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The 28th Annual Scientific Sessions of  The Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists


 50th Anniversary Conference on Infectious diseases and Infection Prevention & Control


“Breaking barriers for sustainable excellence in patient care”

13th -15thAugust 2019
 Ramada , Colombo , Sri Lanka


A Pre-Congress Workshop on Infection Control & Prevention will be held on 13th August 2019 with Prof. Dale Fisher (Infectious Disease Clinician, National University of Singapore) Dr. Sharon Salmon (Assistant Director of Nursing, National University Hospital Singapore) and Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke (Consultant Microbiologists, Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, Sri Lanka) as resource persons.

The 50th Anniversary Conference on Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention & Control will be held over two days 14th and 15th August 2019 where eminent international and local resource persons will participate.

The sessions will consist of 5 symposia, 7 plenaries and 5 free paper sessions.

An Interactive Session on Clinical Microbiology& Infectious Diseases will conclude the sessions.


Message from the President 2018-2019

I have great pleasure in extending my warm greeting to you all through this newsletter on the 50th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists. The newsletter has proved to be a useful means of updating knowledge and keeping our members informed of the many SLCM activities.

I take this opportunity to thank you all for gracing the ceremony of my induction as the President SLCM 2019 and the Siri Wickremesinghe Oration 2019. The next major academic event of the College is the Annual Scientific Sessions to be held from 13th to 15th August 2019 at Hotel Ramada. The theme for this year is “Breaking barriers for sustainable excellence in patient care”. The greatest strength of our College, I believe, has been our membership and we have achieved such heights over the past 50 years due to the dedicated and untiring efforts of our members, both new and the old.  I invite you to participate in all the SLCM activities and contribute towards the Bulletin of the SLCM in the form of Review articles, Research articles, Case reports and submit your abstracts of oral and poster presentations to be made at the Annual Scientific Sessions 2019. Please keep 13th to 15th August free to attend the SLCM Annual Scientific Sessions 2019.

Thank you.

Professor Ajith Nagahawatte
MBBS (Colombo), Diploma in Medical Microbiology, MD in Medical Microbiology
Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists


The Council – 2018/2019

President Prof. Ajith Nagahawatte
President Elect Dr. Shirani Chandrasiri
Vice President Prof. Nadira Karunaweera
Joint Secretaries


Dr. Gaya Wijayaratne

Dr. Kishani Dinapala

Treasurer Dr. Nadisha Badanasinghe
Editor Prof. Neluka Fernando
Council members Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke (ex officio)

Dr. GeethikaPatabendige

Dr. Malka Dassanayake

Dr. MahenKothalawala

Dr. Dhammika Vidanagama

Dr. Jananie Kottahachchi

Dr. Roshan Jayasuriya

Dr. Rohitha Muthugala

INDUCTION OF Prof. Ajith Nagahawatte AS THE PRESIDENT 2019

Professor Ajith De Silva Nagahawatte was inducted as the President of Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists on the 16th of February 2019 at the “Liberty Ballroom, Ramada Colombo”.

Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke the outgoing president of the SLCM introduced Professor Ajith De Silva Nagahawatte to the gathering.


Ajith De Silva Nagahawatte had his primary and secondary education at Richmond College, Galle. He received his MBBS from University of Colombo in 1992 and joined the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna in 1994. Subsequently he obtained the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Microbiology from the Post Graduate Institute Medicine, Colombo in 1996, followed by the MD in Medical Microbiology in 2000 from the University of Colombo. He was Board Certified as a Specialist in Medical Microbiology in 2002 and was promoted to the post of Senior Lecturer. He was Head, Department of Microbiology from 2006 to 2015 and was promoted to Professor in Microbiology in 2015 and currently holds the Chair Professor from 2016.

