The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) is Germany's largest institution for research, care and teaching in the field of typical tropical diseases and emerging infectious diseases.


The research focuses on clinics, epidemiology and disease control as well as the biology of pathogens, their reservoir animals and vectors. The current focus is on malaria, haemorrhagic fever viruses, tissue worms and the development of diagnostics. For the handling of highly pathogenic viruses and infected insects, the institute has laboratories of the highest biological safety level (BSL4) and a safety insectarium (BSL3). Recent outstanding scientific achievements of the Institute include scientific work on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The institute's services include special laboratory diagnostics of tropical and other rare infections, close cooperation with the German Armed Forces for medical care during missions in the tropics and advice for science, business, politics and the public, which make a significant contribution to the institute's national importance. The institute comprises the national reference center for the detection of tropical infectious agents and a cooperation center of the World Health Organization for Arboviruses and hemorrhagic fever viruses.

The teaching activities include a three-month, all-day course on all aspects of tropical medicine for physicians as well as an advanced training program for doctoral students of the institute and a series of further training courses on topics of travel medicine and international health.

In cooperation with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health and the University of Kumasi, the institute has been running a modern research and training center in the West African rainforest for over ten years, which is also available to external working groups.

As a member of the Leibniz Association, the Institute is a research institute of supra-regional importance and is jointly financed by the Federal Government, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the other federal states.

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