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Department of Experimental Animal Facilities and Biorisk Management (ATB)

Laboratories for pathology

Work in the entire field of pathology of infectious diseases of animals - focus on infectious pathology of viral diseases:

In the laboratories for pathology, pathogenesis mechanisms are elucidated by studying morphological and functional changes during the course of infection. The investigation of cellular and tissue tropism of viral pathogens, the interaction between virus and host including molecular pathogenesis are the focus of interest. To this end, pathogenicity and virulence of infectious agents are characterised using macroscopic, histological, enzyme histochemical, immunohistological and molecular pathological techniques. Test methods for the detection of antigens or nucleic acids in tissue sections by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence or in situ hybridisation techniques are continuously being established and further developed.

The following methods are used and are also offered within the framework of cooperation:

  • Structured autopsy, diagnosis and photographic documentation of pathological-anatomical changes
  • Tissue sampling (native, fixed, frozen)
  • Cutting and embedding of fixed tissue samples
  • Preparation of tissue sections, fixed (microtome) and frozen (cryostat)
  • Routine H&E staining (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue)
  • Special staining as well as impregnation for the detection of pathogen structures, deposits, pigments, etc.  
  • Enzyme histochemistry
  • Immunohistochemical (IHC) detection of cell-bound antigen, including microorganisms (e.g. viruses, bacteria), cellular proteins (e.g. cytokeratin, vimentin, desmin, GFAP), etc. 
  • In-situ hybridisation, e.g. using RNAscope® technology
  • Laser capture microdissection (LCM) for contamination-free extraction of cell populations or tissue components from a histological tissue section for further "multi-omics" analyses 
  • Digitisation of tissue sections
  • Structured qualitative and semi-quantitative manual analysis as well as computer-assisted quantitative image analysis on digitised tissue sections
  • Analysis of ultrastructural changes as well as ultrastructural pathogen detection (collaboration with work Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, IMED)
  • High-resolution imaging for (co-)localisation of (viral) antigens using confocal microscopy as well as "computational clearing" (collaboration with work Laboratory for Imaging and Bioinformatics, IMVZ)