Medical Immunology

Medical immunology specializes in the diagnosis of diseases of the immune system. The field includes autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies, gammopathies and inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system.

Our range of tests is used by the University Hospital Basel as well as other hospitals, medical practices and other clinical laboratories throughout Switzerland. There is close collaboration with the clinical immunology team at the University Hospital Basel.

We are at your disposal for the selection of diagnostic tests and the interpretation of results.

University Hospital Basel
Medical Immunology
Petersgraben 4
CH-4031 Basel
Phone +41 61 265 42 20
Fax +41 61 265 46 00

Secretariat: Barbara Grüter
Phone +41 61 265 42 03

Monday-Friday: 8.00-17.00 hrs
Saturday and Sunday 10.00-16.00 (emergency on-call service, by appointment only)

Academic management


Dr. Marc Emmenegger

Weiterbildungsassistent Medizinische Immunologie



Dr. Ingmar Heijnen

Fachleiter Medizinische Immunologie


Team leader


Amalia Brazke




Dominique Singer Zumkeller



The diagnosis and monitoring of systemic and organ-specific autoimmune diseases includes the detection and quantification of autoantibodies and other components of the immune system.

Our diagnostic methods include

  • Digital immunofluorescence microscopy
  • Enzyme immunoassays (ELISA, chemiluminescence, line/dot immunoblot)
  • Immunophenotyping

For the diagnosis of allergic diseases in children and adults, we offer a variety of modern methods to detect sensitization:

  • Determination of specific IgE against a broad spectrum of allergen extracts
  • Component-based molecular allergy diagnostics, as a single determination or using multiplex methods
  • Functional cellular allergy diagnostics

For patients with suspected primary or secondary immunodeficiencies, a wide range of methods are offered which are suitable for the detection or functional determination of various components of the immune system. Both soluble molecules and cellular components can be examined:

  • Immunoglobulins, complement factors and cytokines
  • Lymphocyte subpopulations and granulocytes

The presence of monoclonal immunoglobulins (M proteins) is characteristic of the presence of a monoclonal gammopathy, which can be an expression of malignant clonal proliferation of B cells or plasma cells.

We use immunofixation electrophoresis to detect an M protein in serum or urine. If an M protein is present, the concentration of the M protein is determined and reported in addition to the isotype. In addition, we offer the quantification of free light chains in serum, which are determined in serum using the Freelite® test in accordance with international recommendations.

The parallel examination of cerebrospinal fluid and serum can be indicative for the diagnosis of neurological pathologies (blood/brain barrier function) as well as acute and chronic inflammatory processes in the CNS. We offer the following tests for this diagnosis:

  • Quantification of albumin and the immunoglobulins in serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Assessment of cerebrospinal fluid proteins according to Reiber
  • Isoelectric focusing for the detection of CSF-specific oligoclonal bands. Assessment of isoelectric focusing according to Andersson