Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz


Acute infections of the central nervous system (CNS), such as bacterial meningitis, are life-threatening diseases that present major challenges for physicians both in terms of diagnosis and therapy. Despite effective antimicrobial therapy and intensive care treatment, many patients either die or suffer permanent neurological and neuropsychological damage following an acute infection. Subacute to chronic neuro-infectious diseases present different challenges, and require sophisticated diagnosis, as well as stamina and vigilance throughout patient care. In our research group, we focus on questions related to different neurological infections, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and intensive care using different in vitro and in vivo models as well as clinical studies.

Research priorities

Acute bacterial meningitis

Acute infections of the CNS can lead to tissue damage, often resulting in permanent neurological disabilities. This damage is the result of a multifaceted destructive cascade, which is triggered by bacterial pathogens and their components. On the one hand, bacteria can have direct toxic effects on the cells of the CNS, whereas on the other, bacterial components activate local and systemic immune responses and inflammatory reactions, which in turn increase tissue damage. The aim of our research is to better understand these processes and thus improve the treatment of patients with neuro-infectious diseases.


Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection in Europe. As a multi-system disease, it affects the skin, joints, and rarely the heart or eye, as well as frequently affecting the nervous system. Usually, the diagnosis and treatment of neuroborreliosis is straightforward, however, rare chronic or atypical disease courses can pose a particular challenge to the physician. Lyme disease is also often discussed incompletely in the mainstream media, which contributes to a confused public perception of the disease. As part of an expert network we organize together with colleagues from the National Reference Center for Borrelia and the Robert Koch Institute, we investigate epidemiological, diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic aspects of neuroborreliosis (Clinical Network Neuroborreliosis).

Cerebrospinal fluid analysis and neurochemistry

Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid is of central importance for the early diagnosis of inflammatory and especially pathogen-related neurological diseases. Our research group works closely with colleagues at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Medical Microbiology (, to investigate laboratory diagnostics of inflammatory, pathogen-related CNS disorders and intensive care. In addition, we host the "Clinical Network Neuroborreliosis" biobank and, as representatives of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Liquordiagnostik und Klinische Neurochemie e.V. (DGLN, we are committed to education in this field with the goal of constantly improving patient care.


- Prof. Bittner, Head of Section: Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology, University Medical Center of Mainz
- PD Dr. Rossmann, Senior Physician, Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medical Center of Mainz
- Dr. Siegel, Senior Physician, Department of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Medical Center of Mainz
- Dr. Volker Fingerle und Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Sing, Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety, Oberschleißheim
- Dr. I. Giotaki, Department of Neurology, Prof. Dr. Dr. Helmut Eiffert, Department of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Medical Center of Göttingen
- Prof. Dr. Roland Nau, Departement of Geriatrics, Evangelic Hospital Göttingen-Weende
- Prof. Dr. Hansotto Reiber, former Department of Neurology, University Medical Center of Mainz Göttingen
- Prof. Dr. Klaus Stark, Dr. Hendrik Wilking, Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin


- Federal Ministry of Health /Robert-Koch-Institute Berlin
- Else-Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung
- Heidenreich von Siebold-Programm der UMG




PD Dr. med. Annette Spreer

Senior physician

Research group

Group Leader
PD Dr. med. Annette Spreer

Department of Neurology
Langenbeckstr. 1
55131 Mainz