Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit - EUPHEM
PD Dr. Werner Ruppitsch
Tel. + 43 50 555 37 251
Description of the institute
The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) is a company of the Republic of Austria, owned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management. AGES was founded on 1st June 2002.
AGES supports the management of the federal ministries and the two federal agencies subordinated to it in questions relating to public health, animal health, food safety, medical and drug safety, food security and consumer protection along the food chain by providing professional and independent scientific expertise (as stated in Article 8 of the Austrian Health and Food Safety Act).
The range of activities undertaken by AGES encompasses the registration and control of agricultural supplies (seeds, plant protection products, feedstuffs etc), food inspections, the prevention and control of animal diseases and infectious diseases in humans, as well as the supervision and registration of pharmaceuticals and medical products. AGES takes an interdisciplinary approach, using bundled, scientifically sound expert knowledge. AGES is the leading expert organisation in risk minimisation in health, food safety, as well as consumer protection and a partner in national and international networks. AGES detects health risks, evaluates and communicates them and develops recommendations for risk minimisation for its two shareholders, the Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs (BMGF) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW).
The Austrian EPIET and EUPHEM training programme provides two training sites:
EPIET - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance, Contact: Daniela Schmid (Training site since 2006)
EUPHEM - Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Contact: Werner Ruppitsch (Training site since 2017)
Both Departments belong to the Institute of Medical Microbiology & Hygiene, Vienna (Head: PD Dr. Alexander Indra), within the Division of Public Health (Head: Prof. Dr. Franz Allerberger). The training sites and training locations offer many opportunities in the field of epidemiology and molecular epidemiology applied to infectious diseases control and prevention in Austria. These tasks involve examinations, diagnoses and assessments for the control of communicable diseases in accordance with the relevant legal provisions, as well as the monitoring and investigation of other communicable and non-communicable infectious diseases:
• The operation of reference centres and a reporting, coverage and coordination system for the monitoring of epidemic diseases, as well as the control of communicable diseases
• The control and prevention of infectious human diseases (including zoonoses), in particular with the assistance of hygienic-microbiological, serological and chemo-physical examinations, the coverage of antibiotics resistances, immunity data and epidemiological basis data, and developing vaccination, therapy and eradication recommendations
• Quality assurance, in particular by developing quality criteria for microbiological laboratories, the validation of in-vitro diagnostics and the assessment of sterilisation, disinfection and cleaning of medical products
• The compiling of data for bathing waters
• The provision of laboratory capacities for crisis and emergency situations
• Professional cooperation with national and international organisations
The Department of Surveillance of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance handles outbreak investigations in co-operation with the appropriate public health authority for example; the district, province or Ministry. However, the majority of outbreaks are recognised initially by the National Reference Centre where appropriate. Surveillance of 51 mandatorily reportable diseases is undertaken which is the main duty of the public health authorities and AGES.
Training and education in intervention epidemiology is done in co-operation with universities. The department has a key role in the ECDC EPIET fellowship programme in addition to a national Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP).
The Austrian EPIET and EUPHEM training programme provides the following training locations in addition to the training sites:
- Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene Graz (Head: PD Dr. Burkhard Springer) within the division of Public Health (Head: Prof. Dr. Franz Allerberger).
- Section of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology at the Medical University Innsbruck, Tyrol (Head: Univ. Prof. Dr. Cornelia Lass-Flörl).The training sites offer many opportunities in the field of epidemiology and molecular epidemiology applied to infectious diseases control and prevention in Austria, few are listed below.
Training opportunities/Training objectives
- Outbreak investigation
- ID Surveillance: Data analysis & Data interpretation
- Introduction/collaboration in data management for the National/European Zoonoses report
- Introduction to biostatistics; sample size calculation, selection procedure, statistical significance tests, regression modeling, standardization methods, survival analysis, spatial analysis (ARC GIS, Regio Graph), time series analysis.
- Study protocol: design, conduct, analysis, interpretation, publication of epidemiological studies.
- Insights in hospital infection control
- Planning of comprehensive Austrian wide surveillance systems
- Using routine data for calculating vaccine coverage
- Public health strategies to increase vaccine coverage
- Molecular microbiology and whole genome sequencing Whole genome sequence based strain typing and strain identification
- Diverse Bioinformatic tools for NGS data analysis
- Clinical Microbiology
EUPHEM - PD Dr. Werner Ruppitsch, Senior Scientist, Dept. of Clinical Molecular Biology, AGES
EPIET - PD Dr. Med. Daniela Schmid, MSc, Head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, AGES
English, German (optional)
- Number of EPIET fellows trained at institute: Eleven
- Number of EPIET Alumni working in the institute: Two