PostHeaderIcon Bacteriology

 Page is updated on 05.04.2017


H i s t o r y

At the inception in 1900, the Medical Research Institute (MRI) was known as the ‘De Soyza Bacteriological Institute’. The clinical bacteriology laboratory has been the pioneering unit (which was called as the ‘main lab’) of the MRI. It is continuing its exemplary services to the nation for over 114 years.

Sir Aldo Castellani, an Italian pathologist and a microbiologist was the first director of the De Soyza Bacteriological Institute who introduced various laboratory tests in bacteriology for the first time in Sri Lanka. The pioneering bacteriological tests introduced by him included tests for the diagnosis of enteric fever and tuberculosis.

Over the years bacteriology has grown in to a gigantic discipline that has branched out adding many important subdivisions: clinical microbiology, leptospirsis, food and water microbiology, anaerobic bacteriology, enteric pathogens, quality control and molecular bacteriology

In 1905, Sir Aldo Castellani discovered the causative organism in Yaws. Since then many bacteria reported for the first time and new strains of leptospira were originated   by eminent microbiologists such as Dr. E. Schmid, Dr. Nitiyanandan, Dr. T. Velaudapillai, Dr. Palasuntheram,           Dr. R.S.B. Wickramasinghe and Dr. Maya Atapattu. 


C o n s u l t a n t   P r o f i l e


1. Dr. Lilani Karunanayake (                                

M.B.B,S., pgDip (med. microbiology), MD                                    

Consultant Clinical Microbiologist                                           


2. Dr. Sujatha Pathirage

M.B.B,S., pgDip (med .microbiology), MD

Consultant Clinical Microbiologist                                               

S t a f f   p r o f i l e


S e r v i c e   h o u r s

Normal working hours open to public: Monday to Friday – 8am to   4pm

                                                                                            Saturday – 8am to 12pm

A 24 hour, 7-day service is provided to receive samples at the counter. Samples are received by a Resident MLT (RMLT) in out of working hours. 


Sub Divisions in the Department of Bacteriology

sub divisions



P r i n c i p a l   f u n c t i o n s   o f   t h e   l a b o r a t o r i e s -  (P D F)


E x t e r n a l   Q u a l i t y   A s s e s s m e n t   /   P r o f i c i e n c y   t e s t i n g

The External Quality Assessment (EQA) programmes that the laboratories participates in:

  • Indian Association of Medical Microbiologist (IAMM)- External Quality Assurance System (EQAS), L&T Microbiology Research Centre, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India.
  • WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network External Quality Assurance System (EQAS) Netherlands

Inter-laboratory comparison

  • National External Quality Assessment Scheme, conducted by Quality Control Laboratory, Medical Research Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka


S u b  D i v i s i o n s   i n   B a c t e r i o l o g y   a n d   A v a i l a b l e   T e s t s:

 1. C l i n i c a l   B a c t e r i o l o g y ( r o o m  n o :  3 3 5  / 3 3 6 ) ( L i s t   o f  T e s t s - P D F )

 2. N a t i o n a l   R e f e r e n c e   L a b o r a t o r y   f o r   e n t e r i c   p a t h o g e n s   ( r o o m  n o: 3 4 3)

 3. N a t i o n a l   R e f e r e n c e  L a b o r a t o r y  f o r  L e p t o s p i r o s i s  ( r o o m  n o : 3 4 4 )

 4.  A n a e r o b i c   b a c t e r i o l o g y   ( r o o m  n o : 3 4 3)

 5.  M o l e c u l a r   B a c t e r i o l o g y   l a b o r a t o r y  ( r o o m   n o :  3 4 2 )

              This laboratory is under development process

6. Q u a l i t y   C o n t r o l   l a b o r a t o r y   (r o o m  n o: 3 5 3, 3 6 2)

Organizing laboratory of the ‘National External Quality Assessment Scheme in Bacteriology’ conducted for the state and private sector microbiology laboratories in Sri Lanka

 7. F o o d   a n d   W a t e r   M i c r o b i o l o g y   L a b o r a t o r y   (r o o m  n o: 1 3 3)