The Department acquired independent status on 16 Aug 1981, and since then it has developed into an important speciality providing diagnostic, research and teaching facilities in Microbiology.
Species level bacteriological identification and antibiotic sensitivity testing is done for both aerobic and anaerobic organisms in the well equipped Bacteriology laboratory which also has facilities for biosafety II laminar flows. Facilities like BACTEC 9050, walk in hot and cold rooms, storage at –70 °C / -20 °C, ELISA, electrophoresis, lypholisation, BOD incubators, fluorescence and inverted microscopy, single/double istillation etc. are available. There is a separate class II biosafety level tuberculosis section, where isolation, identification, speciation and detection of drug resistance in Mycobacteria, is carried out by conventional, BACTEC 460, Micro MGIT and paraffin slide culture (for NTM). The serology and parasitology sections are well equipped for routine and research work. The Mycology section is doing exemplary work in isolation, speciation and drug susceptibility testing of fungi. Many rare fungi have been isolated. The department has a well equipped PCR, postgraduate and research laboratories. The virology laboratory is being equipped for molecular level diagnosis of viral diseases like Chikungunya, Chandipura virus (CHPV), JE and dengue. The laboratory has been given the status of a reference lab under State Surveillance of Hospital (SSH) project. The department is also recognized as the reference laboratory for not only surveillance of outbreaks due to measles, diphtheria, dengue/DHF/DSS, enteric fever under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) but also for the diagnosis of these infections. The department regularly monitors hospital acquired infections and plays an important role in infection control and bio medical waste management. EQAS programme in bacteriology, serology and mycology is in place. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for every laboratory procedure have been prepared.
This is provided to MBBS, PC BSc and Basic BSc nursing and post graduate students. A total of 53 MDs and 1 PhD in Microbiology have been awarded besides providing support to postgraduates of other departments. The department is recognized for MD and PhD and four of its faculty members are recognized postgraduate guides and one PhD guide. Fluorescence, trinocular teaching microscope with CCTV and inverted microscope form a part of diagnostics and teaching. The library is well equipped with 379 books in the department and 520 in the Central library. The library subscribes to 20 journals in Microbiology and 40 journals in subjects allied to Microbiology. Newer teaching methodologies have been incorporated, viz. quiz (conducted by postgraduates under guidance of faculty), group discussions and review of internal assessment examination questions with feedback from faculty (at the end of each semester) for undergraduates are being used. Weekly presentation and discussion of theory questions by postgraduates has been introduced. The staff and students of the Department have won many awards at various state and national academic meets.
The department has been carrying out both laboratory and community-oriented funded research. Laboratory research work has been done on isolation and antibiotic susceptibility testing including Extended spectrum beta lactamases, AmpC beta lactamases, Metallo-beta lactamases, MRSA, HLAR enterococci, hospital acquired infections. The thrust of research has been primarily on tuberculosis; its prevalence, diagnosis, drug resistance, ARTI and short course chemotherapy. Other research topics are Antibiotic resistance in Bacteria and coding genes for resistance, Leptospirosis, Variants of Vibrio cholerae, Candida and its suceptiblity, Biofilm formation in Candida, SXT element, interferon gamma, XDR Tuberculosis, H.pylori, HIV, NTMs etc. Around 143 research papers have been published in various national and international journals.