Isabella Eckerle

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Webinar: Avian influenza (H5N1) in dairy cattle in the USA, 28.05.2024

In response to the news of the detection of avian influenza (H5N1) in dairy cattle in the USA, an online information event (in German) is being organised to provide interested and concerned members of the public with up-to-date information on the situation and an opportunity for questions and answers. The event is open to all interested parties and is organised by the Multidisciplinary Centre for Infectious Diseases (University of Bern) and the Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases (University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospitals).

You can register here to take part in the event




Dear all,

Please “Save the date” on April 24th at 2 pm at the CMU – Auditoire Boymond (B02.2226), 2 e étage, bâtiment B, come to listen to the public lecture by Professor Isabella Eckerle as part of her promotion to the position of Full Professor in the Academic Departments and Hospital of Medicine.

The title of her lecture will be : “Emerging zoonotic viruses : Challenges at the interface of public health, diagnostics and translational research».

Possibility to follow the lesson via the Zoom link: 

CoViNet - for CoronaVirus Network: A global network for the detection and monitoring of coronaviruses worldwide.

We are pleased to announce that the Center for Emerging Viral Diseases of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI ) and the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern (UNIBE), have joined the global CoViNet network. This international research network, launched by the World Health Organization(WHO) and operational in 20 countries, aims at the early detection, analysis and surveillance of coronaviruses on a global scale.

CoViNet members met in Geneva on March 26 and 27, 2024 to establish their strategic priorities and coordinate their actions. For more information, please consult the following press releases.

  • HUG press release here.
  • UNIGE press release here.

NEWSLETTER of the CVED 1/2024

Dear colleagues and friends of our Centre,

2023 has been a remarkable year, marked by many achievements in our quest to combat emerging viral threats. 
We invite you to go through the pages of this "Newsletter", where you will find a compilation of highlights that encapsulate the essence of our Centre's mission and vision. 
We look forward to a future filled with collaboration, discovery and transformative impact. 
Thank you once again for your continued support.
Happy reading on behalf of the Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases.

Seminar organised jointly by the Centre for Vaccinology and the Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases, with the exceptional participation of Prof. Kanta Subbarao, december 6th 2023.

We are delighted to welcome Prof. Kanta Subbarao, who will talk about "SARS-CoV-2 biology, antivirals and vaccines". (Conference in English):

Wednesday 6 December 2023 | 11.00 am
CMU - rooms S4/S5 (C02.1538.A)
, 2nd floor, old building.

You can follow the seminar via the Zoom link

Prof.  Kanta Subbarao is the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Influenza and Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute. She is a physician scientist whose research is focused on newly emerging and re-emerging viral diseases of global importance including pandemic and seasonal influenza and corona viruses. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Coffee & Learn December 5th 2023.

We are pleased to inform you that Dr Manel Essaidi-Laziosi has been invited to the next Stemcell Coffee & Learn workshop on December 5th 2023 - Lung Organoid Models -Tools and Applications.
Dr Essaidi-Laziosi will talk about : "Study of respiratory virus-virus and virus-host interactions human airway epithelia".

Event Details Date: December 5th, 2023
Location: Room D60, Centre Medical Universitaire, University of Geneva
Free Registration here.

Conference "Individual and population immunity to respiratory viruses“, organized by HKU University from Nov 8-10, 2023  in Hong Kong.

Our work was presented as an invited lecture at the Conference "Individual and population immunity to respiratory viruses“, organized by HKU University from Nov 8-10 in Hong Kong, by Prof. Isabella Eckerle with the title "Antibodies at the frontline - studying mucosal immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses“. Prof. Isabella Eckerle was also part of the scientific committee. The program can be found here:

immunity hk IE.jpg

Distinct phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 in human primary cells but no increased host range in cell lines of putative mammalian reservoir species

The centre is pleased to share the recently published work on SARS-CoV-2 VOCs conducted by Dr M. Essaidi-Laziosi, Dr F. Pérez-Rodriguez and other members from Eckerle’s research group, in collaboration with Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute and Institute of Virology Charité, in Germany, and University of the Western Capeand Stellenbosch University, in South Africa .

This work showed a better adaptation of VOCs and especially Omicron towards human but no extended zoonotic host range. It also highlights the relevance of such investigation using cell culture models to assess the replicative capacity of newly emerging variants and their potential zoonotic reservoirs and risks of reverse zoonosis.

Article link.

Rapid assessment of Antigen-Based Rapid Test for Omicron EG.5-derived lineages

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants such as the recently observed Omicron EG-5 variant and its descendants raise questions about the ability of Antigen-based rapid tests to detect them. In this report, we provide a short assessment using retrospective samples, showing that these variants can still be detected with a comparable sensitivity to earlier variants.

Link to report.

Retreat of the center for viral and emerging diseases and center for vaccinology on 12th and 13th October 2023.

The Faculty and Hospital Centres for Vaccinology and Emerging Viral Diseases organised their first joint retreat to strengthen their links and stimulate the many research projects and complementary activities that link these two Centres, including research, clinical activities and high-level expert activities for WHO.

In all, more than 40 researchers, technicians, clinical doctors and project coordinators came together to present their projects and give an overview of existing technical capabilities and infrastructures. Workshops focused on future synergies between the two centres and areas of research.

Through a series of presentations and workshops, the retreat provided an opportunity to forge new links between the teams, foster synergies and collaborations, and highlight the unique skills of the two centres : translational research, optimizing patient care and contributing to public health.

This event, which we hope to hold again in the near future, will bring together a large number of groups from our faculty working in the field of immuno-vaccinology, infections and viral diseases.

Magnifique retraite CMVE VACCINO.jpg


The World Health Organization WHO and Geneva University Hospitals (Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases), formalized the designation of the University Hospital Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases as a WHO collaborating centre for epidemic and pandemic diseases (07.06.2023).

Communiqué de presse

Cérémonie HUG-OMS--2.jpg



The 16th International Symposium on Nidoviruses, organized by the Center for Emerging Viral Diseases, the Institute of Infectious Diseases (IFIK) and the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) of the University of Berne, was held from May 14 to 18, 2023 in Montreux ( Over the course of 5 days, more than 300 researchers from all over the world engaged in exciting discussions during lectures and interesting poster sessions on the biology of nidoviruses, their interaction with their host, their transmission, and new vaccine and drug approaches against this family of viruses. Speakers included Maria van Kerkhove (WHO, Switzerland), Christian Drosten (Charité Hospital, Germany), Ralph Baric (University of North Carolina, USA) and Kanta Subbarao (Doherty Institute, Australia). A special episode of the This week in Virology podcast was recorded and is available at



Our work has been awarded!

1st Prize of the Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases/Swiss Academic Foundation for Education in Infectious Diseases Award in the Category “Clinical research in infectious diseases” (2022) for our publication "Infectious viral load in unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals infected with ancestral, Delta or Omicron SARS-CoV-2" by Olha Puhach et al., published in Nature Medicine in April 2022!

The prize ceremony was held during the annual meeting of the SSI on September 22nd, 2022 in Interlaken.


More news on our work in can be found in the press release form Unige!