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Laboratory for Immunogenetics - Transplantation Immunology

Medical Director: Dr. Florian Emmerich

The laboratory for Immunogenetics is responsible for immunological diagnostics in the context of organ and blood stem cell transplantations. Analyses are performed in close collaboration with the Clinic for Internal Medicine I and the Transplantation Center at the Medical Center of the University of Freiburg. Moreover, the Stem-Cell-Donor-Registry in Freiburg annually tests genomic DNA from about 3,000 people, who donated stem cells. These special laboratory tests are used to determine and compare HLA characteristics between a recipient and a potential donor. Since HLA characteristics can differ considerably between a recipient and a donor, their accurate characterization is essential for a successful transplantation.

During the last years, classical serological methods have been gradually replaced by modern molecular genetic typing techniques. Similarly, we stablished in our lab a next-generation-sequencing (NGS) platform, thus providing cost-effective high-throughput HLA typing. In addition, a real-time PCR system is available for time-critical donor typing. This allows the immediate determination of a large number of HLA genes, making the immediate assessment of the immunological compatibility of the donor organ more precise.

Another focus of our Lab is the examination for the presence of antibodies against HLA traits. This must be performed quarterly for patients, who are on the waiting list for an organ allocation. In addition to the classical lymphocytotoxicity (LCT) test, our lab employs the Luminex technology, which allows exact specification of antibodies directed against HLA class I and class II molecules. The Luminex-based complement detection approach is applied supportively to improve the assessment of the clinical relevance of these antibodies. The afore mentioned tests further support the assessment of the course after a transplantation. For this purpose, we have established an immune monitoring program, which can detect early indications of a possible incipient rejection reaction.

The Laboratory is accredited as a medical laboratory according to DIN EN ISO 15189 (DAkkS).

The laboratory holds an accreditation of the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI).





As a contract laboratory of the German Foundation for Organ Transplantation (DSO), we maintain a permanent (24/7h) technical and medical on-call service.

Diagnostic services provided by the Immunogenetics Laboratory

Scientific-Technical Director: Dr. Martin Bernheiden

The methods used in our Lab comply with the standards of the EFI and Eurotransplant (ET). The quality of the examinations is assured by regular participation in interlaboratory tests of INSTAND e.V. (Society for the Promotion of Quality Assurance in Medical Laboratories e.V.) and ET.

HLA typing techniques:

  • High-throughput HLA typing using NGS
  • Real-time PCR for rapid diagnostics immediately prior to transplantation
  • HLA single gene determinations using the above-mentioned methods.  

Detection and specification of HLA antibodies:

  • Serological determination (LCT-test) with and without DTT for the detection of complement-activating HLA antibodies (IgG and IgM)
  • LUMINEX platform for antibody specification
  • Luminex-C3d test for the analysis of complement-activating HLA antibodies
  • Serological compatibility testing prior to organ transplantation.




Dr. Florian Emmerich,
Head of Immunogenetics

Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Gene Therapy
Hugstetter Straße 55
79106 Freiburg  

Phone +49 761 270 3471 0
Fax +49 761 270 3790 0


Dr. rer. nat. Martin Bernheiden
Head of Diagnostics

Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Gene Therapy
Hugstetter Straße 55
79106 Freiburg  

Phone +49 761 270 3477 1
Fax +49 761 270 3249 0  


Dr. rer. nat. Mirzokhid Rakhmanov
Academic staff

Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Gene Therapy
Hugstetter Straße 55
79106 Freiburg  

Phone +49 761 270 34857
Fax     +49 761 270 32490   



Receipt of Samples
Phone +49 761 270 34820
Fax +49 761 270 32490