Laboratory diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2

The Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) offers the latest laboratory diagnostics for the detection of infections with the SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). These diagnostics include both virus detection by PCR and indirect antibody detection. Further information/ request form

Entrepreneurs and citizens can find the services for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics on the website of the Bernhard-Nocht-Ambulanz.

Examination material from patients can also be collected by the treating physician:

  • Respiratory material is required for the PCR examination, preferably from throat and nose swabs. Sputum is also possible, however.
  • For the smears, sticks with a flexible shaft (no wood) must be used. Please use swabs with a medium suitable for viruses.
  • Serum is required for antibody tests.
  • We ask that the sample tubes be fitted with a secondary tube (hard plastic).

Samples can be sent to the BNITM or handed in at the reception of the BNITM. For shipping, the samples must be packed in a carton as a Category B sample with UN number 3373 and in accordance with packing instruction P650. Send the samples with the appropriate requirements (PCR for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against SARS-CoV-2) to the postal address of the BNITM.

Tests for SARS-CoV-2 are covered by health insurance if they meet the current case definition of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
All examinations that do not meet the case definition of the Robert Koch Institute are invoiced according to the German medical fee schedule (Gebührenordnung für Ärzte, GOÄ).

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Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine

Laboratory Diagnostics, 

P. O. Box 50 06 40,

D-22706 Hamburg, Germany

Tel.: +49 40 42818-444

Suspected Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers
Tel.: +49 171 2127900

Fax: +49 40 42818-252
E-mail: labordiagnostik(at)