Infectious diseases cause a great burden to the world, with millions of illnesses and deaths still attributable to diarrhoeal diseases, tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, dengue, and many others. With global environmental and behavioural changes, and the innate ability of microorganisms to evolve rapidly, we are constantly faced with newly emerging infections. In recent years, Malaysia has experienced enterovirus 71, Nipah and Chikungunya virus outbreaks for the first time. Worldwide, emerging threats include avian influenza, SARS, and antibiotic resistance.
Medical microbiology is the study of bacteria, viruses, and fungi which are of medical importance to man. Aspects of medical microbiology that can be studied include molecular and cellular biology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations of infectious diseases, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment .
The Department of Medical Microbiology has extensive experience in teaching, research, and diagnostic services in the three main branches of bacteriology, virology, and mycology. Nipah virus was first discovered here, and the department is also known for its work on dengue, enterovirus 71, melioidosis, and HIV, amongst others. TheTropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC) is located in the department, and is the hub of most of the research and surveillance activities. The WHO National Influenza Centre and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Arbovirus Reference & Research are also located within the department.
The academic department is located in Block N, 2nd floor, Faculty of Medicine, in UM, and can be contacted at: +603-7967 6660/6661. The diagnostic laboratories are situated on the 5th floor of Menara Timur, in UMMC, and can be contacted at: +603-7949 2804.