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                                                                                                                                                                                                             Global Health for more than 25 years

Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health

Corona-related regulation at the Institute of Tropical Medicine

(as of April 28, 2022)

  • 3G rules are valid
  • FFP2 masks are mandatory (without valve)
  • An appointment is necessary
  • Exception: outpatients with acute illnesses/emergencies (e.g. fever, acute pain) do not need an appointment and may be tested on site
  • Accompanying persons: only persons who have tested negative by a rapid antigen test may visit or accompany outpatients - this includes persons who are fully vaccinated or recovered. The test result to be presented must not be older than 24 hours. Certificate of testing also applies to children of elementary school age and older, as well as adolescents - a student identification card is not sufficient. No test needs to be provided for symptom-free children under 6 years of age.

Dear outpatient, dear traveler,

Our appointment system minimizes waiting times and facilitate the compliance with the distance rules. Travel Clinic (vaccinations, pre-travel consultations) and Tropical Medicine Outpatient Clinic (outpatients) are separated in terms of time and space. Further details with informations about the current 3G rules, accompanying persons and admission controls can be read here.

Thank you for your understanding, your Team from the Tropical Institute


Monkeypox

If you are seeking advice on this topic and/or are concerned about being affected, we are of course glad to help you if you contact us. For an initial self-evaluation, we have developed a web app together with other physicians at Charité and the Robert Koch Institute. At https://poxapp.charite.de, you can enter a few questions about your situation (your data will not be recorded and a download is not necessary) - the app will then recommend initial steps to take based on the information you provide.


Outpatient Clinic (post-travel examinations, medical examination according to G35, HIV testing)


Travel clinic (medical consultation concerning vaccination requirements, vaccinations)

Dear travelers,

The travel clinic is open Mon-Fri from 8:00a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-  3 p.m. We offer medical individual consultations before the travel (long-distance travel and also for the Mediterranean region). Most travel-related vaccinations (including yellow fever vaccination) are available. At the moment you can’t get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 Corona virus, but we will advise you individually on adapting your travel vaccinations and on keeping vaccination intervals. A visit is only possible by prior arrangement online booking system or by phone 030 450 565 712; 8a.m.- 3p.m. travel advice by telephone is not provided. You will find the travel clinic at the old location, but separate from the patient area. The travel clinic in Berlin Buch (Helios Clinic) is currently closed.


Opening hours Travel Clinic

internal address: Südring 3Binternal address: Südring 2

Mon-Fri.: 08:00a.m.-3:00p.m.

Mon-Fri: 3:00p.m.-7:00p.m.

 

Sat: 11:00a.m.-3:00p.m.


 

The Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin contributes nationally and internationally to health promotion as well as prevention and treatment of tropical diseases.

In our Travel Clinic you will be individually consulted before your travel by specialized doctors on all relevant medical questions including current recommendations on malarial prophylaxis. All necessary vaccinations are offered. The Institute is also an official yellow fever vaccination center.

In our Outpatient Clinic we offer specialized services for the diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases. In addition, our diagnostic laboratory offers a variety of investigation with a focus on parasitic infections, including rare parasitic infections.

The main Research areas of the Institute are malaria, helminthiases, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases in developing countries. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) the Institute of Tropical Medicine conducts partnership projects with clinics in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Globally, the Tropical Institute advises and supports institutions dealing with neglected tropical diseases.

Teaching at the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International includes the internationally recognised post-graduate Master of Science in International Health Program, Diploma- and Certificate degrees. The training and further education program of the Institute addresses clinicians and other health-related professions.

News

Podcast: Colonial Continuities: The Importance of Vulnerability and Emotions

This podcast features interviews with Prof. Heidi Safia Mirza and Dr. Hans-Friedemann Kinkel about the Summer School 'Colonial Continuities in International Health' held from 31 August - 2 September 2022 at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Heidi shares what motivated her to serve as speaker at the Summer School and stay for the full three days of the event. She crystallises themes that ran through the Summer School sessions and discussions, revisits moments that impressed and touched her, and shares suggestions for the 'afterlife' of the event. Friedemann speaks about his personal impressions of the Summer School, the key messages he took away from the event, and how these will impact the Master of Science in International Health program he is heading. Concert pianist Ben Cruchley who attended the Summer School composed and played the accompanying music on the piano in Hörsaal 6, the place where the Summer School was held. Here our flyer.

Podcast 

Host: Dr. Hannah Strohmeier, Academic Associate, Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin 

Interviewees: Prof. Heidi Safia Mirza, Emeritus Professor UCL Institute of Education; Visiting Professor Race, Faith and Culture, Goldsmiths College, University of London / Dr. med. Hans-Friedemann Kinkel, Coordinator MSc in International Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Music: Ben Cruchley

eHealth solutions against antibiotic resistance in Africa

German-African clinic partnerships look for ways to contain the "silent pandemic”

Since 2020, Charité has been involved in a network of German-African clinic partnerships ("COMBAT AMR in Africa"), which aims to map and contain the spread of antibiotic resistance. Recent analysis shows that antibiotic resistance is spreading rapidly in Africa and causing significant mortality. Digitization can help increase the speed of reporting findings in microbiological examinations and thus the likelihood that this information will be taken into account in the treatment of patients. The implementation of such a BMZ-funded project at the partner clinic in Butare, Rwanda is now illustrated:

Video

Text

COMBAT AMR homepage

Germany joins Kigali Declaration against neglected tropical diseases

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) comprise about 20 diseases and put 1.7 billion people at risk worldwide. These include schistosomiasis, African sleeping sickness, and river blindness or onchocerciasis. Poor people in particular are disproportionately affected. Neglect relates primarily to attention, research funding, drug research and health policy. By joining the Kigali Declaration, the German government has committed itself to working with partners to support the affected countries and regions in the fight against NTDs. Germany already supports various programs in this area. In civil society, the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) supports research and development in this area. Members at Charité are the Institute of Microbiology and Infection Immunology and the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health.

Links: Press release BMZ

DNTDs

Update on the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Pandemic Response

In addition to patient care and travel medicine, the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health has been active for decades in the control, containment and research of infectious diseases in the Global South. The Institute is bringing this experience to bear on the current response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Previous activities, some of which were part of the Berlin testing strategy, are summarized here:

Patient care

  • Conception, medical supervision and operation of the Corona Examination Unit (CUS) of Charité
  • Conception, establishment and operation of the CUS video consultation hour
  • Coordination and cooperation in the Charité employee examination (CUS-MA)
  • Collaboration in the coordination of the Charité internal SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign
  • Conception, establishment and implementation of the screening of teachers and educators for SARS-CoV-2 (until 12/2020)
  • Support of the Berlin City Mission during the outbreak in homeless shelters

Conceptions

  • Collaboration in the Berlin testing strategy
  • Distribution systems for self-swab kits
  • Conceptual design, fine tuning CoVApp and CoVMap
  • Digital tools for syndromic surveillance of respiratory disease in Berlin schools
  • Mobile teams in care facilities

Committees

  • Hygiene advisory board of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family Affairs
  • Berlin Test Strategy: Working group Educational Institutions (until 12/2020)

Validation of laboratory methods

  • Rapid antigen testing of patients, incl. alternative swabbing methods
  • Non-invasive PCR swabbing methods (BECOAB)
  • Antibody levels of dry blood cards (with Labor Berlin)

Studies

  • BECOSS: Berlin Corona School and Kindergarten Study
  • University Medicine Network: B-Fast: sub-project Homeless People. Support of rapid antigen testing during cold relief and digital knowledge transfer.
  • Network University Medicine: B-Fast: sub-project Returning Travelers.
  • Infect-Control: Development of building structures for infection prevention control points; PI: Institute for Industrial Building and Structural Design, TU Braunschweig.
  • Collaboration in the screening of Charité employees

Projects in Africa

  • Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics, Rwanda Biomedical Centre/Ministry of Health, Kigali, Rwanda, with RKI and TIB Molbiol.
  • COVID-19 emergency response: Provision of diagnostics and protective materials (GIZ/BMZ) to partner clinics in five sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Staff training on COVID-19 and purchase of protective materials in partner clinic in Sierra Leone.
  • Study on COVID-19 knowledge and health behavior among pregnant women in Fort Portal, Uganda.
  • Project SicoR (with RKI): study on knowledge status and health behavior: Infection prevention and control (IPC) and COVID-19 specific IPC among healthcare providers in Public Health facilities in Rwanda.
  • SicoR: Preparation of additional support measures in Rwanda: specialist training, protective equipment, oxygen concentrators
  • Preparation of a study on SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and viral mutations in Africa.

Teaching

  • MSc International Health: conversion to digital teaching
  • WP24 Tropical Medicine: conversion to digital teaching

Publications/ Preprints as to SARS-CoV-2 (as of November 14, 2022)

Krüger LJ, Lindner AK, Gaeddert M, Tobian F, Klein J, Steinke S, Lainati F, Schnitzler P, Nikolai O, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J, Corman VM, Jones TC, Pollock NR, Knorr B, Welker A, Weber S, Sethurarnan N, Swaminathan J, Solomon H, Padmanaban A, Thirunarayan M, L P, de Vos M, Ongarello S, Sacks JA, Escadafal C, Denkinger CM. A Multicenter Clinical Diagnostic Accuracy Study of SureStatus, an Affordable, WHO Emergency Use-Listed, Rapid, Point-Of-Care Antigen-Detecting Diagnostic Test for SARS-CoV-2. Microbiol Spectr. 2022;10(5):e0122922.

Theuring S, van Loon W, Hommes F, Bethke N, Mall MA, Kurth T, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP. Psychosocial Wellbeing of Schoolchildren during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Berlin, Germany, June 2020 to March 2021. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(16):10103.

Kindzierski S, van Loon W, Theuring S, Hommes F, Thombansen E, Böttcher M, Matthes H, Rössig H, Weiger D, Wiesmann C, Kurth T, Kirchberger V, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Gertler M.Kindzierski S, et al. Among authors: mockenhaupt fp. SARS-CoV-2 infection among educational staff in Berlin, Germany, June to December 2020. Euro Surveill. 2022;27(11):2100524.

Ruf S, Hommes F, van Loon W, Seybold J, Kurth T, Mall MA, Mockenhaupt FP, Theuring S. A Retrospective Outbreak Investigation of a COVID-19 Case Cluster in a Berlin Kindergarten, November 2020. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;19(1):36.

Lindner AK, Krüger LJ, Nikolai O, Klein JAF, Rössig H, Schnitzler P, Corman VM, Jones TC, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Burock S, Sacks JA, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM. SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern B.1.1.7: Diagnostic Sensitivity of Three Antigen-Detecting Rapid Tests. Microbiol Spectr. 2022;10(1):e0076321.

Krüger LJ, Tanuri A, Lindner AK, Gaeddert M, Köppel L, Tobian F, Brümmer LE, Klein JAF, Lainati F, Schnitzler P, Nikolai O, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J, Corman VM, Jones TC, Drosten C, Gottschalk C, Weber SF, Weber S, Ferreira OC, Mariani D, Dos Santos Nascimento ER, Pereira Pinto Castineiras TM, Galliez RM, Faffe DS, Leitão IC, Dos Santos Rodrigues C, Frauches TS, Nocchi KJCV, Feitosa NM, Ribeiro SS, Pollock NR, Knorr B, Welker A, de Vos M, Sacks J, Ongarello S, Denkinger CM; Study Team. Accuracy and ease-of-use of seven point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting tests: A multi-centre clinical evaluation. EBioMedicine. 2022;75:103774.

Osmanodja B, Budde K, Zickler D, Naik MG, Hofmann J, Gertler M, Hülso C, Rössig H, Horn P, Seybold J, Lunow S, Bothmann M, Barrera-Pesek A, Mayrdorfer M. Diagnostic accuracy of a novel SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test from standardized self-collected anterior nasal swabs. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(10), 2099.

Loon W, Theuring S, Hommes F, Mall MA, Seybold J, Kurth T, Mockenhaupt FP. Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Students, Teachers, and Household Members During Lockdown and Split Classes in Berlin, Germanyvan . JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2127168.

Theuring S, Thielecke M, van Loon W, Hommes F, Hülso C, von der Haar A, Körner J, Schmidt M, Böhringer F, Mall MA, Rosen A, von Kalle C, Kirchberger V, Kurth T, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP; BECOSS Study Group. SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in school settings during the second COVID-19 wave: a cross-sectional study, Berlin, Germany, November 2020. Euro Surveill. 2021;26(34):2100184.

Nikolai O, Rohardt C, Tobian F, Junge A, Corman VM, Jones TC, Gaeddert M, Lainati F, Sacks JA, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM, Lindner AK. Interior nasal versus nasal mid-turbinate sampling for a SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid test: does localisation or professional collection matter? Infect Dis (Lond). 2021;53(12): 947-952.

Gertler M, Krause E, van Loon W, Krug N, Kausch F, Rohardt C, Rössig H, Michel J, Nitsche A, Mall MA, Nikolai O, Hommes F, Burock S, Lindner AK, Mockenhaupt FP, Pison U, Seybold J. Self-collected oral, nasal and saliva samples yield sensitivity comparable to professional-collected oro-nasopharyngeal swabs in SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis among symptomatic outpatients. Int J Infect Dis. 2021;110:261-266.

Klein JAF, Krüger LJ, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Lainati F, Schnitzler P, Lindner AK, Nikolai O, Knorr B, Welker A, de Vos M, Sacks JA, Escadafal C, Denkinger CM; Study Team. Head-to-head performance comparison of self-collected nasal versus professional-collected nasopharyngeal swab for a WHO-listed SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2021; 210(4):181-186.

Kindzierski S, van Loon W, Theuring S, Hommes F, Thombansen E, Böttcher M, Matthes H, Rössig H, Weiger D, Wiesmann C, Kurth T, Kirchberger V, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Gertler M. SARS-CoV-2 screening prevalence in educational staff in Berlin, Germany, June-December 2020.  medRxiv. 2021.05.19.21257452; 

van Loon W, Rössig H, Burock S, Hofmann J, Bernhard J, Linzbach E, Pettenkofer D, Schönfeld C, Gertler M, Seybold J, Kurth T, Mockenhaupt FP. Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 Lineage at Outpatient Testing Site, Berlin, Germany, January-March 2021.  Emerg Infect Dis. 2021;27(7):1931-1934.

Lindner AK, Nikolai O, Rohardt C, Kausch F, Wintel M, Gertler M, Burock S, Hörig M, Bernhard J, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Lainati F, Corman VM, Jones TC, Sacks JA, Seybold J, Denkinger CM, Mockenhaupt FP. Diagnostic accuracy and feasibility of patient self-testing with a SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid test.  J Clin Virol. 2021;141:104874.

Krüger LJ, Gaeddert M, Tobian F, Lainati F, Gottschalk C, Klein JAF, Schnitzler P, Kräusslich HG, Nikolai O, Lindner AK, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J, Corman VM, Drosten C, Pollock NR, Knorr B, Welker A, de Vos M, Sacks JA, Denkinger CM; study team. The Abbott PanBio WHO emergency use listed, rapid, antigen-detecting point-of-care diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2-Evaluation of the accuracy and ease-of-use. PLoS One. 2021;16(5):e0247918.

Thielecke M, Theuring S, van Loon W, Hommes F, Mall MA, Rosen A, Böhringer F, von Kalle C, Kirchberger V, Kurth T, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP; BECOSS study group. SARS-CoV-2 infections in kindergartens and associated households at the start of the second wave in Berlin, Germany - a cross sectional study. Eur J Public Health. 2021;31(5):1105-1107.

van Loon W, Hommes F, Theuring S, von der Haar A, Körner J, Schmidt M, von Kalle C, Mall MA, Seybold J, Kurth T, Mockenhaupt FP. Renewed absence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the day care context in Berlin, January 2021. Clin Infect Dis. 2021;73(10):1944-1945.

Hommes F, van Loon W, Thielecke M, Abramovich I, Lieber S, Hammerich R, Gehrke-Beck S, Linzbach E, Schuster A, von dem Busche K, Theuring S, Gertler M, Martinez GE, Richter J, Bergmann C, Bölke A, Böhringer F, Mall MA, Rosen A, Krannich A, Keller J, Bethke N, Kurzmann M, Kurth T, Kirchberger V, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Study Group B. SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Risk Perception, Behaviour and Preventive Measures at Schools in Berlin, Germany, during the Early Post-Lockdown Phase: A Cross-Sectional Study.  Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(5):2739.

Lindner AK, Nikolai O, Kausch F, Wintel M, Hommes F, Gertler M, Krüger LJ, Gaeddert M, Tobian F, Lainati F, Köppel L, Seybold J, Corman VM, Drosten C, Hofmann J, Sacks JA, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM. Head-to-head comparison of SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid test with self-collected nasal swab versus professional-collected nasopharyngeal swab. Eur Respir J. 2021;57(4):2003961.    

Maechler F, Gertler M, Hermes J, van Loon W, Schwab F, Piening B, Rojansky S, Hommes F, Kausch F, Lindner AK, Burock S, Rössig H, Hartmann C, Kirchberger V, Thieme A, Behnke M, Gastmeier P, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infections at a testing site in Berlin, Germany, March and April 2020-a cross-sectional study. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2020;26(12):1685.e7-1685.e12.     

Kurth F, Roennefarth M, Thibeault C, Corman VM, Müller-Redetzky H, Mittermaier M, Ruwwe-Glösenkamp C, Heim KM, Krannich A, Zvorc S, Schmidt S, Kretzler L, Dang-Heine C, Rose M, Hummel M, Hocke A, Hübner RH, Opitz B, Mall MA, Röhmel J, Landmesser U, Pieske B, Knauss S, Endres M, Spranger J, Mockenhaupt FP, Tacke F, Treskatsch S, Angermair S, Siegmund B, Spies C, Weber-Carstens S, Eckardt KU, Schürmann D, Uhrig A, Stegemann MS, Zoller T, Drosten C, Suttorp N, Witzenrath M, Hippenstiel S, von Kalle C, Sander LE. Studying the pathophysiology of coronavirus disease 2019: a protocol for the Berlin prospective COVID-19 patient cohort (Pa-COVID-19). Infection 2020;48(4):619-626.

Specht A, Sarma N, Hellmund T, Lindner A (2020). Charité COVID-19 Projekt für und mit Obdachlosen in Berlin - Unterstützung der Antigen-Schnelltestung während der Kältehilfe und digitale Wissensvermittlung. Zeitschrift „wohnungslos“. Verlag BAG Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V. Berlin.

 

Inclusion of over 4,000 patients in rapid antigen testing studies

From May 2020 to February 2021, more than 4,000 patients were enrolled in studies of SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid tests at the Coronavirus Investigation Unit of Charité at Campus Virchow-Klinikum. The studies were conducted in cooperation with the University of Heidelberg and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, the WHO collaborating partner for COVID-19 diagnostics. The studies included independent clinical validation of various rapid antigen tests, testing of simplified swabbing procedures, up to self-swabbing and test use by lay persons. The study data contributed to the WHO recommendation of the first rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests and paved the way for new testing concepts through the evaluation of nasal swabbing procedures and self-administration.

Publications / Preprints (as of November 14, 2022):

Lindner AK, Krüger LJ, Nikolai O, Klein JAF, Rössig H, Schnitzler P, Corman VM, Jones TC, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Burock S, Sacks JA, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM. SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern B.1.1.7: Diagnostic Sensitivity of Three Antigen-Detecting Rapid Tests. Microbiol Spectr. 2022;10(1):e0076321.

Krüger LJ, Tanuri A, Lindner AK, Gaeddert M, Köppel L, Tobian F, Brümmer LE, Klein JAF, Lainati F, Schnitzler P, Nikolai O, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J, Corman VM, Jones TC, Drosten C, Gottschalk C, Weber SF, Weber S, Ferreira OC, Mariani D, Dos Santos Nascimento ER, Pereira Pinto Castineiras TM, Galliez RM, Faffe DS, Leitão IC, Dos Santos Rodrigues C, Frauches TS, Nocchi KJCV, Feitosa NM, Ribeiro SS, Pollock NR, Knorr B, Welker A, de Vos M, Sacks J, Ongarello S, Denkinger CM; Study Team. Accuracy and ease-of-use of seven point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting tests: A multi-centre clinical evaluation. EBioMedicine. 2022;75:103774.

Krüger LJ, Klein JAF, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Lainati F, Klemm S, Schnitzler P, Bartenschlager R, Cerikan B, Neufeldt CJ, Nikolai O, Lindner AK, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J, Jones TC, Corman VM, Pollock NR, Knorr B, Welker A, de Vos M, Sacks JA, Denkinger CM. 2021. Evaluation of accuracy, exclusivity, limit-of-detection and ease-of-use of LumiraDx™-Antigen-detecting point-of-care device for SARS-CoV-2. Infection. 2022;50(2):395-406.

Nikolai O, Rohardt C, Tobian F, Junge A, Corman VM, Jones TC, Gaeddert M, Lainati F, Sacks JA, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM, Lindner AK. Anterior nasal versus nasal mid-turbinate sampling for a SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid test: does localisation or professional collection matter? Infect Dis (Lond). 2021;53(12):947-952.

Lindner AK, Nikolai O, Rohardt C, Kausch F, Wintel M, Gertler M, Burock S, Hörig M, Bernhard J, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Lainati F, Corman VM, Jones TC, Sacks JA, Seybold J, Denkinger CM, Mockenhaupt FP. Diagnostic accuracy and feasibility of patient self-testing with a SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid test. J Clin Virol. 2021;141:104874.

Lindner AK, Nikolai O, Kausch F, Wintel M, Hommes F, Gertler M, Kruger LJ, Gaeddert M, Tobian F, Lainati F, Koppel L, Seybold J, Corman VM, Drosten C, Hofmann J, Sacks JA, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM. 2020. Head-to-head comparison of SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid test with self-collected nasal swab versus professional-collected nasopharyngeal swab. Eur Respir J. 2021;57(4):2003961.

Krüger LJ, Gaeddert M, Tobian F, Lainati F, Gottschalk C, Klein JAF, Schnitzler P, Kräusslich HG, Nikolai O, Lindner AK, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J, Corman VM, Drosten C, Pollock NR, Knorr B, Welker A, de Vos M, Sacks JA, Denkinger CM; study team. The Abbott PanBio WHO emergency use listed, rapid, antigen-detecting point-of-care diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2-Evaluation of the accuracy and ease-of-use. PLoS One. 2021;16(5):e0247918.

Klein JAF, Krüger LJ, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Lainati F, Schnitzler P, Lindner AK, Nikolai O, Knorr B, Welker A, de Vos M, Sacks JA, Escadafal C, Denkinger CM; Study Team.Head-to-head performance comparison of self-collected nasal versus professional-collected nasopharyngeal swab for a WHO-listed SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2021;210(4):181-186.     

Lindner AK, Nikolai O, Rohardt C, Burock S, Hülso C, Bölke A, Gertler M, Krüger LJ, Gaeddert M, Tobian F, Lainati F, Seybold J, Jones TC, Hofmann J, Sacks JA, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM. Head-to-head comparison of SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid test with professional-collected nasal versus nasopharyngeal swab. Eur Respir J. 2021;57(5):2004430.

Lindner AK, Krüger LJ, Nikolai O, Klein JAF, Rössig H, Schnitzler P, Corman VM, Jones TC, Tobian F, Gaeddert M, Burock S, Sacks JA, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Denkinger CM. SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern B.1.1.7: diagnostic accuracy of three antigen-detecting rapid tests. medRxiv. 2021.

Kontakt: andreas.lindner(at)charite.de

Berlin Corona School Study (BECOSS): SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Schools and Kindergardens

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic particularly affects children and adolescents, as schools and daycare centers are temporarily closed as part of lockdown measures. The health, psychological, social, and economic harms of such closures are significant. In contrast, data actually collected in schools and daycare centers on the frequency and transmission of the virus are rare.

The aim of this long-term study is to record infection and transmission in the environment of educational institutions through repeated screening. For this purpose, students, day-care center children, teachers, educators and their family members are repeatedly examined over a period of one year. At regular intervals, tests (PCR detection and antibodies) are carried out at each 12 randomly selected primary schools, secondary schools and daycare centers. In addition, extensive data on health, hygiene-related and social behaviors are collected.

The first two rounds of testing in 24 school classes were conducted in June and November 2020, and in daycare centers in September 2020 and January 2021, with additional rounds of testing planned for February and early summer 2021. Data from summer 2020 indicate a very low incidence of infection in educational settings. Surveys of schools at the peak of the second pandemic wave in November 2020 point to the occurrence of commonly asymptomatic infections and the absence of secondary infections in classrooms, as well as isolated spread to household settings.

Project management: Prof. Dr. Frank Mockenhaupt

Core team: Dr. Franziska Hommes, Jennifer Körner, Dr. Marlene Thielecke, Dr. Stefanie Theuring, Welmoed van Loon, Annkathrin von der Haar.

Cooperation partners: Charité: Institute for Public Health, Medical Directorate, BIH, Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Immunology and Critical Care Medicine; Berlin Testing Strategy; Laboratory Berlin; German Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Frankfurt.

Funding: Senate of Berlin

Kontakt: teststrategie(at)charite.de

Publications / Preprints

Ruf S, Hommes F, van Loon W, Seybold J, Kurth T, Mall MA, Mockenhaupt FP, Theuring S. A Retrospective Outbreak Investigation of a COVID-19 Case Cluster in a Berlin Kindergarten, November 2020. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 21;19(1):36.

Thielecke M, Theuring S, van Loon W, Hommes F, Mall MA, Rosen A, Böhringer F, von Kalle C, Kirchberger V, Kurth T, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP; BECOSS study group. SARS-CoV-2 infections in kindergartens and associated households at the start of the second wave in Berlin, Germany - a cross sectional study. Eur J Public Health. 2021 May 6:ckab079.

van Loon W, Hommes F, Theuring S, von der Haar A, Körner J, Schmidt M, von Kalle C, Mall MA, Seybold J, Kurth T, Mockenhaupt FP. Renewed absence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the day care context in Berlin, January 2021. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 2:ciab199.

Hommes F, van Loon W, Thielecke M, Abramovich I, Lieber S, Hammerich R, Gehrke-Beck S, Linzbach E, Schuster A, von dem Busche K, Theuring S, Gertler M, Martinez GE, Richter J, Bergmann C, Bölke A, Böhringer F, Mall MA, Rosen A, Krannich A, Keller J, Bethke N, Kurzmann M, Kurth T, Kirchberger V, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Study Group B. SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Risk Perception, Behaviour and Preventive Measures at Schools in Berlin, Germany, during the Early Post-Lockdown Phase: A Cross-Sectional Study.  Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 8;18(5):2739.

van Loon W, Theuring S, Hommes F, Mall MA, Seybold J, Kurth T, Mockenhaupt FP. Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Students, Teachers, and Household Members During Lockdown and Split Classes in Berlin, Germany.  JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Sep 1;4(9):e2127168.

Theuring S, Thielecke M, van Loon W, Hommes F, Hülso C, von der Haar A, Körner J, Schmidt M, Böhringer F, Mall MA, Rosen A, von Kalle C, Kirchberger V, Kurth T, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP; BECOSS Study Group. SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in school settings during the second COVID-19 wave: a cross-sectional study, Berlin, Germany, November 2020. Euro Surveill. 2021 Aug;26(34). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.

Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health in Berlin