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By Dr R.Jayasuriya
Consultant Microbiologists

The ministry of health and the Sri Lanka Collage of Microbiologists has initiated the process to move away from the paper based system and to implement a common Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in all state sector microbiology laboratories.

The Phase 1 of the project is the Development of a laboratory information management system to be deployed at NIHS Kalutara .

The Project is funded by an Iinnovative research grant under the Second Health Sector Development Project (SHSDP).

Following a delay of almost 2 years the project finally got under way by awarding the tender for the development of software to “Science Land Information Technology (Pvt) Ltd “.

The tender for the setting up of a Network and provision of a server at NIHS Kalutara was awarded to “Office Network Pvt Ltd " and the work was fully completed by 30/09/2017

The Software development process was initiated at NIHS Kalutara on the 15th May 2017 . The software is now been deployed and tested at NIHS Kalutara .

Ordinary General Meeting of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists (SLCM)

An ordinary general meeting of the SLCM will be held on Friday, 4th May 2018 from 2.00pm to 3.30pm (after the CME) at the Aldo Castellani Auditorium of the Medical Research Institute, Colombo 8.

Please be present.

The agenda is as follows.

1. Minutes of the previous Ordinary General Meeting
2. Matters arising from the minutes
3. Annual Scientific Sessions 2018
4. Revision of Hospital Infection Control Manual/ National IPC guidelines
5. Anti-Fraud Policy
6. Guideline to select a candidate when more than one member has expressed interest in taking part in fellowship/as a resource person for a conference.
7. To appoint a committee -Marking scheme to select a candidate when more than one member has expressed interest in taking part.
8. Keeping only one petty cash account, sweep account
9. Projects: UK project, York project and Fleming fund
10. Change of Secretary and Director board

Dr. Pavithri Bandara / Dr. Kishani Dinapala

Joint Secretaries

The Induction of President & Siri Wickremesinghe Oration 2018

The Induction of President & Siri Wickremesinghe Oration of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists  was held on the 13th  of February 2018 at 10.30 am at the “Liberty Ballroom, Ramada Colombo”.

Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke was inducted as the  President of Sri lanka College of Microbiologists . The Orator was Professor N.P. Sunil-Chandra, Senior Professor & Chair 
Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.

All the members and their spouses were invited to attend the occasion . 



Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke was inducted as the  President of Sri lanka College of Microbiologists on the 13th of February 2018 at 10.30 am at the “Liberty Ballroom, Ramada Colombo”.

The speech introducing  Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke was delivered by Dr Enoka Korea the outgoing president of the SLCOM ) .

Sashika Kushlani Jayatilleke had her primary education at Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya, Nugegoda and her secondary education at Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, where she was appointed a prefect.

She received her MBBS degree in 1992 from the University of Colombo, with a Distinction in Microbiology. Subsequently she obtained the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Microbiology from the PGIM, Colombo in 1998, followed by the MD in Medical Microbiology in 2001 from the same institution. She was board certified as a Consultant Microbiologist in January 2003. She completed her overseas training as an Honorary Specialist Registrar at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK and as a Locum for service Specialist Registrar in Microbiology at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.

On her return to Sri Lanka she was appointed Consultant Microbiologist at the Teaching Hospital, Kurunegala, followed by a posting to the National Institute of Health Sciences, Kalutara, where she also acted as the offsite consultant to the Kalutara General Hospital, Panadura Base Hospital and the Horana General Hospital. She has been the Consultant Microbiologist at the Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital since 2009.  

Dr Jayatilleke has many years of experience in clinical microbiology, laboratory medicine, bacteriology diagnostic services and laboratory administration. This extensive expertise has been recognized both nationally and internationally. In Sri Lanka, she is Member of the National Advisory Committee for combating Antimicrobial Resistance. She is a trained assessor for Accreditation of Medical Laboratories under ISO 15189 and a member of the Technical Advisory Committee and the expert committee to develop specific criteria of the Accreditation Board of Sri Lanka. She acts as the secretary to the Technical Committee for National Laboratory Based surveillance of antibiotic resistance and is a member of its steering committee. She is a member of the Task Force in Microbiology.  Internationally, she is a Member of the Technical Steering Group, Infection Prevention and Control, WHO, Geneva and a Member of the Guideline Development Group, Infection Prevention and Control, WHO, Geneva.

