Investigations of infectious diseases and zoonoses of predators in Schleswig-Holstein

Project data

Project leader: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert
Scientific work: Miguel Grilo
Project term: October 2013 through December 2015
Sponsorship: Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas of Schleswig-Holstein (Ministerium für Energiewende, Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und ländliche Räume Schleswig-Holstein, MELUR)

Project description

Man and beast are living in ever closer proximity in Germany. Agriculture and forestry, as well as athletic and recreational activities, result in growing use of the natural habitat of wild animals by humans. At the same time, wild animals are spending more time in human settlements. The interface between humans and domestic animals, on the one hand, and wild animals, on the other, is expanding. This leads to increasing relevance of pathogens in wild animals. From the perspective of the “One Health” concept, diseases which can be transmitted between humans and wild animals, so-called zoonoses, are of particular interest. They are caused by microbial agents including viruses, bacteria and parasites.


To learn more about infectious diseases in our native wild animals, the Office of Forestry and Hunting at the Ministry for Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas of Schleswig-Holstein is funding research at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation. This project includes research to assess the prevalence of infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites, and zoonoses in predators of Schleswig-Holstein. Samples from foxes, stone martens and raccoon dogs were examined. The results allow an estimate of the risk potential for hunters when handling predators, and support their work. Further, knowledge obtained from the examinations should allow an evaluation of the incidence of infectious diseases in predators of Schleswig-Holstein.


Photo (Creative Commons-Lizenz): Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Contact person

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum


Prof.Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert

send email