Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety - Division Animal Health, Unit Electron Microscopy

AGES - Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety

Mödling | Website

Core facility (CF)

Short Description

Main focus of the Core Facility "AGES-Electron Microscopy" at the AGES-Institute for veterinary disease control Mödling, Department of Pathology Center East is the rapid identification of pathogens - mainly of viruses and phages - of infectious diseases by pattern recognition. We support different divisions of the AGES (animal health, public health, food security and food safety) by providing our technology. The Core Facility "AGES Electron Microscopy" is integrated into the routine diagnostic as well as in the applied research of the AGES. Diagnostic activity is performed for public but also for official purposes. Our research and diagnostic activities are based on many years of experience, professional competence and versatility.

The Core Facility (Laboratory BSL 2) is equipped with various large-scale facilities:

1) Transmission electron microscope (Zeiss 906)
2) Scanning electron microscope (XL-20 from FEI),
3) Fluorescence microscope (Nikon Labophot-2),
4) Ultramicrotome (Reichert Ultracut S),
5) Airfuge from Beckman,
6) Embedding machine (Leica EM TP),
7) Sputtering coater (Balzers SCD 050),
8) Critical point dryer (Balzers CPD 030),
9) Class II Safety cabinets

Contact Person

Dr. Susanne Richter

Research Services

Veterinary medicine
Human medicine
Plant health
Biomedicine (analyses of cell cultures and media for virus content)

Research services and orders for diagnostic purposes only after consultation
You are interested in a cooperation - please contact Susanne Richter (

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

All methods used at the core facility are performed under quality controlled conditions. The EM lab of the AGES is accredited in virus diagnosis since 1999. Consequently, within the scope of accreditation in line with EN ISO/IEC 17025 internationally standardised requirements have been placed on the lab, both with regard to its quality management system and to its technical expertise as a unit made up of staff, methodology and equipment, all of which are subject to regular checks and external audits. Since 1995, the lab is participating regularly in tring trials for quality assurance.
The laboratory is listed in the international CDC-list of EM laboratories for "Rapid diagnosis of Emerging Infectious Agents". It is part of the Austrian National Reference Laboratory for notifiable animal diseases in Mödling. The head of the EM-laboratory is the contact person for the NRL Lumpy Skin disease, the NRL Sheep- and Goatpox and for EM diagnostics of the Austrian Emergency plan for human pox diseases.

Methods used for diagnosis and applied research:

1. Electron microscopic pathogen diagnosis with main focus on rapid virus detection:
Material: animal and human suspensions from faeces, intestinal contents, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, fluid from pustules, blood / serum, in special cases also from tissue, from plants and plant products, from cell and bacterial cultures and from solutions for cell culture
Negative staining methods: standard droplet preparation, IEM, ISEM, use of chemical enrichment methods, viral purification by means of ultracentrifugation, interpretation and statistical evaluation of data, image processing by means of an image analysis system

2. Pathogen diagnosis in animal and human tissue:
Methods: chemical fixation, (rapid) embedding in various resins, semi- and ultrathin sectioning, interpretation and statistical evaluation of data, image processing by image analysis system

3. Scanning electron microscope preparation of corresponding objects for the detection of microbial organisms (fungi, bacteria) and for the size analysis of specific inorganic tissue (for example crystalline substances): chemical fixation, chemical drying and critical point drying, gold coating, image processing by means of image analysis system

4. Size measurements of nanoparticles within smaller research projects

Dr. Susanne Richter
AGES - Inst. für Veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen Mödling, Geschäftsfeld Tiergesundheit
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Richter, S.; Z. Bagó, Z.; Schmoll, F. (2017): Lippengrind beim kleinen Wiederkäuer und bei Neuweltkamelen. Klauentierpraxis 25(2): 69-73.

Strenger, V.; Diedrich, S.; Boettcher, S.; Richter, S.; Maritschnegg, P.; Gangl, G.; Fuchs, S.; Grangl, G.; Urlesberger, B. (2016): Nosocomial outbreak of neonatal Human Parechovirus 3 infection. Emerging Infectious Diseases 22(9):1631-1634.

Grausgruber-Gröger, Sabine; Richter, Susanne; Mihić Salapura, J.; Kovačić Jošić, D.; Trkulja, V.; Reisenzein, Helga (2016.): First report of Dasheen mosaic virus in Zantedeschia in Bosnia and Herzegovina. New Disease Reports 33:13.,

Schiefecker, A.J.; Beer, R.; Pfausler, B.; Lackner, P.; Broessner, G.; Kofler, M.; Richter, S.; Allerberger, F.; Muhr, T.; Goris, M.; Helbok, R.; Schmutzhard, E. (2015): Neuroleptospirosis: Aseptic Meningoencephalitis or Invasion into the Central Nervous System? J Neuroinfect Dis s2:001, pp.1-3. ISSN:2314-7326 JNID, doi:10.4172/2314-7326.S2-001,

Richter, S.; Schiefer, P.; Schmoll, F. (2016): Steckbrief Lumpy Skin disease - Rinderpocken in Europa. Klauentierpraxis 24(4):153-158.