She has been a loyal member of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for long period of time serving as the Joint Honorary Secretary in 2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 and as a member of the council over many years. She is a trainer and examiner for the Diploma and MD examinations and is a member of the Board of Study in Microbiology of the PGIM where she is presently the coordinator of the post-MD training programme. She has taken an active role in her profession by participating in the work of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, where she served as an Assistant Secretary. She is currently the Chairperson of the Expert Group on Healthcare Quality and Safety of the SLMA.

She is active in research in infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance and infection control and has 25 publications and 45 presentations to her credit. In this regard, she won a President’s Award for Scientific Publication in 2012. She is an Investigator for the Asian Network for Surveillance of Resistant Pathogens (ANSORP). She has supervised many MD projects and has served as a member of the Board of Examiners for MPhil and PhD examinations.   

Her interests are not restricted to medicine and microbiology. She is a pianist who has passed the Grade 8 examination for the piano and she is a member of the Ethics Review Committee of Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda.

The Siri Wickremesinghe Oration 2018

The Siri Wickremesinghe Oration was held on Tuesday 13th February 2018 at 10.30 am, at the Liberty Ballroom, Ramada, Colombo.

The Orator was Professor N.P. Sunil-Chandra, Senior Professor & Chair
Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.

The topic of the oration was ‘One Health approach to studies on plagues in Sri Lanka - Past and Present’.

•  Narapity Pathirannehalage Sunil-Chandra was born on 6th of October 1956. He is a proud product of Sandalanka Central College. He obtained his primary degree in Veterinary Science in 1980 from the Faculty of Medical, Dental & Veterinary Sciences, University of Peradeniya. He obtained his Master of Philosophy (Microbiology) degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. In 1991 he received his Doctorate in Virology from the University of Cambridge, UK. He served the post of Post-doctoral research associate in the Division of Immunology, University of Cambridge from 1991-1994.

•  He started his career in Sri Lanka as a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, in 1995 and at present is the Senior Professor & Chair, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, & Chairman, Research Council of the University of Kelaniya

•  He was awarded honorary Fellowship from the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists in 2017

•  He has received many awards and scholarships including Vice Chancellor’s Award Kelaniya for Scientific research and President’s Award - Sri Lanka for Scientific research.

•  He is a member of International and National associations namely few, Life member and Past President of Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists (2006/2007) , Founder member, Executive council member and Vice President of Sri Lanka College of Veterinary Surgeons( 2016/2018) and Member & Country representative of the Asia Pacific Society for Medical Virology (APSMV) 2003-2015.

•  He has many National and International peer reviewed articles in the fields of Virology, Immunology and Medical Microbiology.

27th Annual Scientific Sessions

International Conference on Infectious Diseases and AntimicrobialResistance –

08th -10th August 2018 at the Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo

Theme - Communicate and collaborate for clinical excellence


Objectives of the Program

  • To raise awareness among clinicians including primary care physicians , policy makers and the public of the burden of AMR and on strategies for prevention and control of Infections and AMR in South Asia.
  • To disseminate knowledge and skills pertaining to infectious diseases and AMR within the South Asian region
  • To promote basic and applied research in infectious diseases and AMR.
  • To promote collaboration among clinicians and researchers in the region to study the epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis, management and prevention and control of infections and AMR.


Looking Back at the 2nd South Asian Melioidosis Congress

The 2nd South Asian Melioidosis Congress was held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel on 29th and 30th August. As its name implies, this was the second Congress on Melioidosis to be held in this region, involving countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan, to increase awareness about melioidosis.

