Epidemiology conducts research on health and disease at the population level – infection epidemiology is concerned with contagious diseases. Their tools and methods are systematic queries, clinical examinations and laboratory diagnostic documentation for both healthy and afflicted individuals, as well as statistical analysis of the compiled data. Causes and risk factors for infections can thus be identified. Infectious diseases epidemiology contributes to the development of preventive measures, early detection and therapy for diseases. Moreover, it examines the efficacy of such measures. Thus epidemiology ties in with scientific findings in basic research as well as medicine, and examines these processes at the population level.



PD Dr Jördis J. Ott




Nguyen MTH, Krause G, Keller-Stanislawski B, Glöckner S, Mentzer D, Ott JJ. Postmarketing safety monitoring after influenza vaccination using a Mobile Health App: Prospective longitudinal feasibility study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2021;9(5):e26289. doi:10.2196/26289.

Zimmermann R, Kulper-Schiek W, Steffen G, Gillesberg Lassen S, Bremer V, Dudareva S & die Hepatitis-Monitoring-Arbeitsgruppe incl. Ott, JJ [How to assess the elimination of viral hepatitis B, C, and D in Germany? Outcomes of an interdisciplinary workshop]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2021;64(1):77-90. doi:10.1007/s00103-020-03260-2.


Hassenstein MJ, Aarabi G, Ahnert P, Becher H, Franzke CW, Fricke J, Krause G, Glöckner S, Gottschick C, Karch A, Kemmling Y, Kerrinnes T, Lange B, Mikolajczyk R, Nieters A, Ott JJ, Ahrens W, Berger K, Meinke-Franze C, Gastell S, Günther K, Greiser KH, Holleczek B, Horn J, Jaeschke L, Jagodzinski A, Jansen L, Jochem C, Jöckel KH, Kaaks R, Krist L, Kuss O, Langer S, Legath N, Leitzmann M, Lieb W, Loeffler M, Mangold N, Michels KB, Meisinger C, Obi N, Pischon T, Schikowski T, Schipf S, Schulze MB, Stang A, Waniek S, Wirkner K, Willich SN, Castell S. [Self-reported infections in the German National Cohort (GNC) in the context of the current research landscape]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2020;63(4):404-14. doi:10.1007/s00103-020-03114-x.

Nguyen MTH, Ott JJ, Caputo M, Keller-Stanislawski B, Klett-Tammen CJ, Linnig S, Mentzer D, Krause G. User preferences for a mobile application to report adverse events following vaccination. Pharmazie. 2020;75(1):27-31. doi:10.1691/ph.2020.9734.


Horn J*, Hoodgarzadeh M*, Klett-Tammen CJ, Mikolajczyk RT, Krause G, Ott JJ. Epidemiologic estimates of hepatitis E virus infection in European countries. J Infect. 2018;77(6):544-52. doi:10.1016/j.jinf.2018.09.012. (*Equal contribution)

Lemon SM, Ott JJ, Van Damme P, Shouval D. Type A viral hepatitis: A summary and update on the molecular virology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and prevention. Journal of Hepatology. 2018;68(1):167-84. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2017.08.034.

Velkov S, Ott JJ, Protzer U, Michler T. The global Hepatitis B Virus genotype distribution approximated from available genotyping data. Genes. 2018;9(10). doi:10.3390/genes9100495.

Walter F*, Ott JJ*, Claus H, Krause G. Sex- and age patterns in incidence of infectious diseases in Germany: analyses of surveillance records over a 13-year period (2001-2013). Epidemiol Infect. 2018;146(3):372-8. doi:10.1017/S0950268817002771. (*Equal contribution)


Lemon SM*, Ott JJ*, Van Damme P*, Shouval D*. Type A viral hepatitis: A summary and update on the molecular virology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and prevention. J Hepatol. 2017 Sep 5. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2017.08.034 [Epub ahead of print]; *equal contributions

Carrillo-Santisteve P, Tavoschi L, Severi E, Bonfigli S, Edelstein M, Byström E, Lopalco P; … Ott JJ, ECDC HAV Expert Panel. Seroprevalence and susceptibility to hepatitis A in the European Union and European Economic Area: a systematic review. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Oct;17(10):e306-e319. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30392-4. Epub 2017 Jun 20.

