One of the Institute's main tasks is to explore new treatment and prophylactic approaches for infections caused by pathogens associated with biothreats. In biological threat situations, operational forces should be protected against rare pathogens and potential biological weapons through immunisation. For many of these infections, however, there is no effective vaccine available. For most viral diseases there are no immunoglobulins (with expanded indication for passive post-exposure prophylaxis) available and there are only few approved virostatic agents. This is why these research projects identify new immuno- and chemoprophylaxis options as candidates for preclinical testing.
Most of the vaccines used in biological threat situations are investigational new drugs whose efficacy and tolerability, in particular in combination with primary immunisation and chemoprophylaxis, have not been adequately investigated. In these cases, clinical data is gathered and evaluated by monitoring the humoral and cellular immune response after sub-clinical exposure to biological agents and through monitoring as part of immunoprophylactic measures.
Recommendations regarding post-exposure prophylaxis and empirical initial treatment must be based on reliable, standardised data on the resistance of clinical and wild-type isolates. The results from research projects in this area therefore help to improve recommendations for treatment and for carrying out standardised antibiotic sensitivity testing.