Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine

Edit profile
Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine; (Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin) (BNI) is a medical institution based in Hamburg, Germany which is dedicated to research, treatment, training and therapy of tropical and infectious diseases. The body responsible for the BNI is the Federal Ministry of Health (Germany) and the Government Agency for Social Affairs, Family Affairs, Health and Environment of Hamburg. The BNI is allied with the Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana, where there is a laboratory complex named the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine. Today, there is a staff of approximately 400 people working in Hamburg and Kumasi combined. Presently, it is considered the most important research facility regarding tropical medicine in Germany.

On 1 October, 1900 the "Institute for Maritime and Tropical Diseases" was opened in the former administration building of a naval hospital in Hamburg. Bernhard Nocht (1857-1945), a naval physician was appointed superintendent and director of the clinic. In 1942, the institute's name was changed to "Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Maritime and Tropical Diseases" in honour of Nocht's 85th birthday. In 1990 it adopted its present name. The inpatient hospital department is since 2006 located at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Research contributions
The following list contains a few of the contributions made at the Bernhard Nocht Institute :
  • 1904 Nocht's assistant, chemist Gustav Giemsa creates the Giemsa stain, an improvement of the existing Romanowsky stain.
  • 1916 Pathologist Henrique da Rocha Lima identifies the causative agent ( Rickettsia prowazeki} of epidemic typhus.
  • 1911-1926 Improvements regarding malaria therapy are made; experimentation is concentrated on producing effective derivatives of quinine to reduce side-effects.
  • 1918 Dr. Rocha-Lima identifies the causative agent of trench fever ( Rochalimea quintana), later renamed Borrelia .
  • 1943 The discovery concerning the missing part of the reproduction cycle of ( Plasmodium praecox) in bird malaria is made.
  • 1950 Helminthologist Hans Vogel demonstrates that macaques can be immunized against Schistosoma japonicum , the cause of Far Eastern schistosomiasis.
  • 1961 Dr. Vogel publishes the life cycle of Echinococcus multilocularis.
  • 1968 Dr. Mueller identifies the Marburg virus in electronmicroscopy
  • 1985 In a joint project with American scientists, Paul Racz and Klara Tenner-Racz exhibit that in patients infected with HIV, massive viral replication takes place in the lymph nodes.
  • 2003 BNI virologists identify the SARS virus as a Coronavirus
Today the institute continues its research and treatment of tropical diseases, including dangerous diseases such as Lassa fever, Marburg virus, Ebola fever and leishmaniasis.