Ott JJ, Horn J, Krause G, Mikolajczyk RT. Time trends of chronic HBV infection over prior decades - A global analysis. J Hepatol. 2017 Jan;66(1):48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2016.08.013. Epub 2016 Aug 31.


Ott JJ, Horn J. Changing hepatitis B virus epidemiology in rural China. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Feb;16(2):150. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00545-9. Epub 2016 Jan 26.

Klett-Tammen CJ, Krause G, Seefeld L, Ott JJ. Determinants of tetanus, pneumococcal and influenza vaccination in the elderly: a representative cross-sectional study on knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP). BMC Public Health. 2016 Feb 4;16:121. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-2784-8.


Schweitzer A, Horn J, Mikolajczyk RT, Krause G, Ott JJ. Worldwide prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus infection: Estimations based on a systematic review of data published between 1965 and 2013. Lancet 2015, 386: 1546-55.

Rübsamen N, Castell S, Horn J, Karch A, Ott JJ, Raupach-Rosin H, Zoch B, Krause G, Mikolajczyk RT. Ebola risk perception in Germany, 2014. Emerg Infect Dis 2015, 21: 1012-8.


Ott JJ, Wiersma ST. Single dose administration of inactivated hepatitis A vaccination in the context of hepatitis A vaccine recommendations. Int J Infect Dis 2013; 17:e939-44, doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2013.04.012

Ott JJ, Klein Breteler J, Tam JS, Hutubessy RC, Jit M, de Boer MR. Influenza vaccines in low and middle income countries: A systematic review of economic evaluations. Hum Vaccin Immunother 2013, 9: 1500-11

Winkler V*, Ott JJ*, Cowan M, Becher H. Smoking prevalence and its impacts on lung cancer mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: An epidemiological study. Prev Med 2013; 57: 634-40, doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.08.022 * equal contr.


Ott JJ, Stevens GA, Wiersma ST. The risk of perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission: Hepatitis B e antigen prevalence estimates for all world regions. BMC Infect Dis 2012, 12: 131.

Ott JJ, Irving G, Wiersma ST. Long-term protective effects of hepatitis A vaccines: A systematic review. Vaccine 2012, 31: 3-11.

Ott JJ, Stevens GA, Groeger J, Wiersma ST. Global epidemiology of hepatitis B virus infection: New estimates of age-specific HBsAg seroprevalence and endemicity. Vaccine 2012, 30: 2212-9.


Ullrich A, Ott JJ, Vitoria M, Martin-Moreno JM, Atun R. Long-term care of AIDS and non-communicable diseases. Lancet 2011, 377: 639-40.


Ott JJ, Ullrich A, Mascarenhas M, Stevens GA. Global cancer incidence and mortality caused by behavior and infection. J Public Health (Oxf). 2010, 33: 223-33.

Winkler V, Ott JJ, Becher H. Reliability of coding causes of death with ICD-10 in Germany. Int J Public Health 2010, 55:43-8.

Ott JJ, Paltiel AM, Winkler V, Becher H. Effects of duration of residence and differences between FSU-migrants in two countries. Health Place 2010, 16: 79-84. 


Ott JJ, Ullrich A, Miller AB. The importance of early symptom recognition in the context of early detection and cancer survival. Eur J Cancer 2009, 45: 2743-8 

Ott JJ, Paltiel AM, Becher H. Non-communicable disease mortality and life expectancy of migrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel. A comparison between country of origin and host country. Bull World Health Organ 2009, 87:20-9.

Winkler V, Ott JJ, Holleczek E, Stegmaier C, Becher H. Cancer profile of migrants from the Former Soviet Union in Germany: Incidence and mortality. Cancer Causes & Control 2009, 20: 1873-79.

Ronellenfitsch U, Kyobutungi C, Ott JJ, Paltiel A, Razum O, Schwarzbach M, Winkler V, Becher H. Stomach cancer mortality in two large cohorts of migrants from the former Soviet Union to Israel and Germany: are there implications for prevention? Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol  2009, 21: 409-16.

