• Location of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Nigeria.


The cooperation with the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Nigeria has been establishes nearly 9 years ago with the primary aim to establish Lassa virus diagnostic on site and to perform collaborative research on Lassa fever. Research is focused on pathogenesis studies, immunological studies, community studies, clinical studies as well as rodent studies. 

All Publications

Department of Virology

Metagenomic sequencing at the epicenter of the Nigeria 2018 Lassa fever outbreak
L. E. Kafetzopoulou1,2,3, S. T. Pullan1,2, P. Lemey4, M. A. Suchard5, D. U. Ehichioya3,6, M. Pahlmann3,6, A. Thielebein3,6, J. Hinzmann3,6, L. Oestereich3,6, D. M. Wozniak3,6, K. Efthymiadis7, D. Schachten3, F. Koenig3, J. Matjeschk3, S. Lorenzen3, S. Lumley1, Y. Ighodalo8, D. I. Adomeh8, T. Olokor8, E. Omomoh8, R. Omiunu8, J. Agbukor8, B. Ebo8, J. Aiyepada8, P. Ebhodaghe8, B. Osiemi8, S. Ehikhametalor8, P. Akhilomen8, M. Airende8, R. Esumeh8, E. Muoebonam8, R. Giwa8, A. Ekanem8, G. Igenegbale8, G. Odigie8, G. Okonofua8, R. Enigbe8, J. Oyakhilome8, E. O. Yerumoh8, I. Odia8, C. Aire8, M. Okonofua8, R. Atafo8, E. Tobin8, D. Asogun8,9, N. Akpede8, P. O. Okokhere8,9, M. O. Rafiu8, K. O. Iraoyah8, C. O. Iruolagbe8, P. Akhideno8, C. Erameh8, G. Akpede8,9, E. Isibor8, D. Naidoo10, R. Hewson1,2,11,12, J. A. Hiscox2,13,14, R. Vipond1,2, M. W. Carroll1,2, C. Ihekweazu15, P. Formenty10, S. Okogbenin8,9, E. Ogbaini-Emovon8,*, S. Günther3,6,*,†, S. Duraffour3,6,*
Science 04 Jan 2019: Vol. 363, Issue 6422, pp. 74-77 DOI: 10.1126/science.aau9343

Hospital-based surveillance for viral hemorrhagic fevers and hepatitides in Ghana.
Bonney JH, Osei-Kwasi M, Adiku TK, Barnor JS, Amesiya R, Kubio C, Ahadzie L, Olschläger S, Lelke M, Becker-Ziaja B, Pahlmann M, Günther S.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Sep 19;7(9):e2435. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002435.

Hospital-based surveillance for Lassa fever in Edo State, Nigeria, 2005-2008.
Ehichioya DU, Asogun DA, Ehimuan J, Okokhere PO, Pahlmann M, Olschläger S, Becker-Ziaja B, Günther S, Omilabu SA.
Trop Med Int Health. 2012 Aug;17(8):1001-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2012.03010.x.

Molecular diagnostics for Lassa fever at Irrua specialist teaching hospital, Nigeria: lessons learnt from two years of laboratory operation.
Asogun DA, Adomeh DI, Ehimuan J, Odia I, Hass M, Martin Gabriel, Stephan Ölschläger, Beate Becker-Ziaja, Onikepe Folarin, Eric Phelan, Philomena E. Ehiane, Veritas E. Ifeh, Eghosasere A. Uyigue, Yemisi T. Oladapo, Ekene B. Muoebonam, Osagie Osunde, Andrew Dongo, Peter O. Okokhere, Sylvanus A. Okogbenin, Mojeed Momoh, Sylvester O. Alikah, Odigie C. Akhuemokhan, Peter Imomeh, Maxy A. C. Odike, Stephen Gire, Kristian Andersen, Pardis C. Sabeti, Christian T. Happi, George O. Akpede, Stephan Günther
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012 Sep; 6(9): e1839. Published online 2012 Sep 27. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001839

Current Molecular Epidemiology of Lassa Virus in Nigeria.
Ehichioya DU, Hass M, Becker-Ziaja B, Ehimuan J, Asogun DA, Fichet-Calvet E, Kleinsteuber K, Lelke M, ter Meilen J, Akpede GO, Omilabu SA, Günther S, Ölschläger S.
J. Clin. Microbiol. 2011 Mar; 49(3):1157-1161

Improved detection of Lassa virus by reverse transcription-PCR targeting the 5' region of S RNA.
Ölschläger S, Lelke M, Emmerich P, Panning M, Drosten C, Hass M, Asogun D, Ehichioya DU, Omilabu SA, Günther S.
J Clin Microbiol. 2010 Jun; 48(6):2009-2013. Published online 2010 Mar 29. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02351-09.

Lassa Fever, Nigeria, 2005-2008.
Ehichioya DU, Hass M, Ölschläger S, Becker-Ziaja B, Onyebuchi Chukwu CO, Coker J, Nasidi A, Ogugua O, Günther S, Omilabu SA.
Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Jun; 16(6):1040–1041. doi: 10.3201/eid1606.100080


Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Nigeria

ISTH is a referral hospital in an endemic zone for Lassa fever. It was founded in 1993 and serves 19 local governmental areas. Since 2007, new research facilities were established at the Institute of Lassa fever Research and Control (Head: Dr. Asogun) with the support of BNI, Volkswagen Foundation and DFG. State-of-the-art molecular Lassa virus diagnostics is performed on a routine basis. A large Lassa fever ward for appropriate isolation and treatment of patients was commissioned in 2010. The Institute of Lassa fever Research and Control is also running public health programs to increase the awareness and prevent Lassa fever in the communities. Both the laboratory and the new Lassa fever ward are of great benefit for patient management and provide a unique opportunity to study Lassa fever directly in the endemic area. 

Dr. Ayodeji Olayemi, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria

OAU is focused on the taxonomy and ecology of mammals from various ecological zones that span Nigeria. The Museum holds a collection of Nigerian mammal and other vertebrate specimens. As part of the university, it is involved in lecturing and supervising postgraduate students in biosystematics and conservation science programs. The Central Science Laboratory at OAU possesses the necessary facilities to carry out molecular analyses. Dr. Ayodeji Olayemi is currently involved in a European Foundation Initiative for African Research into Neglected Tropical diseases (EFINTD) including a mentorship program, where an African and a European mentor (Dr Asogun, ISTH; Dr. Fichet-Calvet, BNI) provide guidance to the candidate during procedures in the field and in the lab. 

Laboratoire des Fièvres Hemorragiques en Guinee (LFHG), Hopital National Donka, Conakry, Guinea

The Laboratoire des Fièvres Hemorragiques en Guinee (LFHG), Hopital National Donka, Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales in Conakry (Head: N’Faly Magassouba, Ph.D.) is an independent unit, which belongs to the Institut National de Santé Publique, Université Gamal Abdel Nasser in Conakry. The LFHG is responsible for the diagnostics of hemorrhagic fevers in Guinea.


Dr. Meike Pahlmann

Phone: +49 40 42818-932
Fax: +49 40 42818-941
E-Mail: pahlmann(at)bnitm.de

Scientific Staff

Deborah Ehichioya, PhD

Deborah Ehichioya, PhD (-946)

Lisa Oestereich, PhD

Lisa Oestereich, PhD (-940)

Technical Staff

Sabrina Bockholt

Sabrina Bockholt (-947)