Institute of Microbiology

Central Diagnostic Unit

Head: Medical Director Dr. Sabine Zange

Diagnostic results from mobile medical bio-reconnaissance must be verified by stationary procedures. This is done by including additional methods, for example cultural and molecular biological methods and by more complex algorithms that facilitate improved differentiation or the exclusion of rare constellations leading to wrong diagnoses. Moreover, the diagnostic service is offered by a laboratory that is fully accredited in accordance with DIN EN ISO 15189, which reflects the high claim to the level of confidence. The diagnostic services of the Institute’s consultant laboratories are also performed by the accredited diagnostic unit, which provides its range of services not only to facilities of the Bundeswehr Medical Service but also to civilian health care and Public Health facilities. In the Munich area, for example, the Institute has taken responsibility for providing primary diagnostic testing in suspected cases of dangerous imported infectious diseases. The Central Diagnostic Unit is one of three laboratories in Germany that is accredited for the initial PCR diagnosis of Ebola disease.  It also runs research projects to develop diagnostic procedures further and is involved in international projects aimed at standardising the diagnosis of dangerous infectious diseases.

For instance, the Central Diagnostic Unit is involved in the EMERGE (“Efficient response to highly dangerous and emerging pathogens at EU level”) research project that is funded by the European Union. EMERGE is a European network of 40 laboratories that specialise in the diagnostics of Risk Group 3 bacteria and Risk Group 3 and 4 viruses. The network’s objective is the evaluation of routine procedures and new diagnostic material for highly pathogenic microorganisms. Proficiency testing schemes for external quality control, training programmes and the exchange of experience during network meetings serve to enhance the ability to react appropriately to threat situations and disease outbreaks at the EU level and beyond.

Further information on the EMERGE programme: www.emerge.rki.eu