Direct  detection of  Chlamydia trachomitis

C. trachomitis inclusion bodies in culture

Isolation of C.trachomitis from clinical samples

Immunofluorescence based detection of   HSV

Bacterial isolation from eye specimens

Slime test for S.edpidermidis isolates from corneal ulcers

Ind-J-Med-Res 2000

Congored agar method for Slime production in S.epidermidis


Multidrug resistant and slime positive S.epidermidis strains possess 21Kb plasmid


Antifungal sensitivity of corneal ulcer isolate of A.niger to amphotercin_B

Department of Ocular Microbiology
Professor & Head : Dr.Gita Satpathy


Dr Anjana Sharma 


 Facilities available:                      

  1. For culture and antimicrobial sensitivity testing of bacteria

  2. Fungal culture

  3. Complete tissue culture facilities used for viral and Chlamydial culture

  4. Acanthomoeba culture facility: This service is also provided for other departments of AIIMS for CSF culture.

  5. Chlamydia reference laboratory built under Indo-UK Colaboration.  This facility is also used by other departments of AIIMS and other Institutions of the country.

6. Molecular biology laboratory

Services provided by the Ocular Microbiology:

-        Bacterial culture and antimicrobial sensitivity testing.

-        Fungal culture.

-        Culture and PCR  for Acanthomoeba.

-        Preparation of in house culture medium for all the above.

-        Chlamydia antigen detection, serology, culture and PCR assay

-        Herpes simplex virus antigen detection.

-        Viral isolation in tissue culture

-        PCR assays for bacteria, fungi, viruses ,  Chlamydia and Acanthomoeba.

-        Investigation of viral conjunctivitis epidemics ( determining the causative virus by culture, PCR and antigen detection)  which occur almost every year in Delhi

We process on an average 17,000 specimens per year


Research activities :

A total of 22 extramural research projects funded by DBT, ICMR,CSIR etc and Five  AIIMS funded projects were undertaken by the department till date. Notable among them are the Indo-UK Collaborative project ( a tripartite project between Overseas Development Authority,UK  , ICMR and Dr R P Centre) for the establishment of Chlamydia Reference Laboratory  at Dr R P Centre : and the CSIR NMITLI ( New Millenium Technology Leadership Initiative ) Project for the development of novel molecular diagnostics for eye diseases and low vision enhancement devices , a DBT project for development of siRNA against conjunctivitis causing viruses. 

The regional reference laboratory for Chlamydial infection was established under a grant in aid project with British collaboration. Methods for culture, fluorescence detection, molecular detection and serological detection methods were developed and standardised . These were used to carry out extensive epidemiological investigations with patients of follicular conjunctivitis, cervicitis, sexually transmitted diseases and artherosclerosis.  Developed monoclonal antibodies against  Chlamydia trachomatis  and developed an antigen detection ELISA using it. the Major outer membrane protein of C. trachomatis was cloned and expressed in E.Coli. Polymerase chain reaction based assay for Chlamydia Pneumoni was developed .and neonatal pneumonia was investigated. The lab. prepared a genomic library of Chlamydia trachomatis and have fished out immunoreactive clones from the library. These tests are now being provided for several of the concerned Departments at the Institute. Genotyping of C. trachomatis by ribotyping using amplification of the 16S-23S rRNA gene followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing was carried out. These indicate difference between the strains infecting genital organs from those infecting eye. 

Besides these, molecular and serotyping of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from eye infections along with from systemic infections and commensals has been done and published.

 Under a DBT project work siRNA was developed  against conjunctivitis causing viruses. 

Under the CSIR NMITLI ( New Millenium Technology Leadership Initiative ) programme in a multicentric collaborative  project  we developed a DNA macrochip for simultaneous detection of 15 common pathogens causing eye  & CNS infections. The chip has been already  patented in India and several other countries of Europe, Asia and USA for eye  & CNS infections.

Molecular and phenotypic methods have also been developed and standardized for characterizing drug sensitive and drug resistant mycelial fungal isolates in mycotic keratitis. 

Slime producing bacteria like Staphylococcus epidermidis  in keratitis and intra-ocular device related infections have been studied for their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics in order to find out implications of these in the pathogenesis of bacterial keratitis and  device associated infections.

 Under an ICMR funded project, work is underway for genotyping of Acanthomoeba isolates causing eye and CNS infections.  

PhD Programme:

More than 8 PhD students have completed their PhD from Ocular Microbiology and are working in responsible positions in India and outside India. Currently 3 PhD students are pursuing their PhD in Ocular Microbiology. 


More than 270 National and International publications have come out from the research works carried out in Ocular Microbiology.