Richter, Susanne; Müller, Maria; Posch, Romana; Steinrigl, Adolf; Schmoll, Friedrich (2015): Electron microscopy of leptospirosis in humans - a fast and reliable tool supporting molecular biological and bacteriological diagnostics. MC (Microscopy conference) 2015, 6.-11.9.2015, Georg August University Göttingen, Göttingen/D, Proceedings (DGE_German society for Electron Microscopy e. V.) pp. 725-726.

Richter, Susanne; Revilla-Fernández, Sandra; Schmoll, Friedrich (2015): Parapoxvirusinfektionen beim Kleinen Wiederkäuer und Menschen in Österreich. DVG - Jahrestagung 2015 der Fachgruppe Krankheiten kleiner Wiederkäuer, 19.-20.5.2015, Altes Reithaus in Triesdorf, Landwirtschaftliche Lehranstalten Triesdorf, Weidenbach/D, Abstraktband S79-82. DVG Service GmbH Gießen, ISBN 978-3-86345-250-6,

Bagó, Z., Richter, S., Lassnig, H., Bauer, K., Fasching, B., Schmoll, F. (2014): Pathomorphologische und mikrobiologische Untersuchungen von Ferkeln mit Diarrhoe in steirischen Betrieben. 57. Tagung der Fachgruppe Pathologie der DVG, 08.-09.03.2014, Fulda/D, Abstrakt Tierärztl. Praxis Großtiere 2:A8,V06.

Kirschner, A., Antonitsch, L., Schobesberger, C., Richter, S., Sommer, R. (2014): Occurrence of Vibrio cholerae 01/0139 and non-01/non-0139 lytic phages in Neusiedler See, Austria. 34. Jahrestagung Österreichische Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin (ÖGHMP), 02.-05.06.2014, Bad Ischl/AT, Abstraktband (ISBN-Nr. 978-3-9503828-0-8), p. 52.

Laßnig, H., Bagó, Z., Richter, S., Bauer, K., Fasching, B., Schmoll, F. (2014): First report of Clostridium difficile in Austrian piglets with diarrhea. 6th European symposium of Porcine Health Management (ESPHM), 07-09.05.2014, Sorrento/IT, Proceedings (ISBN 978 88 909753), p. 234.

Kranzelbinder, B.; Binder, B.; Cerroni, L.; Wolf, I.; Aberer, W.; Richter, S.; Krause, R.; Zollner-Schwetz, I. (2014): Kuh, Schwein, Katze, Schaf oder...? – Ein Fall von Kuhpocken. Österr. Infektionskongress, 02.-05.04.2014, Saalfelden/AT, Abstrakt

Richter, S., Bagó, Z., Lassnig, H., Bauer, K., Fasching, B., Schmoll, F. (2014): Detection of viral agents in diarrheic pigs in Austria. 6th European symposium of Porcine Health Management (ESPHM), 07-09.05.2014, Sorrento/IT, Proceedings (ISBN 978 88 909753), p. 170.

▪ Richter, S., Revilla-Fernández, S., Bagó, Z., Gonano, M., Weinberger, H., Schiefer, P., Del Fabro, M., Schmoll, F. (2014): Diagnosis of a severe parapoxvirus infection in an austrian sheep herd, in 2014. International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and surveillance (IMED) 2014, 31.10.-03.11.2014, Vienna/AT, Proceedings Nr. 23.087.

Richter, S., Bagó, Z., Lassnig,, H., Revilla-Fernández, S., Schmoll, F. (2014): Diarrhoe in Österreichischen Ferkeln: Analyse und Maßnahmen. AVID 2014, 17.-19.9.2014, Kloster Banz/D,Tagungsband, pp.23-24.

Richter S. (2013): Electron microscopy in veterinary diagnostics - it is indeed a powerful final resort! 16th intern. Symposium of the World association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (WAVLD 2013). 05.–08.06.2013, Berlin/D, Abstract p. 331.

Richter S., Revilla-Fernández S., Schmoll F. (2013): Parapox infection in Austria: diagnosis and zoonotic Potential - a survey. "From Genetics to Therapy" 40th Annual Meeting 2013 of the Society for cutanous Ultrastructure Research (SCUR), 6th Joint Meeting of the Society for Skin, 12.–14.05.2013, Salzburg/AT, Abstract P-08

Richter, S.; Bagó, Z.; Revilla-Fernández, S.; Weinberger, H.; Schmoll, F. (2013): Toxoplasma gondii detected in wild and captive European woodchuck Marmota marmota), Internat. Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance 2013, 15.-18.02.2013, Wien/AT, Proceedings: 21.059

Richter, S.; Riediger, K.; Nester, A. (2012): A quantitative analytical method for the identification and characterization of mineralized nanoparticles in food supplements. Solid State Phenomena (Trans Tech. Publications, Switzerland, doi:10.4028) 186:28-31.

Bagó, Z.; Vanek, E.; Revilla-Fernández, S., Steiner, Ch., Richter, S. (2012): Toxoplasmose und Staupe als Doppelinfektion bei Füchsen. Parasitologische Fachgespräche 2012 der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Tropenmedizin und Parasitologie, 24.8.2012, Naturhistor. Museum, Wien/AT

Richter, S. (2012): West Nile Fever - Situation in Europe, Pathogenic Issue and Diagnostics. Ultrapath XVI, 06-10.08.2012, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg/D, Proceedings: 113.

