Eastern India’s first advanced molecular & diagnostic research centre for fungi opens at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: World renowned medical mycologist Prof. Arunaloke Chakrabarti today inaugurated the ICMR-Advanced Molecular and Diagnostic Research Centre for Fungi in the department of Microbiology at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar here.

AIIMS-Bhubaneswar Executive Director Prof. Ashutosh Biswas, Dean(Academic) Prof. PR Mohapatra, Head of the Department of Microbiology Prof. Baijayantimala Mishra and Indian Council of Medical Research scientist Dr. Madhuchhanda Das among others were present during the inaugural ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Chakrabarti said there are several deadly fungal infections. Some of these infections, including mucormycosis and candida auris, have recently been noticed by the medical and non-medical fraternity.

Prof. Biswas agreed that fungal infections have become ‘viral’ recently. Despite this, there is lack of expertise in identifying and treating fungal infections. Advanced molecular and diagnostic research centres for fungi have been established across India to fill this gap.

Prof. Chakrabarti and Dr. Madhuchhanda said the objective of establishing the advanced laboratory is to make available cutting-edge diagnostics for fungal infections for the people of Odisha, impart training to Odia doctors and paramedical personnel for identification and treatment of fungal infections, and support hospitals across eastern India for diagnosis and management of such infections.

The lab will act as a referral centre for eastern India. It will help identify medical fungi by offering various serological, molecular and antifungal susceptibility testing services for patients with different fungal infections.

Additionally, the lab will provide observer ship / hands-on laboratory training opportunities to microbiology trainees or practicing microbiologists throughout the year. Hospitals experiencing outbreaks of fungal infections can seek help from this centre to identify underlying reasons for an outbreak to terminate the episode and implement measures to prevent such incidents in future.

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