The research focus of the Ocular Microbiology lab is aimed at understanding the pathogenesis of ocular infections and host pathogen interactions. We employ various phenotypic and genotypic approaches to characterize the ocular pathogens like methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acanthamoeba and Trematodes. Access to a large repository of ocular isolates enables us to probe into the virulence and antibiotic resistance mechanisms of the pathogens in the context of ocular infections. Based on the antimicrobial susceptibility testing, the resistant isolates are selected and subjected to further analysis to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying resistance. Correlates of protective immune response are being studied by analyzing the host pathogen interactions using exvivo and invitro models of infection and corneal tissue samples obtained from patients.

Research Areas

  Bacterial keratitis
  Host-pathogen interactions
  Ocular parasitic infections

Ongoing Projects

  • Etiology and Immunopathogenesis of sub conjunctival and anterior chamber granulomatous uveitis in children of South India. Funding agency: ICMR (2011-2014).
  • Characterization of the virulence determinants of pseudomonas aeruginosa causing ocular infections.
  • Genotypic characterization and analysis of virulence factors in Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus causing ocular infections. Funding agency: ICMR.
  • Microbiological clearance time and Sensitivity assay for acanthamoeba keratitis. Funding agency: Proctor Foundation, USA.
  • Elucidating the role of MicroRNAs in infectious keratitis.
  • Evaluation of the anti- microbial and anti- inflammatory functions of vitamin D in infectious keratitis.
  • Aspergillus flavus study group of India (AFSGI) Epidemiology, pathogenomics, and system biology of A. flavus infections in India - an integrative approach. Funding agency: DBT (2012-2015).

Projects completed

  • Characterization of the host immune response during corneal infection with pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Funding agency: ICMR (2010-2013).
  • Molecular insights into the etiology of infectious uveitis. Funding agency: DBT (2008-2011).
  • Standardization and application of multiplex PCR in the detection of infectious agents in the intraocular fluid of patients with retinochoroiditis. Funding agency: ICMR (2006-2009).

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