From February 2015 to July 2017 we searched for families to participate in the long-term project. All newborn children from Germany were able to take part in the LöwenKIDS study. The study used to be coordinated by the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Brunswick up until May 2017. The Institute for Medical Epidemiology, Biometry and Informatics (IMEBI) in Halle (Saale) has been responsible for coordination since June 2017.

As parents, you may have already decided to take part in the study during pregnancy. You could also join the study up to three months after the birth of your child. We distributed flyers in many places and personally presented the study during delivery room tours and information evenings in maternity clinics, in childbirth preparation courses and in gynecological practices.

Infancy represents the main phase of the study. Here, with the help of the parents, it is important to record as many infections and their pathogens as possible. This can all be done from home. The process for the participants of the study is as follows:



Whenever a child falls ill, the parents enter the signs of the illness in a prepared table, the LöwenKIDS symptom diary.


If a child has a cold, the parents take a sample from the nose with a special cotton swab and send it to the study team by post.

If a child has diarrhea, the parents send a stool sample to the study team.


In some children we would like to examine the immune system very closely. For this purpose, we invite the parents and their child to have blood drawn at our study center. Participation in the study is also possible without the collection of a blood sample. After the age of six, we will send you and your child questionnaires at longer intervals to find out how the LöwenKIDS are doing. By this phase at latest, your child can also decide for themselves whether they want to continue taking part in the study or not.

This video shows how a nasal swab is performed, as required by the LöwenKIDS study.