Microbiology & Molecular Biology Division

Microbiology & Molecular Biology Division

Established in 2009, the Molecular Biology Laboratory has been carrying research on: (i) Genotyping of Medicinal Plants to generate "Passport Data" (ii) Documenting Genetic diversity of Plants used in Traditional Medicines, correlation with Activity of Marker compound(s), identifying Elite Clones, etc.(iii) Development of Genetic Markers for Identification of useful Medicinal Plants and its Adulterants, if any(iv) Understanding the Mechanisms of Actions, and (v) Molecular biology support to studies undertaken in other Sections of the Centre.

Some important contributions are:

  • Documentation of Genetic variations in Gymnemasylvestre of Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats.
  • Identification of an Elite clone of Gymnemasylvestre producing high quantities of Marker compounds.
  • Genetic diversity of Saracaasoca and Development of tools to differentiate from common adulterants.
  • Development of Phylogenetic tools to identify Elcipta alba and its differences from Wedeliacalandulaceae.

The Microbiology Laboratory started in 2011, is engaged in the following activities:

  • Serving as Regional Reference Laboratory of National Rotavirus Surveillance Network with two Clinical Recruitment sites at Belagavi (Karnataka) and Karad (Maharashtra).
  • Provides Referral services in Identification and Characterization of Infectious agents to Government Medical College & Hospitals, and the District and State Surveillance Units of the Karnataka State.
  • Undertakes Outbreak Investigations of various Infectious Diseases in the Region.
  • Maintains a Repository of various Bacterial strains and DNA Bank of Pathogens.
  • Monitors Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) of common Bacterial Pathogens in the region.
  • Studies to evaluate potential Traditional Medicines as complementary Antimicrobials.

Some of the important contributions are:

  • Data on Rotavirus surveillance has been used as a baseline and justification for the introduction of Rotavirus Vaccine in the National Universal Immunization Programme by the Govt of India.
  • Various Outbreaks of cholera including the first outbreaks from Belgaum (2010), Bijapur (2012), and Bagalkot (2013) were established by this laboratory.
  • The Haitian variant of V. cholerae and El Tor strains with a classical variant of cholera toxin was reported for the first time from South India by this laboratory.
  • Rapidly widening Antibiotic Resistance in Vibrio cholerae.
  • Diphtheria was found to be reemerging in North Karnataka stressing the importance of strengthening the Universal Immunization Programme.
  • Viral etiology was established in about 80% of admissions due to diarrhea in children below 5 years of age.
  • The first demonstration of circulating HPV in India, both from rural and urban hospitals in two Western locations.
  • Demonstration of circulation of known types of SalV (SalV A1, A2) in western India for the first time.
  • Establishment of Shewanella algae as a cause of diarrhea in children.
  • Provide Service for Identification and Characterization of Cholera, Shigellosis,E. Coli and Rotavirus, Salmonellosis, Diphtheria, Viral hepatitis Candidiasis, Staphylococcus aureus infections, and NDM-1 producing organisms.