Prof Nagahawatte has many years of experience in clinical microbiology, laboratory medicine, and bacteriology diagnostic services in addition to his academic career as a Professor in a medical faculty. This extensive expertise have led to Prof Nagahawatte been recognized as a resource person both nationally and internationally. He is a life member, a past secretary, a past treasurer and a council member of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists. He was a past president of the Ruhuna Faculty of Medicine Teachers Association in 2008 and the Galle Medical Association in 2011.
He is a member of the Board of Study in Microbiology Post Graduate Institute Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka since 2006 and a postgraduate trainer and an examiner of the Post Graduate Institute Medicine. He was the Secretary Board of Study in Microbiology from 2009 to 2012 and is the Chairperson of the Board of Study in Microbiology since January 2015. Further he is a Member of the Board of Study in Venereology, Post Graduate Institute Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka since June 2012.

Prof. Nagahawatte holds the position of Head of the Duke University USA and Ruhuna University Research Collaboration from 2013 to date. Further, Prof. Nagahawatte has been a member of the Ethics Review Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna since 2003 and its Secretary since 2004 to 2016 and Chairperson from January 2017 to date. He also is a Member of the National Health Research Council of the Ministry of Health.
In his contribution to research Prof Nagahawatte has over 30 full papers in peer reviewed indexed international journals and over 60 abstracts. He was a recipient of the President’s Award for Scientific Publication in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and NRC Merit Award for Scientific Publication in 2013.

The Siri Wickremesinghe Oration 2019

“Worms and Disease: Demonstrating The Impact of Soil-Transmitted Helminths on Health and Well-Being

 Prof. Nilanthi De Silva

MBBS (Colombo), MSc (London), MD (Colombo)
Cadre Chair and Senior Professor
Faculty of Medicine Ragama

The Siri Wickremesinghe Oration was held on Tuesday 16th February 2019, at the Liberty Ballroom, Ramada Colombo.

The Orator was Professor  Nilanthi De Silva, Senior Professor & Cadre Chair Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.

The topic of the oration was “Worms and Disease: Demonstrating The Impact of Soil-Transmitted Helminths on Health and Well-Being

Prof Nilanthi Renuka de Silva had her primary and secondary education at CMS Ladies College, Colombo. She graduated MBBS from the University of Colombo in 1986. She went on to obtain a Masters in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, followed by MD and Board Certification in Medical Parasitology, from Colombo University’s Postgraduate Institute of Medicine. She was a Commonwealth Fellow at the Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases in the University of Oxford, UK in 1995/96, and a FAIMER Fellow at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington DC, USA, in 2004/05.

After a brief stint as a lecturer in Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya in 1991-93, Prof de Silva moved to the newly established Faculty of Medicine of the University of Kelaniya in Ragama in 1993. She has held the cadre chair there since 2003, and is now the Senior Professor of Parasitology. The main focus of her research has been on soil-transmitted helminth infections and other neglected tropical diseases. She has published extensively in this field, in peer-reviewed scientific journals including the Lancet, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, Annals of Tropical Medicine & Parasitology, Tropical Medicine & International Health, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Ceylon Medical Journal. She has over 5,700 citations of her work on Google Scholar and an h-index of 29.

In addition to her work as a medical parasitologist, Prof de Silva has also pursued a long-standing interest in the education of medical and other health professionals, and quality assurance in Higher Education. She served as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya from 2012 to 2018, and headed the Internal Quality Assurance Unit of the University of Kelaniya from 2010 to date. She has supported the PGIM of the University of Colombo as a member of the Board of Study in Microbiology, the Speciality Board in Medical Education, the Academic Affairs, Accreditation and Examinations Committee, and the Board of Management. She is a member of the Sri Lanka Medical Council, and currently serves as its Vice-President. She was a member of the UGC’s Standing Committee on Medical & Dental Sciences from 2009 to 2018 and is currently a  member of the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance.

