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Description of service

The scientific work at the HZI Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology (VAC) includes the elucidation of mechanisms of host responses to infection and vaccination, discovering new adjuvants, and developing and validating vaccines against specific infectious diseases. For this, conventional murine models are ideally suited to perform a cost-efficient screening, selection and prioritization of vaccine candidates. The department features expertise, technology and infrastructure in the fields of adjuvants and formulation. Within the framework of ISIDORe, the HZI-VAC will offer access in the form of pre-clinical studies in the murine system to assess the immunogenicity, safety and efficacy of specific vaccine formulations. The access includes animal housing, caretaking and biotechnical expertise for mouse studies on a vaccine candidate (provided by the user) including sampling and standard immune monitoring to carry out validation experiments of the new vaccine candidate or vaccination strategies of the potential user. The HZI will also provide access to laboratory and animal facilities up to BSL2 (including the gnotobiotic unit) and conventional mice as animal models.


More specifically, the access will comprise:

  1. the purchase of animals, including housing and animal care

  2. support in the area of vaccinology to advice on the experimental design, vaccination protocol and methodology for the immune monitoring;

  3. conduction of immunizations and subsequent monitoring for the appearance of acute side effects;

  4. the sampling of blood and/or organs for the characterization of the immunogenicity of the corresponding formulation;

  5.  performance of standard tests to characterise antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses at both systemic and mucosal territories (e.g., total IgG antibodies and IgG subclasses in sera, secretory IgA, Th responses, CTL, Elispots, cytokines, etc.);

  6. documentation of results for all experiments conducted during the project;

  7. access to raw data;

  8. appropriate conservation and storing of biological samples, if required;

  9. data analysis in collaboration with external users; 

  10. advice and support for legal and ethical requirements, including preparation of applications for animal studies. Each unit of access will correspond to 5-10 animals per immunization group. The number of the animals per group might slightly change depending on the broadness/complexity of the immune monitoring and/or experimental setting.


10-12 weeks - approx. experiment duration; This might be affected by the experimental conditions (e.g., evaluation of memory responses).


Carlos A. Guzman, MD PhD

0049 531 6181 4600

Services do NOT include

Vaccine/antigen production. 

Possible Output

A summary of the results obtained with each formulation will be provided.

Sample Requirements - input of users

Material (i.e. vaccine) suitable for preclinical in vivo immunisation studies and vaccine antigen for the assays will be provided by the user.

Sample Sharing 

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) can also provide samples upon user's request. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact directly HZI.

Upon provider's availability

Lead Scientist

Carlos A. Guzman, MD PhD

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