Department of Microbiology

Faculty of Medicine

Research and other activities


The Department of Microbiology’s main research comprises 3 areas. In addition, the Department provides microbiology laboratory assistance to clinicians and other scientists requesting such help for their research activities

  1. Developing suitable cost effective diagnostic capability in Sri Lanka.
  2. Determining the antimicrobial activity of natural products as part of a wider interest in establishing the uses of natural products in Sri Lanka.

The Department has collaborations with the Faculty of Science in determining antimicrobial activity of natural products, including tea, decoctions used in ayurvedic medicine and plants with possible antimicrobial action.

  1. Viral infections - Pathogenesis of dengue virus infections; Molecular dynamics of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection/s in Sri Lanka (SL); Identification and epidemiology of respiratory virus infection/s in SL. 

Infectious diseases are a continuous concern in health care. Microbiology diagnostic services are being slowly improved nationally. However, there is a real vacuum in our knowledge of several common infective diseases in Sri Lanka. To develop a reliable diagnostic service, we require information on epidemiology, aetiology including species and sufficient data on tests to determine the sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values. Cost effectiveness has to be then determined both in relation to diagnosis of an infection in a patient as well as its use for public health purposes. 
The Department of Microbiology is currently conducting active research on diagnosis of rickettsial infections, dengue fever / dengue haemorrhagic fever, hepatitis B virus infection/s, respiratory virus infection/s and melioidosis, TB (mycobacterium).

In addition, the Department serves as a resource for those who require microbiology facilities for their research. We also carry out studies in the area of infection control and antibiotic sensitivity testing with special reference to methicillin resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and extended Spectrum β lactamase producing organisms. Quality assurance of antibiotic sensitivity testing is also one area of interest. Undergraduates and postgraduates following coursework degrees who are interested in conducting research in microbiology related topics are welcome to discuss with our academic staff members on suitable projects in our wider research areas.