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अखिल भारतीय आयुर्विज्ञान संस्थान, नई दिल्ली
All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
कॉल सेंटर:  011-26589142

Virology

Virology Section

Department of Microbiology, AIIMS

 

                                                From ‘contagium vivum fluidum’ to the human virome

 

From the initial description of a virus as ‘contagium vivum fluidum’ in the 19th century, to the increasing role the human ‘virome’ in health and disease, the discipline of virology has definitely come a long way. The field is a fascinating and rapidly evolving branch of microbiology/infectious diseases with immense relevance to humanity and modern medicine. Viral diseases are an important contributor to morbidity and mortality from the infectious disease burden both globally and in India. In addition to sporadic and chronic viral infections, humanity is periodically scourged by outbreaks or pandemics, often without warning due to viruses such as influenza, MERS, Ebola and Zika.

 

Much of the progress in virology is technique driven, and huge strides were made in the discipline with the advent of cell culture followed by recombinant DNA technology, monoclonal antibodies and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These truly changed the face of virology as well as those of other biological sciences and medicine.

 

AIIMS, New Delhi has led the way in establishing the standards of medical care, academics, diagnosis and research in our country in a multitude of disciplines, and virology is no exception. The virology section of the department provides diagnostic as well as research facilities for patients at AIIMS, utilizing the complete state-of-the-art armamentarium of techniques available.

 

Founding faculty: Col. (Dr.) SL Kalra (faculty 1960-1967) joined as Professor and the first Head of the Department of Microbiology in 1960. He brought with him his vast experience of viral and rickettsial diseases and established the first full-fledged virology laboratory at AIIMS, the first in any medical college or institute in India. The laboratory was further enhanced and taken forward by Dr. S Balaya, Dr. Pradeep Seth and Dr. Shobha Broor over the next five decades.

Diagnostic Services in outbreaks/epidemics: The Virology Section has actively provided diagnostic services during viral outbreaks and epidemics. Some recent ones include the influenza A pdmH1N1 outbreak in 2009, with a resurgence in 2015, the dengue outbreak in 2015, and the chikungunya outbreak in 2016.

Tests performed:

                                                  Name of the test/investigation

Influenza multiplex real time RT-PCR

HSV 1&2 DNA PCR(CSF, genital, ocular samples etc.)

HCMV DNA PCR (Urine, CSF, colonic biopsy etc.)

HIV-1 qualitative real time PCR for early infant diagnosis (EID)

HIV-1 RNA quantitative real time RT-PCR (for initiating second line ART)

Cell culture (Influenza, Dengue, HSV 1&2, VZV, HCMV etc.)

HCMV pp65 antigenemia   (Immunofluorescence)

Dengue NS1 antigen (ELISA)

Anti-Dengue IgM (ELISA)

Anti-Chikungunya IgM  (ELISA)

Anti-Japanese encephalitis IgM  (ELISA)

Complement fixation test (CFT)- measles antibody titers in CSF, serum for diagnosis of SSPE

Tzanck smear (for HSV1&2, VZV)

 

 

The Virology Section of the department is a/an:

  • Apex Referral Laboratory of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) for Dengue and Chikungunya
  • National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) Regional HIV Reference Laboratory for HIV-1 early infant diagnosis (EID) and viral load
  • Influenza Sentinel Surveillance Network Laboratory

 

 

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