Richter, S. (2012): Nanoparticles in Food Supplements - a fast and reliable method based on an international standard. EMC2012, Manchester Central, 16.09.-21.10. 2012, Manchester/GB, Proceedings of the 15th European Microscopy Congress: PS1.5 (pp.1-2.).

Richter, S.; Wodak, E.; Bagó, Z.; Steinrigl, A.; Kalaus, P.; Schmoll, F. (2012): The occurence of pseudorabies in wild boar and hunting dogs in Austria. EMC2012, Manchester Central, 16.09.-21.10. 2012, Manchester/GB, Proceedings of the 15th European Microscopy Congress:LS1.5 (pp.1-2.).

Bagó, Z.; Vanek, E.; Revilla-Fernández, S., Steiner, Ch., Richter, S. (2012): Toxoplasmose und Staupe als Doppelinfektion bei Füchsen. Parasitologische Fachgespräche 2012 der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Tropenmedizin und Parasitologie, 24.8.2012, Naturhistor. Museum, Wien/AT

Hess, C.; Maegdefrau-Pollan, B.; Bilic, I.; Liebhart, D.; Richter, S.; Mitsch, P.; Hess, M. (2011): Outbreak of cutaneous form of poxvirus on a commercial Turkey Farm caused by the species Fowlpox – Case report. Avian Dis. 55: 714-718.

Wodak, E.; Richter, S.; Bagó, Z.; Revilla-Fernández, S.; Weissenböck, H.; Nowotny, N.; Winter, P. (2011): Detection and molecular analysis of West Nile virus infections in birds of prey in the eastern part of Austria in 2008 and 2009. Vet. Microbiol. 149(3-4):358-366.

Hess, C; Mägdefrau-Pollan, B; Liebhart, D; Bilic, I; Richter, S; Mitsch, P; Prokofieva, I; Hess, M (2011): Poxvirus infection on a turkey farm caused by the species fowlpox. 17th Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association; AUG 14-18, 2011; Cancun, Mexiko, Abstract JO 547-550.

Strenger, V.; Lautenschlager, I.; Richter, S.; Schwinger, W.; Ahlqvist, J. Engdahl, E.; Fogdall-Hahn, A.; Aberle, St.-W.; Popow-Kraupp, Th.; Nacheva, E.; Krueger, G.; Urban, Chr. (2011): Detection of HHV-6 antigen and herpesvirus particles in individuals with chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6). 7th International HHV-6&7 Conference, February 28 - March 2, 2011, Reston –Virginia/USA, Abstract

Weinberger, H.; Frei, J.; Urbanke, T.; Richter, S.; Spergser, J.; Köfer, J. (2011): Lung alterations and their aetiology in organic kept sheep. XVth Congress 2011 of the International Society for Animal Hygiene: “Animal hygiene and sustainable livestock production”, 03-07.07.2011, Uni. Vet Vienna, Vienna/AT, In: Proceedings (Köfer, J., Schobesberger, H. eds.), Tribun EU s.r.o. ISBN 978-80-263-0012-0):501-503.

Glatz, M.; Richter, S.; Ginter-Hanselmayer, G.; Aberer, W.; Müllegger, R.R. (2010):Human cowpox in a veterinary student. Lancet Infectious Diseases 10(4):288

Jäger, J.; Pfuetzner, A.; Richter, S.; Künne, S.; Sattler, T.; Schmoll, F. (2010). Suipoxvirus-Infektion bei Läuferschweinen eines Ferkelproduktionsbetriebes - ein Fallbericht. Leipziger Tierärztekongress, 21.-23.01.2010, Leipzig/D, Leipziger blaue Hefte 71(2):5.

Nester, A.; Hofstaedter, D.; Richter, S. (2010): Food and feed based on Nano-Silica - Challenges for Food Safety Authorities. 02.-04.06.2010, Nanotoxicology 2010, Edinburgh/GB, Meeting Programme & Abstracts p.114.

Schmoll, F.; Richter, S.; Jäger, J.; Fischer, L.; Sattler, T.; Winter, P. (2010). Diagnosis of a Swinepox virus infection in a German swine production unit. 21st Intern. Pig Veterinary Society Congress, 18.-21.07.2010, Vancouver/Kanada, Proceedings (eds.: S. D'Allaire, R. Friendship): P587, p. 893.

Strenger, V.; Müller, M.; Richter; S.; Revilla-Fernández, S.; Nitsche, A.; Nattermann, H.; Ellerbrock, H.; Zenz, W. (2009): A 17-years-old girl with a black eschar. Clin. Infect. Diseases 48(1):91-92, 133-134.

Morrow, Chr.J.; Samu, G.; Mátrai, E.; Klausz, Á.; Wood, A.M.; Richter, S.; Jaskulska, B.; Hess, M. (2008): Avian Hepatitis E virus infection and possible associated clinical disease in broiler breeder flocks in Hungary. Avian Pathol. 37(5):527-535.