Prof. Esther Schnettler's independent research group investigates the interaction of viruses and mosquitoes at the molecular level. In the safety insectarium, she is investigating which factors influence vector competence: for example, the immune system of mosquitoes or co-infections with other viruses (e.g. insect-specific viruses that cannot be transmitted to humans). The research group uses its results to develop new methods to reduce the transmission of arboviruses by mosquitoes.
World Mosquito Day
On 20 August 1897, the British tropical physician Sir Ronald Ross proved that the malaria parasite is transmitted by female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. In doing so, he not only revolutionised malaria research and control. His findings are still fundamental today for understanding epidemics that originate from insects. In 1902, Ross was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.
The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) is Germany's largest institution for research, care and teaching in the field of tropical and emerging infectious diseases. Current research focuses on malaria, hemorrhagic fever viruses, immunology, epidemiology and clinic of tropical infections as well as mechanisms of virus transmission by mosquitoes. For handling highly pathogenic viruses and infected insects, the institute has laboratories of the highest biological safety level (BSL4) and a safety insectarium (BSL3). BNITM includes the national reference center for the detection of all tropical infectious agents and the WHO collaborating center for arboviruses and hemorrhagic fever viruses. Together with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health and the University of Kumasi, it operates a modern research and training center in the West African rainforest, which is also available to external working groups.