National Consultant Laboratory for Hantaviruses
The Institute of Virology of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, named as the consultation laboratory for hantaviruses by the Robert Koch Institute, offers special examinations and expert advice on this epidemiologically important virus family.
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Responsibilites and Projects
The hantaviruses in Central Europe cause febral illnesses, which in severe cases can cause acute renal failure that has to be treated by dialysis.
As Consultation Laboratory we support the Robert Koch Institute, hospitals and doctors in virus diagnostics and epidemiological concerns.
In recent years, serological and molecular diagnostic methods have been established, which allow us to type the viruses corresponding to their local origin and help to understand the epidemiological context of the periodical hantavirus epidemics in Germany.
In collaboration with INSTAND, the "Society for the Promotion of Quality Assurance in Medical Laboratories", we established Germany-wide inter-laboratory tests to assure quality and standardisation in hantavirus diagnostics.
The virus library of the Consultant laboratory not only contains the virus subtypes circulating in Germany, Puumala, Dobrava and Tula, but also the more virulent strains from outside Germany.
After the epidemics in 2007, 2010 and 2012, hantavirus disease is increasingly in the public focus. As a result, public relations and specific consultation of organisations, patients and the media have become more important. Therefore, we established, in cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute and other institutes, a handout called "Information on preventing hantavirus infections" (only in German) and a specific email address: