Laboratory medicine: Confirming diagnoses and supporting treatments – quickly, efficiently and correctly.


Investigation of antigen-antibody bonds in diseases of the immune system

At the suggestion of the board of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine and in consultation with the advisory board of the Society for the Promotion of Immunodiagnostics, the division „Immunodiagnostics“ was founded on September 30, 2010. The constituent meeting took place as part of the DGKL annual conference in Mannheim.

Immunodiagnostics is a special field of laboratory diagnostics which overlaps with other special fields (e.g. endocrinological laboratory diagnostics; J Lab Med 2010;34:93-94). The term „immunodiagnostics“ is not uniformly defined and, according to earlier understanding, includes diagnostics by means of immunological detection methods, but more recently includes the analysis of all parameters affecting the immune system (immune cells, immune mediators, antibodies, immune genes) for the diagnosis of immune diseases (allergies, autoimmune diseases, autoinflammatory diseases, immunodeficiency diseases) and pathological or undesirable immune reactions (transplant rejection, graft-versus-host disease, recurrent miscarriage). A variety of methods are currently available to detect diseases and to support therapies, from immunogenetic, serological methods (classical substrate-bound immunofluorescence methods, immune diffusion or precipitation, specific immunoassays such as ELISA or RIA) to cellular methods (flow cytometry, Elispot, IGRA). Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this topic (e.g. the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases is relevant to all medical fields!) there is so far no committee which strives to bundle all aspects of immunodiagnostics. Interdisciplinary cooperation under the DGKL umbrella should now however provide a driver for the optimisation of this speciality.

The main goal of the Immunodiagnostics division is to establish a competence network for immunological diagnostics and thus to bundle interdisciplinary activities in the field of immunodiagnostics. In the past, it has often been shown that diagnostics collected in a sequential manner, and discussed in dialogue with clinically active colleagues, have gained in importance and enabled a high level of evidence. The Immunodiagnostics division would therefore like to offer laboratory physicians, clinical immunologists, interested physicians from all medical sub-disciplines and basic scientists a platform within the DGKL that allows them the following:

  1. to conduct professional discussions and initiate cooperation,
  2. to promote education and further training in this important cross-sectional subject both on a medical-technical and scientific basis,  
  3. to facilitate the organisation of events and further training courses together with other divisions and working groups of immunologically oriented professional societies, and
  4. to promote the standardisation of methods and to further develop quality assurance.

In order to bring the work of the division to life, the active cooperation of its members as well as the recruitment of members (esp. for certain specialist fields such as immunogenetics, immunodeficiency diagnostics) is necessary. We would like to encourage all colleagues and members of DGKL who are interested in these topics to cooperate. You can officially join the division via the DGKL office. This can either be done via a form available for download on the DGKL homepage or simply by e-mail. Non-members of the DGKL are cordially invited to participate in the work of the division via topic-related working groups.


PD Dr. med. Karsten Conrad / Dresden