Human infections remain a common cause of morbidity and mortality in Sri Lanka and the rest of the world. Immunization, the availability of antibiotics and improved standards of living has caused an appreciable reduction in several important and previously common infectious diseases. However, vaccines and effective antimicrobial agents are still not available for many viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases which continue to affect millions of human beings every year.
WIn addition, the emergence of multi-resistant microbes has reduced the effectiveness of many currently available antimicrobial agents. Newly emerging infections, travel associated infections and the treat of bioterrorism bring fresh threats to human beings throughout the world. Effective control of infective diseases requires a multi-pronged approach, central to which is the availability of a network of efficient and reliable microbiology diagnostic and reference laboratories.
The establishment and running of diagnostic and research laboratories requires persons trained in laboratory methodology, including molecular techniques which are being increasingly used for diagnostic and epidemiological purposes. Laboratory personnel also require training in laboratory management and competence in using information technology for accurate record keeping, archiving and analysis of data.