Ott JJ. Fundamentals of cancer epidemiology. Bull World Health Organ 2009, 87: 644.


Ott JJ, Paltiel AM, Winkler V, Becher H. Chronic disease mortality associated with infectious agents: A comparative cohort study of migrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel and Germany. BMC Public Health 2008, 8:110.

Ott JJ, Winkler V, Kyobutungi C, Laki J, Becher H. Effects of residential changes and time patterns on external cause mortality in migrants: Results of a German cohort study. Scand J Public Health 2008, 36: 524-31.


Becher H, Razum O, Kyobutungi C, Laki J, Ott JJ, Ronellenfitsch U, Winkler V. Mortalität von Aussiedlern aus der ehemaligen Sowjetunion. Ergebnisse einer Kohortenstudie [German]. Dtsch Arztebl 2007, 104 (23):A-1655-1661.



Internship enquiries to the Department of Epidemiology are requested to be addressed directly to Dr. Stefanie Castell.


  • SORMAS - the future of epidemic surveillance

    Epidemiologists and IT experts from Germany and Nigeria have jointly developed an innovative app to help fight epidemics like ebola or cholera - the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS). This video explains why a tool like SORMAS is urgently needed and introduces the unique approach that makes SORMAS so powerful.

  • Fighting epidemics in Nigeria with SORMAS-App

    German scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) in Braunschweig and Nigerian researchers are applying the new mobile information system for the first time to combat a monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria. The monkeypox epidemic has spread since September 2017 and, by now, afflicts 128 patients in 14 federal states in Nigeria. The name of the system, SORMAS, stands for "Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System".

  • MuSPAD - the nationwide antibody study of the HZI on the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 infections

    How many people in Germany have already been infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and how is the pandemic developing? These and other questions are being investigated by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research with the MuSPAD project (Multilocal and Serial cross-sectional Prevalence Study on Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Germany). In different regional samples, blood is taken from selected volunteers and tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
    In the video, HZI scientists explain the study design, as well as the procedure & objectives of the project.

  • How is the HZI contributing to the management of the coronavirus pandemic?

    Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig has focused its research activities on the novel coronavirus. Representative for the diverse research projects at HZI, three scientists present their contributions to coping with the pandemic. Prof Michael Meyer-Hermann is developing mathematical models for the course of the pandemic. Prof Melanie Brinkmann has investigated transmission pathways in a large coronavirus outbreak and shown that the pathogen can be spread via aerosols. Prof Gérard Krause is leading an antibody study to monitor the development of the pandemic and is developing digital tools such as the SORMAS system to support the public health service in pandemic response.

Audio Podcast

  • Staphylococcus aureus – ein Leben in der Nase2000 zufällig ausgewählte Braunschweiger Bürger haben in diesem Juni Post vom HZI erhalten – mit der Bitte, an einer Studie über die Verbreitung von Staphylococcus aureus teilzunehmen. Varianten des Bakteriums sind unter dem Kürzel MRSA als Krankenhauskeime zu trauriger Berühmtheit gelangt. Unsere Wissenschaftler wollen nun erforschen, wie viele Gesunde – außerhalb von Krankenhäusern – mit diesem Keim Leben. Und sie suchen nach Risikofaktoren, die Staphylococcus aureus die Besiedlung des Menschen erleichtern. Begleiten Sie Frank Pessler und Jaishri Mehraj ein Stück in die Welt der Epidemiologie...
  • Proben und Fragebögen für die Infektionsforschung - Die Nationale Kohorte Diabetes mellitus, Krebs, Arterienverkalkung und diverse Infektionen sind Volkskrankheiten, über die wir viel zu wenig wissen. Mit der Nationalen Kohorte wollen Wissenschaftler diesen Krankheiten auf den Grund gehen und neue Strategien gegen sie entwickeln. Frank Pessler und Manas Akmatov nehmen die Infektionen ins Visier. Lassen Sie sich erklären, wie ihnen 225.000 Menschen dabei helfen sollen…
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