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 Laboratory Directorate

About Laboratory Directorate


The Armauer Hansen research institute laboratory hosts staff members from diverse professions with qualifications from Diploma to PhD level. We have an excellent research laboratory setup that enables working on various tropical diseases. The laboratory provides full technical support at each section for routine and advanced laboratory techniques. Besides, our laboratory provides several long- and short-term trainings for research and academic capacity building. In addition, our laboratory provides advanced diagnostic testing service especially in areas of pathology and TB culture and drug susceptibility.

AHRI laboratories are known for compliance to national and international standards specially has a good reputation in implementing GCP and GCLP. The laboratory has its own quality policy manual and standard operating procedures to implement quality management system in all the laboratories. AHRI has extended its devotion to quality by applying for accreditation in selected scopes.

AHRI gives due attention to the safety of staffs, samples, and the community. For that it has established Biosafety and Biosecurity Case Team under the Directorate of Laboratory Management. The team is working on the implementation of Laboratory biosafety and biosecurity based on the standards of Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) and national safety standards. The team also works in the protection, control and accountability of Valuable Biological Materials (VBM) within the laboratory in order to prevent their unauthorized access, loss, theft, misuse or intentional release of potentially dangerous pathogens or their toxins. The team ensure availability and maintenance of safety equipment and facility. It also arranges and execute vaccination programs.

AHRI has a well-established biomedical engineering case team which has been giving service for the institute since its establishment (for almost half a century). It has well-experienced, skilled, proactive staff members, and have the capacity to maintain state-of-the art laboratory equipment, like 8- color flowcytometry, liquid nitrogen plant, big autoclaves, negative/positive pressure systems, biosafety cabinets, incubators, centrifuges and other modern lab machines. The team prepare schedules and execute scheduled maintenance for equipment to minimize equipment down time. They also provide consultation in preparation of specifications for purchase of equipment.

To organize and lead the overall activities and infrastructure of each laboratory unit in the institute

Tuberculosis laboratory unit

Tuberculosis laboratory is equipped a P3 facility required to perform activities such as mycobacterial culture on sputum and other samples including body fluid. We use both solid culture using LJ media as well as liquid culture using MGIT. We also do phenotypic drug sensitivity testing, and advanced molecular techniques such as Spoligotyping, and Genotypic drug sensitivity testing (LPA and GenXpert). 

GeneXpert MTB/RIF machine
used to detect Mycobacterium and
Rifampicin Resistance within two hours.   

Incubator machine
used for growth of Mycobacterium
in the solid media (Lowenstein -Jensen (LJ- media).



Thermocycler Machine used to amplify DNA for LPA test
(molecular techniques used to detect  first and second line antituberculosis drug susceptibility test). 


BACTEC MGIT 960 Machine
is a machine use liquid medium for 
detection of Mycobacterium and
the Phenotypic Drug susceptibility test.

TB  lab members partially (from Left to right): Adugna Tsehay, Sebsibe Niway, Melaku Tilahun Biniam Mebratu, Mekdes Alemu

Pathology laboratory unit

Pathology laboratory is serving as research as well as training facility for students. In addition, we provide diagnostic laboratory services on histopathology and FNA for patients coming from ALRT hospital. We perform research activities and diagnostic laboratory services involving tissue processing using Leica ASP300S, a fully enclosed automated tissue processor. In addition to the routine tissue sectioning, the lab uses Leica CM 1950 cryostat to address experiments on frozen section. Pictures obtained from routine, special, and immunohistochemistry staining on FNA, FFPE and frozen tissue section, and body fluids are captured and analyzed using DP74 digital camera mounted on five headed OlympusBX63 motorized microscope.

Olympus BX63 Motorized Upright Microscope mounted with DP74

Leica ASP300S - automated tissue processor


Leica HistoCore Arcadia -tissue embedding system. Sofia Yimam on duty.







Molecular laboratory unit

In this laboratory we have the capacity to offer from the basic molecular techniques such as nucleic acid extraction (plasmid and genomic DNA, RNA), conventional PCR, agarose gel electrophoresis, sanger sequencing sample prep. The list goes up to the latest molecular techniques including real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and whole genome sequencing using NextSeq 500 next generation sequencer. We are also on the way of developing monoclonal antibody production platform using Hybridoma lab technology.




Molecular lab members (from Left to right):

Fekadu Alemu, Dawit Hailu, Abebech Tesfaye, Dessalegn Abeje








  • NextSeq 500 next generation sequencer, Illumina
  • Highthroughput sequencing with a simplicity of a desktop sequencer










  • Mx 3000P real time PCR machine, Agilent Technologies
  • 200 μl clear, flat top PCR tubes or 96-well plate sample container format 4 dyes per well multiplexing capability









  • Gel Doc XR+Imager,BIO-RAD
  • Safe agarose gel imaging instrument Connected with a PC for documentation andediting of agarose gel images











Clean room for mastermix preparation of PCR and qPCR reactions

Immunology Laboratory Unit

Immunology laboratory has the capacity to perform various Immunological Techniques such as ELISA, ELISpot assay, Immunophenotyping by Flowcytometry with FACSCanto II, MACS cell separation. We also have a facility to perform HLA antibody screening and typing for renal transplantation using Luminex.

Mahlet Osman processing sample for ELISA




EMAX Plus ELISA Micrplate reader

Used to measure fluorescence and luminescence where the chemical dyes fluoresce or emit one wavelength when exposed to light. The amount of reflection, absorption, and the color are then used to identify and measure the amount of a substance.





used to measure cell’s or particle’s relative size, internal complexity and fluorescence intensity.







Measures multiple analytes by exciting a sample with a laser, and subsequently analyzing the wavelength of emitted light.

Bacteriology Laboratory Unit

Bacteriology laboratory is equipped with facilities required to perform activities ranging from regular bacterial culture (on solid and broth media) up to large scale culture for recombinant protein purification. Blood culture using BACTEC Machine. We also perform phenotypic and genotypic drug sensitivity test. We have the facility of physical containment level 2 (PC2. Bacteriology laboratory also have the facility and initiative to be the first to prepare trans isolate medium in Ethiopia. it is a transport medium for CSF which enables growth of fastidious bacterial strains that cause meningitis.




Parasitology Laboratory Unit

At the parasitology laboratory, we do have the facility and capacity to perform Lieshmania Culture, Leishmania serological test (DAT antigen Preparation), and Leishmania Microscopy. In addition, immune Assays (Malaria and mosquito biting exposure), molecular tests (including conventional PCR using gel electrophoresis readout, real time PCR for different life stages of malaria parasites following cDNA synthesis, Drug Resistance markers identification (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) are among the activities being performed in our lab. Our Entomology section is equipped with Anopheles arabiensis colony mosquito rearing facility and state-of-the-art membrane feeding set up.

Clinical trials Laboratory Unit (CTL)

The Clinical Trials Laboratory unit (CTL) is a clinical research laboratory. CTL is equipped with Laboratory diagnostics equipment required to perform wide range of activities from Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Urinalysis, and Parasitological tests to ensure study participant safety. There is also electrolyte testing service Moreover, Bioequivalent is also the major activity of this unit that enables to measure the bioavailability and safety of drugs.  In addition the unit provides health check service for AHRI staffs and is in preparation to provide diagnostic service for MDR ward patients of alert hospital.




Antenehe Habte
Director,Laboratory Directorate
Email: antenehe.habte@ahri.gov.et
Tel:  +251911001216