Tissue-Based Diagnostics

The National Reference Centre (NRC) for Tropical Pathogens offers molecular detection of pathogens from tissues. Please contact the NRC by telephone or email (+49 (0)40 / 42818-211, labordiagnostik(at)bnitm.de) prior to sending such samples and provide patient information about country of residence, travel history, signs and symptoms of disease, organ involved, and laboratory data.

Please keep in mind that molecular testing for pathogens from tissues does not replace a histopathological examination and culture-based bacteriological and mycological investigations elsewhere (not offered at BNITM).

Samples that can be examined molecularly are

  • Non-fixed biopsies (in isotonic NaCl) for staining, classical parasitology (microscopy), and DNA detection by PCR
  • Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks for sectioning, staining, microscopy, and DNA detection by PCR. Sensitivity of PCR from such material is lower than from unfixed or ethanol-fixed specimens.
  • Tissue sections on microscopic slides for staining, microscopy, and PCR
  • Extracted DNA for PCR


Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine

Laboratory Diagnostics, 

P. O. Box 50 06 40,

D-20324 Hamburg, Germany

Fax: +49 40 42818-252
E-Mail: labordiagnostik(at)bnitm.de

Consulting for physicians

Mo – Fr  9 am – 12 pm and 1 – 5 pm

Prof. Egbert Tannich, MD,
Board-Certified for Microbiology and Infection Epidemiology
Tel. +49 40 42818-261

Prof. Dennis Tappe, MD,

Board-Certified for Laboratory Medicine,  Board-Certified for Microbiology, Virology,  and Infection Epidemiology,  Board-Certified for Infectiology
Tel. +49 40 42818-205