Institute for Veterinary Disease Control, Mödling

Core functions and capabilities

The Institute for Veterinary Disease Control, Mödling, acts as National Reference Laboratory for a wide range of animal diseases, focusing primarily on diseases that endanger the health of livestock or humans, and it is responsible for fulfilling statutory tasks arising from national and European legislation. In addition, the Institute processes and analyses samples from farm, wildlife, and domestic animals submitted by private-sector clients. The results obtained are used by AGES divisions (Data, Statistics & Risk Assessment) and the Federal Ministry of Health to carry out risk analyses and develop surveillance programs or early warning systems, serving as the data base for disease prevention and control in Austria. The Institute for Veterinary Disease Control, Mödling, is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and runs Austria’s only high-security veterinary laboratory.

We constantly strive to further improve quality standards, establish, optimise, and evaluate testing procedures, and expand our knowledge through research projects, monitoring studies, and other programs. In our role as National Reference Laboratory and testing laboratory and out of scientific interest, we maintain close ties to universities and national and international organisations in our area of specialisation. The Institute for Veterinary Disease Control, Mödling, acts as a training centre for official veterinary surgeons in public office and for students at the Wiener Neustadt Advanced Technical College for Economics, Technology, Health, and Safety (School for Biomedical Analytics).

Services at a glance

Diagnostic testing carried out as required by Austrian law:
Activities performed in our role as National Reference Laboratory:

  • Testing of brain samples of perished or slaughtered cattle for BSE, identity determination of cattle
  • Testing of small ruminants for scrapie, genotyping of the prion protein in small ruminants
  • Testing for chronic wasting disease (CWD; transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) in free-living red deer and fenced deer)
  • Testing for brucellosis: National Reference Laboratory (veterinary medicine) and National Reference Centre (human medicine)
  • Testing cattle, fenced deer, and red deer for tuberculosis
  • Testing for bovine herpes virus (BHV)-1 (IBR/IPV) and enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL)
  • Testing for avian influenza (AI), Newcastle disease (ND), and psittacosis (chlamydiosis)
  • Testing for Bluetongue virus (BTV)
  • Testing cattle for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and small ruminants for Borna disease (BD)
  • Diagnosis of rabies (in both animals and humans), determination of anti-rabies antibody levels in small animals
  • Testing for various diseases in pigs, e.g., Teschovirus encephalomyelitis (enterovirus encephalomyelitis, Teschen disease), classical swine pest (CSP), Aujeszky’s disease
  • Testing for glanders, infectious anaemia of solipeds, and dourine
  • Testing for foot and mouth disease (BSL 3+), vesicular stomatitis, swine vesicular disease, cattle pest, pest of small ruminants, sheep and goat pox, lumpy skin disease, African horse sickness, African swine fever, lung pest, and Rift Valley fever
  • Participation in and organisation of national ring tests, participation in international ring tests, provision of expert advice, provision of information to national laboratories, and cooperation with EU Community Reference Laboratories

Additional statutory activities:

  • Testing for various pathogens in swine: influenza viruses (e.g., pandemic H1N1), viruses causing transmissible gastroenteritis, parvoviruses, and leptospirae
  • Testing for anthrax and tularaemia
  • Testing for West Nile virus in horses in birds
  • Detection of salmonellae based on the Poultry Hygiene Regulation
  • Diagnosis of smallpox (particularly human smallpox)
  • Microbiological meat testing, testing for inhibitors and chloramphenicol
  • Testing for viral and bacterial diseases within the framework of the Zoonoses Directive
  • Carrying out surveillance programs for pathogens occurring throughout the EU (e.g., AI, IBR, BTV, etc.)
  • Performing automated mass examinations for various pathogenic microorganisms
  • Animal transport examinations (import, export, market, and auction market examinations)
  • Maintenance of in-house databases enabling epidemiological studies on the occurrence of animal diseases in Austria

Additional tests and activities:

  • Dissection of animal bodies and organs
  • Bacteriological testing of swab and organ samples
  • Resistance testing of isolated pathogens
  • Molecular biologic analyses (classical PCR, real-time PCR, RFLP, sequencing, genotyping, phylogenetic analyses)
  • Serological detection of bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens causing disease in animals
  • Histological, scanning electron microscope, and transmission electron microscope examinations, including immunohistochemical and immunocytochemical procedures
  • Particle size measurements using electron microscopy
  • Parasitological assessments
  • Virus isolation from egg and cell culture
  • Establish, validate, warehouse, and make available cell cultures for AGES-internal purposes
  • Provision of advice and support to practicing veterinary surgeons, cooperate with authorities and animal health services

All of our laboratory procedures are subject to quality assurance processes. Since 2000, the Institute for Veterinary Disease Control, Mödling, has been accredited according to EN ISO/IEC 17025, PSID No. 199.

For more information, please go to Core functions, Science & Information.

Contact details

Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety – AGES
Institute for Veterinary Disease Control, Mödling
Robert Koch-Gasse 17
A-2340 Mödling

Phone: +43 (0) 505 55-38112 (general enquiries)
Fax: +43 (0) 505 55-38108

Opening hours and sample acceptance

Monday to Friday: 7 am to 4 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 11 am
BSE samples: Monday to Saturday, around the clock
Suspected disease outbreaks: around the clock, advance notice required


Head of Institute:
AO Univ.-Prof. Dr. Friedrich Schmoll,  Phone: +43(0)505 55-38200

Department of Pathology:
Dr. Zoltán Bagó (Specialist Veterinary Surgeon for Pathology) Phone: +43(0)505 55-38260

Department for BSE:
Dr. Hermann Schildorfer Phone: +43(0)505 55-38300 

Department of Bacteriology:
Dr. Erwin Hofer (Specialist Veterinary Surgeon for Clinical Laboratory Diagnostics) Phone: +43(0)505 55-38210

Department of Virology and Electron Microscopy:
Unit Virology, Head of the department:
Dr. Eveline Wodak Phone: +43(0)505 55-38230
Electron Microscopy Unit:
Dr. Susanne Richter  Phone: +43(0)505 55-38400

Department of Molecular Biology:
Dr. Sandra Revilla-Fernández Phone: +43(0)505 55-38320

Department of Serology:
Dr. Michaela Eichinger Phone: +43(0)505 55-38280

High-Security Laboratory:
Dr. Roland Silber Phone: +43(0)505 55-38201 or +43(0)1 8021212 10

Quality Management:
Dr. Gudrun Lapan Phone: +43(0)505 55-38212

Dr. Petra Winter

Address: 2340 Moedling, Robert Koch Gasse 17

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