Prof de Silva has been a member of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for over 20 years, serving as the President of the College in 2014/2015. She is an expert advisor on Neglected Tropical Diseases to the World Health Organization, serving both WHO Headquarters and the South East Asia Regional Office in many different capacities since 2000. She has served in a similar advisory capacity to other international entities, including the Partnership for Child Development at Imperial College London; Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative in Geneva, Switzerland; and the International Task Force for Disease Eradication at the Carter Centre in Atlanta, USA. She has served as an Associate Editor for PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases since it was first launched as an Open Access journal in 2007.

Inauguration ICAMR 2018

The inauguration ceremony was held on the 08th  August 2018 at 6.15 pm at the Taj Samudra Colombo .

Arrival of the Chief Guest and Introduction of the council 

Ceremonial Procession

Traditional lighting of the oil lamp 

Welcome Address , Dr. Pavithri Bandara , Hony. Joint Secretary

Address by the President ,Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke 

Address by the Chief Guest 

Address by the Guest of Honour , Prof. Benedetta Allegranzi 

Award of SLCM Fellowships .

Vote of Thanks .  Dr. Kishani Dinapala 

Cultural Show 

Scientific Program ICAMR 2018

Was held on the 09th and 10th August 2018 as The International Conference on Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (ICAMR ) at the Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo.

The Main Scientific program was held at the Grand Marque  while workshops were held at the crystal ballroom


Plenary 1 , Microbiology and Infectious disease - Is there a need for research . Plenary 2 , Primary immune deficiencies

Plenary 3 , Prevention of CA-UTI 

Plenary 4 , How knowledge on pk/pd can be used for combating AMR.

Plenary 5 , Outpatient Parental antimicrobial Therapy 

Plenary 6 , Antibiotic resistance in H.pylori

Plenary 8 , Anti fungal Stewardship

Plenary 9 , Clostridium difficile infections 

ICAMR 2018 – Workshops

Workshop 1

Date - 8th August 2018 from 8.30am-12.30pm

Pre-congress workshop on Quality assurance and laboratory accreditation in microbiology-
Target group of participants- all microbiologists and trainees (clinical, veterinary etc…). Medical laboratory technologists, laboratory personnel including quality managers and administrators .

Workshop 2
Date - 9th August -Antibiotic resistance-
Target group of participants – for pharmacist and nurses

Workshop 3
Date - 10th August -Infection Prevention and Control -

Workshop 4
Date - 11th August-  AMR surveillance and WHONET
Partners: MoH (NAC AMR)/ SLSMLS /WHO
Target group of participants: laboratory medical officers, laboratory personnel in microbiology

The Bulletin of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists – 2018

The College published the Bulletin of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for 2018, to coincide with the scientific sessions.

Editorial work was done by Dr. Roshan Jayasuriya and the Editorial Board.

It contained the previous year’s Presidential Address , the Siri Wickremesinghe oration for 2018, abstracts of oral and poster presentations made at the 2018 annual sessions, summaries of some CME lectures, articles and summaries of presentations at the scientific sessions.


Association Membership of the A-PBA

The Sri Lanka college of Microbiologists has obtained " Association Membership" of the A-PBA .

A-PBA was formed on 22 Feb 2005 and is already representing over 800 practicing biosafety professionals from countries and regions across the Asia Pacific and beyond namely (Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Hong Kong China, Macau China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam, Zambia)

This professional association was formed to congregate practitioners of biological safety for the promotion of Biosafety and Biosecurity and to facilitate the sharing of information through:

   Biorisk trainings and conferences in the region.
    The formation of the National Biosafety Association (NA) and Country Working Groups CWG.
    National, regional and international collaborations and partnerships.
   Technical collaboration activates with various stake holders

A-PBA, an affiliation of International Federation of Biosafety Association (IFBA) and American Biosafety Association (ABSA), leverage on the existing regional pool of biosafety professionals, partnership with the regional NA and CWG, international agencies to help build and spread biosafety and biosecurity capability and capacity in the Asia-Pacific region.

For More information on the A-PBA , visit the website