kröger

The unit is responsible for surveillance, monitoring, epidemiological research and development of preventive concepts for respiratory infections. The current focus is on influenza, tuberculosis and legionellosis.

Moreover, the unit advises the expert public and supports the Federal States in the clarification of outbreaks caused by respiratory pathogens.



  • Surveillance and all year up-to-date reporting about acute respiratory diseases on the population level (see also Working Group on Influenza and GrippeWeb)
  • Advice on influenza pandemic planning (in charge of the scientific part of the National Pandemic Plan)
  • Secretariat for the Expert Advisory Board on pandemic Acute Respiratory Infections
  • Recommendations on infection prophylaxis and management


  • Surveillance and regular reporting on the epidemiology of tuberculosis including drug resistance
  • Co-ordination of the national control strategy
  • Support of international contact tracing
  • Advice on mandatory reporting and questions related to contact tracing and risk of infection


  • Surveillance and epidemiological reporting
  • Tracking of national and international disease clusters (ELDSNET)
  • Advice on the mandatory reporting and questions related to the investigation of infection sources

National and international co-operation

  • With universities, non-government organisations (NGOs) and public health institutes
  • With international disease-specific networks as a national contact point for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO)



  • Assessment of the disease burden caused by influenza in Germany
  • Development of an electronic surveillance system for the recording of acute respiratory diseases based on the diagnostic key according to ICD-10 in medical information systems for physicians (interface documentation for AIS providers)
  • Identification of risk diseases, underlying and concurrent illnesses and complications for influenza and community-acquired pneumonia in Germany based on computer-aided surveillance using ICD-10 diagnosis codes
  • Epidemiological analysis of the additional data on influenza A(H1N1)pdm collected during the pandemic
  • Estimate of the influenza excess mortality
  • Monitoring of the efficacy of influenza vaccination against seasonal influenza (vaccination effectiveness)
  • Epidemiology of tuberculosis in special population groups (including senior citizens, children, people with a migration background, population in big cities)
  • Linkage of molecular typing and tuberculosis notification data
  • Analysis of drug resistance patterns for tuberculosis
  • Investigation of the influence of epidemiological factors on the tuberculosis treatment outcome
  • Epidemiology of the HIV/tuberculosis comorbidity in Germany
  • Occurrence, diagnosis and therapeutic success of non-tuberculosis mycobacterial diseases in children

Date: 23.04.2021


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  • Buchholz U, Buda S et al. (2017): Monitoring schwerer Lungenerkrankungen durch Influenza-Infektionen in den Saisons 2012/2013 bis 2014/2015.
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