Since the end of 2019, a novel virus that can cause respiratory diseases and pneumonia has been spreading worldwide. The pathogen SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the coronavirus family and is closely related to the SARS virus, which caused a pandemic in 2002. Here we will keep you informed about current developments in research and provide answers to the most important questions.

The scientists at the HZI conduct research on numerous aspects of SARS-CoV-2 and the pandemic. They publish their results in high-ranking scientific journals. Here you will find a selection of the research results:

  • Mario Ynga-Durand*, Henrike Maaß*, Marko Milošević et al. SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in the Pulmonary Compartment of Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients Correlates with Viral Serum Load and Fatal Outcomes. Viruses. June 2022. DOI: 10.3390/v14061292 (* contributed equally)
  • Yeonsu Kim, Xiaoyan Zheng, Kathrin Eschke et al. MCMV based vaccine vectors expressing full-length viral proteins provide long-term humoral immune protection upon a single-shot vaccination. Cellular & Molecular Immunology. January 2022. DOI: 10.1038/s41423-021-00814-5
  • Matthias Zimmer, Anuja Kibe, Ulfert Rand et al. The short isoform of the host antiviral protein ZAP acts as an inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 programmed ribosomal frameshifting. Nature Communications, December 2021. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27431-0
  • Daniel Wendisch, Oliver Dietrich, Tommaso Mari et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers profibrotic macrophage responses and lung fibrosis. Cell, December 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.11.033
  • Daniela Gornyk, Manuela Harries, Stephan Glöckner et al. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Germany—a population-based sequential study in seven regions. Dtsch Arztebl Int, November 2021; 118. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0364 (online first)
  • Federico Bertoglio, Viola Fuhner, Maximilian Ruschig et al. SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody selected from COVID-19 patients binds to the ACE2-RBD interface and is tolerant to most known RBD mutations. Cell Reports, July 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109433
  • Chunlei Jiao, Sahil Sharma, Gaurav Dugar et al. Noncanonical crRNAs derived from host transcripts enable multiplexable RNA detection by Cas9. Science, May 2021, DOI: 10.1126/science.abe7106

A complete list of peer-reviewed publications from the HZI on SARS-CoV-2 can be found in the database PubMed


The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that includes a series of very different pathogens. These viruses usually infect mammals, rodents, and birds, but only few coronaviruses adapted to humans. They did this with great success: About one third of all typical "common colds" and some cases of diarrhoea as well are caused by these RNA Viruses, which are the largest of their kind. [more]


Dr Peggy Riese, scientist in the Department “Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology” at HZI, talks in an interview about current developments in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine research. [more]


With your donation to the HZI you directly support innovative coronavirus research projects that contribute to solutions for the containment of the virus and the identification of possible therapies. [more]

Involved research groups

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