Melioidosis is a neglected tropical disease that is frequently mis-or under-diagnosed in the region. Hence, the theme of the conference, “Unearthing a subterranean infection”. Revealing the hidden burden of infection requires the co-operation of a network of microbiologists, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, and public health personnel. The 2nd South Asian Melioidosis Congress aimed to allow researchers and clinical personnel to meet and learn from global experts on the disease and develop collaborations within and between countries in the region and groups overseas with the ultimate goal of reducing the morbidity and mortality of this potentially fatal infection.

The objectives of the 2nd SAMC were:

  1. To raise awareness among clinicians, public health personnel, policy makers and the public of the burden of disease caused by melioidosis in South Asia.
  2. To disseminate knowledge and skills pertaining to melioidosis within the South Asian region
  3. To promote basic and applied research in melioidosis.
  4. To promote collaboration among clinicians and researchers in the region to study the epidemiology, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, management and prevention and control of melioidosis.

The target audience were Clinical Microbiologists, other Clinicians, Infectious Disease specialists, Laboratory personnel, Epidemiologists, Public Health personnel, Veterinarians, Policy makers and Researchers in Infectious Diseases.

Organising Committee

  • Patron: Prof Vasanthi Thevanesam (Sri Lanka)
  • Chairperson: Dr Enoka Corea (Sri Lanka)
  • Prof Chiranjay Mukhopadhayay (India)
  • Prof Tim Inglis (Australia)
  • Prof David Dance (Laos)
  • Dr Herbert Schweizer (US)
  • Dr Dharshan de Silva (Sri Lanka)
  • Dr Thushari Dissanayake (Sri Lanka)
  • Dr Nayomi Dhanthanarayana (Sri Lanka)
  • Dr Malika Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)
  • Ms Ranmalie Abeysekara (Sri Lanka)
  • Dr Muditha Abeykoon (Sri Lanka)

The academic progamme consisted of a series of lectures delivered by world renowned experts in all areas of melioidosis including history, epidemiology, clinical presentation, immune response, laboratory diagnosis, soil surveillance etc. International speakers from the USA, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Thailand, India and Bangladesh were the resource persons at this conference. In addition, case presentations were presented by researchers from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India. A “Meet the Expert” session where researchers and clinicians could meet and interact with the expert of their choice was held.

Twenty four e-posters were presented. First, second and third prizes were awarded to the poster presenters at a valedictory ceremony.


The 2nd SAMC was highly successful with the participation of 160 persons on the 29th August and 150 persons on the 30th August. This included 18 speakers from overseas, 2 local speakers, 2 observers from the region (from Nepal and Pakistan) and 4 Indian researchers who were awarded travel scholarships and a further 21 overseas registrants.

List of resource persons

  1. Tim Inglis Perth                Australia
  2. Adam Merrit Perth                Australia
  3. Natkunam Ketheesan Townsville       Australia
  4. David Dance Vientiane         Laos
  5. Ivo Steinmetz Vienna             Austria
  6. Joost Wiersinga Amsterdam     Netherlands
  7. Direk Limmathurotsakul Bangkok          Thailand
  8. Narisara Chandratita Bangkok          Thailand
  9. Ganjana Lertmemongkolchai Bangkok          Thailand
  10. Wirongrong Chierakul Bangkok Thailand
  11. Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay Manipal           India
  12. Vandana KE Manipal           India
  13. Chaitanya TAK Manipal           India
  14. Tushar Shaw Manipal           India
  15. Shariful Alam Jilani Dhaka              Bangladesh
  16. Herbert Schweitzer Florida             USA
  17. Apichai Tuanyok Florida             USA
  18. Mohan Natesan Maryland         USA
  19. Enoka Corea Colombo         Sri Lanka
  20. Dharshan de Silva Colombo         Sri Lanka

Other important information

The Chief Guest for the opening ceremony was Dr Razia Pendse, WHO Representative in Sri Lanka.

The abstracts were reviewed by reviewers from the Sri Lankan Society for Microbiology (SSM).

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency provided travel awards to 5 speakers and 4 poster presenters.

Travel scholarships were given by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA, to participants from the region.