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Department of Livestock Infectiology and Environmental Hygiene

Head of the Department

The working group of Wolfgang Beyer at the Department of Livestock Infectiology and Environmental Hygiene, the Institute of Animal Science of the University of Hohenheim, has been working as a consultancy laboratory for B. anthracis for more than 20 years, mainly in duty of the veterinary service in Germany, particularly the reference laboratory for anthrax at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute: https://www.fli.de/de/institute/institut-fuer-bakterielle-infektionen-und-zoonosen-ibiz/referenzlabore/nrl-fuer-milzbrand/. This activity includes also the training of laboratory personnel and health care workers.

The group is well established as a cooperation partner for the leading anthrax laboratories in Europe and worldwide. The institute owns a large and still growing culture collection of aerobic endospore forming bacteria of European, Asian, and African origin.


The group is mainly interested in


  • the development and improvement of diagnostic tools for detection of zoonotic bacteria. Special expertise exists in the development and validation of laboratory methods for the detection of Bacillus anthracis from environmental samples, including specimens suspicious to contain spores of intentionally released bacilli.


  • the establishment and improvement of methods for forensic and molecular-epidemiological investigations of outbreaks of zoonotic bacteria. Using these techniques, the group is engaged in the investigation of the endemic anthrax situation in southern Africa.


  • the investigation of the life cycle of members of Bacillus cereus sensu lato in environmental habitats and within living vectors,


  • the development and pre-clinical testing of recombinant vaccines against anthrax, comprising (i) multiple recombinant proteins with various adjuvants, (ii) DNA vaccines, and (iii) live recombinant carrier vaccines,


  • the development and pre-clinical testing of novel therapeutics against anthrax.

  • the role of temperate phages on the life cycle of B. anthracis

  • the usage of lytic phages in decontamination of B. anthracis