For many years there has been close collaboration in a variety of fields between the University of Bern, the Federal Veterinary Office (now Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO) and the IVI. The collaboration in the fields of virology and immunology is being increased and structurally grounded by bringing together a university institute with a federal administrative unit.

This new merger of the Institute of Veterinary Virology (IVV) of the Vetsuisse Faculty Bern and the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) will enable us to make the most of synergies and substantially reinforce research activities.

The IVI, with sites in Mittelhäusern and Bern, will offer high-quality teaching in virology and immunology at the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern. The curriculum for these subjects will be coordinated within the entire faculty.

In the spirit of the “one health” concept, the main focus of research will be on virus infections that pose a threat to both animals and humans (zoonoses). Here the IVI will engage in research not only on classical pathogens of viral epizootic diseases, but also on newly emerging viruses. Through characterization of the immune system of farm animals, especially their immune response to virus infections, the basic framework will be created for controlling animal diseases and zoonoses. This knowledge can be specifically used for the control of animal diseases and zoonoses. Thus the development of effective and reliable vaccine platforms will represent an important element of the new IVI.