Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, provides other services apart from teaching activities.  These services are mainly provided by the laboratory of the department by carrying out diagnostic microbiological tests.

Diagnostic Tests

The Department carries out bacteriological culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing (ABST) (except anaerobic cultures), fungal culture and anti-fungal sensitivity tests for state sector and private sector hospitals. The laboratory is the national referrence laboratpry for Melioidosis diagnosis. The Tuberculosis Research Unit carries out TB culture and identification of Mycobacterium spp. 

Following samples are accepted

  • Sputum, CSF, body fluids etc for Acid Fast Bacillus & TB Culture

  • Sputum, CSF, body fluids etc for PCR for TB

  • Urine, blood, pus, body fluids, stools, biopsy, swabs etc for Gram stain, culture & ABST

  • Samples for Fungal studies– smear & fungal culture

  • Serum for Melioidosis antibodies

  • Culture isolates for identification of Burkholderia pseudomallei 


Bacteriological Cultures and ABST are carried out for the samples sent by Police Hospital and some private hospitals for the purpose of screening their theaters for contamination. Tests are also being done to detect Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus carriers of the food handlers of the companies which manufacture food products.

National committees

Provides consultancy to national committees in the island, such as the National Science Foundation, National Advisory Committee on Tuberculosis, National Advisory committee on Communicable Diseases,  National AIDS Committee, National Polio Eradication Programme etc

Resource persons

Department provides resource personnel for conducting educational workshops  and laboratory training workshops conducted by different institutions organizations

Training programmes

Newly recruited Technical officers and apprentices of National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority are trained as technicians.