Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie

    Molecular epidemiology of invasive bacterial pathogens

    National Reference Laboratory for Meningococci and Haemophilus influenzae

    Through experience in country-wide laboratory surveillance of rare invasive bacterial pathogens Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae, our working group has gained expertise in assessing outbreaks and tracking disease spread. Our services as Reference Centre and Consulting Laboratory for the pathogens N. meningitidis and H. influenzae, respectively, encompass monitoring of resistance, typing of pathogens, and providing advice for professionals in regional laboratories and public health offices. In addition to fulfilling above mentioned tasks, we aim to understand determinants of pathogen spread.
    In the recent years research conducted at our centre has revolved around the following topics:

    • detection and communication of type-specific spatio-temporal aberrations of disease occurrence
    • development, evaluation, and refinement of typing methods
    • description and analysis of spatio-temporal spread behaviour in collaboration with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, the Department of Statistics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and others




    • Schoen, C., Kischkies, L., Elias, J., and Ampattu, B. J. (2014) Metabolism and virulence in Neisseria meningitidis, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, Frontiers Media SA 4.
    • Toval, F., Kohler, C. D., Vogel, U., Wagenlehner, F., Mellmann, A., Fruth, A., Schmidt, M. A., Karch, H., Bielaszewska, M., and Dobrindt, U. (2014) Characterization of Escherichia coli isolates from hospital inpatients or outpatients with urinary tract infection.
    • Waldenburger, S., Vogel, U., Goebeler, M., and Kolb-Maurer, A. (2014) Community-acquired skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus: What is the role of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin toxin.
    • Brehony, C., Trotter, C. L., Ramsay, M. E., Chandra, M., Jolley, K. A., van der Ende, A., Carion, F., Berthelsen, L., Hoffmann, S., Harethardottir, H., Vazquez, J. A., Murphy, K., Toropainen, M., Canica, M., Ferreira, E., Diggle, M., Edwards, G. F., Taha, M. K., Stefanelli, P., Kriz, P., Gray, S. J., Fox, A. J., Jacobsson, S., Claus, H., Vogel, U., Tzanakaki, G., Heuberger, S., Caugant, D. A., Frosch, M., and Maiden, M. C. (2014) Implications of differential age distribution of disease-associated meningococcal lineages for vaccine development, Clin Vaccine Immunol 21, 847-53.


    • Hellenbrand, W., Elias, J., Wichmann, O., Dehnert, M., Frosch, M., and Vogel, U. (2013) Epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease in Germany, 2002–2010, and impact of vaccination with meningococcal C conjugate vaccine, Journal of Infection 66, 48--56.
    • Marcus, U., Vogel, U., Schubert, A., Claus, H., Baetzing-Feigenbaum, J., Hellenbrand, W., and Wichmann, O. (2013) A cluster of invasive meningococcal disease in young men who have sex with men in Berlin, October 2012 to May 2013, Euro surveillance: bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 18.
    • Hoiseth, S. K., Murphy, E., Andrew, L., Vogel, U., Frosch, M., Hellenbrand, W., Abad, R., Vazquez, J. A., Borrow, R., Findlow, J., Taha, M. -K., Deghmane, A. -E., Caugant, D. A., Kriz, P., Musilek, M., Mayer, L. W., Wang, X., Macneil, J. R., York, L., Tan, C. Y., Jansen, K. U., and Anderson, A. S. (2013) A Multi-country Evaluation of Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B Factor H-Binding Proteins and Implications for Vaccine Coverage in Different Age Groups, The Pediatric infectious disease journal 32, 1096--1101.
    • Vogel, U., Taha, M. -K., Vazquez, J. A., Findlow, J., Claus, H., Stefanelli, P., Caugant, D. A., Kriz, P., Abad, R., Bambini, S., Carannante, A., Deghmane, A. E., Fazio, C., Frosch, M., Frosi, G., Gilchrist, S., Giuliani, M. M., Hong, E., Ledroit, M., Lovaglio, P. G., Lucidarme, J., Musilek, M., Muzzi, A., Oksnes, J., Rigat, F., Orlandi, L., Stella, M., Thompson, D., Pizza, M., Rappuoli, R., Serruto, D., Comanducci, M., Boccadifuoco, G., Donnelly, J. J., Medini, D., and Borrow, R. (2013) Predicted strain coverage of a meningococcal multicomponent vaccine (4CMenB) in Europe: a qualitative and quantitative assessment, The Lancet infectious diseases 13, 416--425.


