Research Projects (Third party funds)


Integrated DZIF Infection Cohort within the German National Cohort

ZIFCO_und_Klima590x260.jpg©HZI/CastellZIFCO aims at making use of the infrastructure and data generated as part of the German National Cohort (GNC) adding current eHealth developments for translational infection research in Germany.
We prospectively investigate risk factors for acute respiratory, gastrointestinal and urogenital infections, as well as the susceptibility for such infections. Inversely, we will study to what extend acute infections and susceptibility for these may be a risk factors for the acquisition of non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases).

To avoid recall bias, ensure close observation of study participants and timely sampling of biospecimen, we offer the „Prospective Monitoring and Management App" (PIA) to the study participants to be used on mobile or stationary digital devices such as smart phones or PC. Through PIA we will assure sample collection from individuals with respiratory infections at an early stage of the disease, ensuring sensitive detection of viruses. The analysis will include influenza virus A/B, parainfluenza virus 1-4, RSV, adenovirus, rhinovirus, and human metapneumovirus. We also use PIA to collect information on travel, vaccination, medication and usability of the application.

ZIFCO complements the comprehensive programme of in-depth physical examinations and biospecimen collections already performed within the standard programme of the German National Cohort.

The recruitment of study participants started at the GNC study centre in Hannover in 2019.

Study centre 

Hannover (See also:

For further (participant) information, see 


Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF)
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)


  • Dr Stefanie Castell

    Deputy Head of Department Epidemiology and Scientist


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