The Philipps-University Marburg (PUM) was founded in 1527 and homes today more than 20.000 students. Infection biology is a scientific focus of the Philipps-University. The Institute of Virology is responsible for the routine virus diagnostics of the Marburg University Hospital, for diagnostics of imported tropical diseases and for the investigation of suspected bioterror samples. Moreover, the eight research groups of the Institute of Virology investigate replication and pathogenesis of highly pathogenic viruses.
The Institute of Virology has a long tradition in research with highly pathogenic viruses that goes back to the initial outbreak of Marburg virus in 1967. Since then, the Institute focused its research on filoviruses and other viruses causing hemorrhagic fevers like arenaviruses. During the SARS outbreak in 2003 the Institute of Virology was involved in the outbreak investigations and contributed to the identification and characterization of the new coronavirus.
Within the EVIDENT project Philipps-University Marburg investigates the functional significance of mutations in the genome of Ebola virus that occurred during the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. Using the modern BSL-4 laboratory of the Philipps-University, recombinant viruses will be analyzed that carry one or a combination of the detected mutations to understand their function in virus replication.