The AGES Institute for Veterinary Disease Control Mödling has been a centre for animal health since 1910: established as ”k.k. Tierimpfstoffgewinnungsanstalt” (the Imperial Institute for Animal Vaccine Isolation) and expanded to become the Federal Agency for Veterinary Disease Control, this institute was the foundation of Austria’s present excellent animal health situation. The current Institute for Veterinary Disease Control is the flagship institute of the AGES Division of Animal Health: the task of this division is to maintain animal health and ensure the full productivity of livestock, with the resulting guarantee of excellent animal-based foods.
The institution celebrated its 102nd anniversary on 15th June, 2012 and a celebratory event was held with high-ranked representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Province of Lower Austria, the veterinary community, the University and the veterinary authorities.
Reference Laboratory and “Diagnostics Cluster”
The modern dissecting room and the establishment of the Centre of Pathology East, as well as cooperation with the Lower Austrian Landeskliniken Holding and the Federal Ministry of National Defence, have made it possible to set up a “diagnostic cluster” with the highest scientific standards.
The institute in Mödling is a National Reference Laboratory for most infectious animal diseases and responsible for the diagnosis of all infectious animal diseases, in particular zoonotic pathogens with animal carriers (pathogens that can be transmitted from animals to humans), as well as for pathogens jeopardising livestock and animal protection (e.g. tuberculosis, brucellosis, influenza, BSE, bluetongue disease etc.). Thus, 347,838 tests were carried out on 198,793 samples (both from official and private sources) in 2011.
The institute’s applied scientific activities focus on both new infectious agents (e.g. the Schmallenberg virus) and temporal and spatial clustering of known pathogens (e.g. bird flu, West Nile virus, hepatitis E virus, and mycobacteria), as well as pathogens with new properties (e.g. animal-based influenza viruses). The institute’s staff members often work across disciplines and cooperate with national and international partner institutes, as well as universities, to fulfil their tasks successfully.
Moreover, the institute in Mödling assists in the surveillance of cross-border transportation and trade in animals, animal products and animal-based food through its import and export inspections and over 100 accredited examination methods -- thus, making a significant contribution to the competitiveness of the Austrian food and agricultural industry and securing national and international market shares for local products.