Infectiology / Microbiology

An infection is defined as the active or passive invasion and subsequent propagation of pathogens in the body. These pathogens are either bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. They can trigger the endogenous defence system (immune system) and lead to the formation of specific antibodies or defence cells.

An infection is not to be confused with the population or colonisation of localized flora of the skin and mucous membrane. In an infection, the pathogen can be proven directly (for example: by growing bacteria, PCR) or through the immune reaction (for example: antibodies).

In the indication for infectious disease tests, various issues need to be taken into consideration:

  • Detection of the pathogen in a manifest infection (for example: blood culture in sepsis)
  • Testing to exclude a defined pathogen in manifest infection (for example: the HBs     antigen in the serum, legionella antigen in urine)
  • Screening (for example: MRSA screening, screening blood donors, prenatal care)

The following main disciplines of analysis are available at IMD:

Conventional microbiological diagnostics

  • Identifying and resistance testing of human pathogenic bacteria and fungi

Molecular pathogen diagnostics

  • Detecting pathogens
  • Viral load determination and genotypic resistance testing

Infection serology

  • Detecting microbial antigens and specific antibodies