    • Vogel, U., Szczepanowski, R., Claus, H., Jünemann, S., Prior, K., and Harmsen, D. (2012) Ion torrent personal genome machine sequencing for genomic typing of Neisseria meningitidis for rapid determination of multiple layers of typing information, Journal of clinical microbiology 50, 1889--1894.
    • Lâm, T. T., Claus, H., Elias, J., Hellenbrand, W., Imöhl, M., Prelog, M., Sing, A., van der Linden, M., and Vogel, U. (2012) [Infections with pneumococci, menigococci, H. influenzae and diphtheria in Germany: the RKI Reference Network for Invasive Bacterial Infections (IBI) at the 5th Würzburg Workshop on Epidemiology, Prevention and Therapy for Invasive Meningococcal Diseases 2010 (meeting report)], Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Ärzte des Öffentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany)) 74, 747--753.
    • Claus, H., Jördens, M. S., Kriz, P., Musilek, M., Jarva, H., Pawlik, M. -C., Meri, S., and Vogel, U. (2012) Capsule null locus meningococci: typing of antigens used in an investigational multicomponent meningococcus serogroup B vaccine, Vaccine 30, 155--160.
    • Vogel, U., Stefanelli, P., Vazquez, J., Taha, M. -K., Claus, H., and Donnelly, J. (2012) The use of vaccine antigen characterization, for example by MATS, to guide the introduction of meningococcus B vaccines, Vaccine 30 Suppl 2, B73--77.
    • Plikaytis, B. D., Stella, M., Boccadifuoco, G., DeTora, L. M., Agnusdei, M., Santini, L., Brunelli, B., Orlandi, L., Simmini, I., Giuliani, M., Ledroit, M., Hong, E., Taha, M. -K., Ellie, K., Rajam, G., Carlone, G. M., Claus, H., Vogel, U., Borrow, R., Findlow, J., Gilchrist, S., Stefanelli, P., Fazio, C., Carannante, A., Oksnes, J., Fritzsønn, E., Klem, A. -M., Caugant, D. A., Abad, R., Vázquez, J. A., Rappuoli, R., Pizza, M., Donnelly, J. J., and Medini, D. (2012) Interlaboratory standardization of the sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay designed for MATS, a rapid, reproducible method for estimating the strain coverage of investigational vaccines, Clinical and vaccine immunology: CVI 19, 1609--1617.
    • Moremi, N., Mshana, S. E., Kamugisha, E., Kataraihya, J., Tappe, D., Vogel, U., Lyamuya, E. F., and Claus, H. (2012) Predominance of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus -ST88 and new ST1797 causing wound infection and abscesses, Journal of infection in developing countries 6, 620--625.
    • Schaumburg, F., Köck, R., Mellmann, A., Richter, L., Hasenberg, F., Kriegeskorte, A., Friedrich, A. W., Gatermann, S., Peters, G., von Eiff, C., Becker, K., and group, study. (2012) Population dynamics among methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates in Germany during a 6-year period, Journal of clinical microbiology 50, 3186--3192.


    • Lâm, T. -T., Claus, H., Frosch, M., and Vogel, U. (2011) Sequence analysis of serotype-specific synthesis regions II of Haemophilus influenzae serotypes c and d: evidence for common ancestry of capsule synthesis in Pasteurellaceae and Neisseria meningitidis, Research in Microbiology 162, 483--487.
    • Vogel, U. (2011) European efforts to harmonize typing of meningococci, International journal of medical microbiology: IJMM 301, 659--662.
    • Meyer, S., Elias, J., and Höhle, M. (2011) A Space-Time Conditional Intensity Model for Invasive Meningococcal Disease Occurrence, Biometrics.
    • Lâm, T. -T., Elias, J., Frosch, M., Vogel, U., and Claus, H. (2011) New diagnostic PCR for Haemophilus influenzae serotype e based on the cap locus of strain ATCC 8142, International Journal of Medical Microbiology: IJMM 301, 176--179.


    • Elias, J., Schouls, L. M., van de Pol, I., Keijzers, W. C., Martin, D. R., Glennie, A., Oster, P., Frosch, M., Vogel, U., and van der Ende, A. (2010) Vaccine preventability of meningococcal clone, Greater Aachen Region, Germany, Emerging Infectious Diseases 16, 465--472.
    • Claus, H., Matsunaga, W., and Vogel, U. (2010) Molecular discrimination between Neisseria meningitidis serogroups W-135 and Y based on the nucleotide recognition domain sequence of the capsule polymerases, Journal of Clinical Microbiology 48, 3459--3460.


    • Claus, H., Stummeyer, K., Batzilla, J., Mühlenhoff, M., and Vogel, U. (2009) Amino acid 310 determines the donor substrate specificity of serogroup W-135 and Y capsule polymerases of Neisseria meningitidis, Molecular Microbiology 71, 960--971.


    • Reinhardt, M., Elias, J., Albert, J., Frosch, M., Harmsen, D., and Vogel, U. (2008) EpiScanGIS: an online geographic surveillance system for meningococcal disease, International Journal of Health Geographics 7, 33.


    • Claus, H., Elias, J., Meinhardt, C., Frosch, M., and Vogel, U. (2007) Deletion of the meningococcal fetA gene used for antigen sequence typing of invasive and commensal isolates from Germany: frequencies and mechanisms, Journal of Clinical Microbiology 45, 2960--2964.
    • Schrauder, A., Claus, H., Elias, J., Vogel, U., Haas, W., and Hellenbrand, W. (2007) Capture-recapture analysis to estimate the incidence of invasive meningococcal disease in Germany, 2003, Epidemiology and Infection 135, 657--64.
    • Elias, J., and Vogel, U. (2007) IS1301 fingerprint analysis of Neisseria meningitidis strains belonging to the ET-15 clone, Journal of Clinical Microbiology 45, 159--167.


    • Elias, J., Claus, H., Frosch, M., and Vogel, U. (2006) Evidence for indirect nosocomial transmission of Neisseria meningitidis resulting in two cases of invasive meningococcal disease, Journal of Clinical Microbiology 44, 4276--4278.
    • Elias, J., Harmsen, D., Claus, H., Hellenbrand, W., Frosch, M., and Vogel, U. (2006) Spatiotemporal analysis of invasive meningococcal disease, Germany, Emerging Infectious Diseases 12, 1689--1695.