Project »RespiVir«

Project description

The Covid-19 pandemic has impressively demonstrated that area-wide pathogen testing in combination with infection control is an important tool in outbreak containment. In the Corona pandemic, these methods were and are being used to impose and regulate wide-ranging restrictions on the positive-tested individual (contact restrictions, quarantine, etc.). However, conventional rapid tests only detect pathogen components but do not indicate the presence of infectious pathogens and thus the actual risk of transmission. Tests for the detection of infectious pathogens could significantly reduce the restrictions for those affected and thus also minimize the economic damage caused by outbreaks and pandemics. However, current detection methods for infectious pathogens rely on laborious cell culture and are unsuitable for pandemic control.

Contribution to the mission of the Fraunhofer-Center for Digital Diagnostics

The mission of the center is to develop solutions, technologies and services that enable modern and decentralized diagnostics- and digitally-supported healthcare in areal regions. The timely and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases and the rapid and cost-effective control of their spread are of particular importance. The goal of the RespiVir project is to develop rapid and broadly applicable detection methods for infectious virus particles that can contribute to a more demand-oriented and economically viable pandemic response in future pandemic situations (also outside Covid-19). The connection of such procedures to a digital infrastructure should also promote an assessment of the pandemic situation and the control of countermeasures in real time. For implementation, the RespiVir project bundles the relevant competencies of all three core institutes of the Center for Digital Diagnostics, IZI, IZI-BB, and IESE, in an interdisciplinary project team.


The RespiVir project pursues the vision of a more demand-oriented and economically viable infection control and pandemic response. The method to be developed for the rapid detection of infectious viral pathogens is initially to be developed as a laboratory method and is thus assigned to the "Professional Testing" program of the Fraunhofer-Center for Digital Diagnostics. If successful, further development as a point-of-need test for doctors' offices, testing centers, or decentralized health kiosks would be reasonable.