PALURU VIJAYACHARI
SCIENTIST G & DIRECTOR

  PALURU VIJAYACHARI

Publications

Address (Off):

REGIONAL MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE
POST BAG NO.13 DOLLYGUNJ
PORT BLAIR - 744101 .
Telephone (off): 03192-251158, 251043
Fax : 03192-251163
Email : pblicmr@sancharnet.in, vijayacharip@yahoo.com
Educational Qualifications:

  • MBBS (1988) – SV University
  • MD – Microbiology (1994) – NTR Health University

    Additional Qualifications/Training
    1. Training on Characterisation of leptospires using Cross Agglutination Absorbtion Test (CAAT) and monoclonal antibodies from 14th July to 26th Oct. 1998 at Department of Biomedical Research, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • Discipline:
    MICROBIOLOGY
    PARASITOLOGY
    EPIDEMIOLOGY

    Research Experience:

    More than 16 years of research experience in the areas of Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Medical Microbiology/Molecular Epidemiology.
    1. Leptospirosis

    • ‘Evaluation of different simple and rapid tests such as Lepto-dipstick, Lepto-Lateral Flow, Lepto dri- dot, Linnodee etc. for the diagnosis of Leptospirosis’ [(2008-2009)-funded by WHO]
    • Risk factors associated with leptospirosis during the Investigation of outbreak occurred in Middle Andaman (2008-2009)
    • ‘Fluorescent Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (FAFLP) Analysis of different genomic species – development of species specific markers for identification of leptospires’ [(2006-2008)-funded by ICMR]
    • Serodiagnosis of leptospirosis of severe leptospirosis: evaluation of ELISA based on the recombinant OMPL1 of LipL41 antigens of L. interrogans, serovar autumnalis (2008-2009)
    • Seroprevalence of Leptospirosis among Jarawas and the high-risk population of Andaman islands
    • ‘Construction and characterization of recombinant genomic DNA library using leptospiral isolates’ [(2005-2006)-funded by ICMR]
    • Multilocus sequence typing for identification and classification of pathogenic Leptospira species
    • ‘Field evaluation indigenously developed latex agglutination test for the diagnosis of Leptospirosis’ [(2004-2005)-funded by ICMR]
    • Phylogenetic relatedness among leptospiral strains belonging to same serovar recovered from patients with different clinical syndroms
    • Leptospiral proteins expressed during acute and convalescent phases of human leptospirosis
    • Leptospirosis among school children of Andaman & Nicobar and the low levels of morbidity and mortality among pre-exposed children during an epidemic
    • Leptospiral infection among the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar
    • Usage of Fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism for molecular epidemiology of Leptospirosis in India
    • Isolation and identification of a unique strain of leptospira from a patient with pulmonary haemorrhages in the Andaman islands: a proposal of serovar Portblairi of serogroup Sehgali.
    • ‘Analysis of OmpL1 and Lip L41 genes among leptospiral serovars and development of systems for the expression of recombinant OmpL1 and LipL41of Leptospira autumnalis’ [(2003-2005)-funded by DBT]
    • ‘Further Strengthening of National Leptospirosis Reference Centre’ [(2003-2006)-funded by ICMR]
    • ‘Development and evaluation of Leptospirosis latex agglutination test’ [(2002-2003)-funded by WHO & ICMR]
    • Field application of Lepto lateral-flow and evaluation of Lepto dri-dot for rapid diagnosis of leptospirosis
    • Evaluation of darkground microscopy as a rapid diagnostic procedure in leptospirosis
    • Evaluation of Leptospira Micro Capsular Agglutination Test for serodiagnosis of leptospirosis (1995-96)
    • Lepto-dipstick – a rapid and simple method for serodiagnosis of leptospirosis in acute stage
    • Evaluation of Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) as a diagnostic tool during acute stage of leptospirosis in low and high endemic areas
    • Outbreak of leptospirosis after the super-cyclone in Orissa, Investigation of outbreaks of leptospirosis following floods and rains in Maharashtra and Kerala
    • ‘Characterization of leptospires by using florescent amplified fragment length polymorphism’ (FAFLP) [(2002-2003)-by ICMR]
    • ‘Molecular Characterization of leptospiral isolates using Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RPLP) technique’ [(2001-2004)-funded by DBT]
    • ‘Assessment of disease burden for Leptospirosis’ [(2000-2002)-funded by ICMR]
    • ‘Development of IgM ELISA for diagnosis of Leptospirosis’ [(2000-2002)-funded by DBT]
    • ‘Sero-survey of leptospirosis among the school children and estimation of incidence and reinfection rates’ [(1998-1999)-funded by ICMR]
    • Clinico-epidemiological study of severe cases of leptospirosis in Andamans
    • Risk factors in the transmission of leptospiral infection
    • ‘Leptospiral carrier state and seroprevalance among animal population in Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ [(1998-1999)-funded by ICMR]

    2. Vector-borne diseases

    1. Chikungunya

    • ‘Clinico-pathological study of arthropathy and acute flaccid paralysis following Chikungunya virus infection’ [(2009-2011)-funded by DBT]
    • Outbreak of Chikungunya fever – investigation made in Dakshina Kannada District, South India (2008-2009)
    • Clinical progression of Chikungunya fever during acute and chronic arthritic stages and the changes in joint morphology as revealed by imaging
    • Investigations of possible role of MIF gene polymorphism in progression of chikungunya infection into cases of acute flaccid paralysis and chronic arthropathy.
    • Acute flaccid paralysis associated with Chikungunya virus infection
    • Immunogenecity of novel consensus-based DNA vaccines against chikungunya virus
    • Chikungunya outbreak in Andaman and Nicobar islands

    2. Malaria

    • Malaria situation after tsunami in Car Nicobar and Nancowry group of islands (2008-2009)

    3. Diarrhoeal Diseases

    • Isolation and identification of V. cholera O1 inaba in Andaman & Nicobar Islands (2007-08)

    4. Traditional knowledge/medicinal plants

    • Generation of traditional knowledge from tribal population on usage of medicinal plants and seaweeds for the tr
    eatment of malaria of Andaman & Nicobar Islands [(2010-13)-funded by ICMR]

    5. Other microbial infections

    • Preparation and standardization of antigens for diagnosis of Pulmonary Aspergillosis using counter-current electrophoresis technique (1991-94)
    • Seroprevalence of HIV-1 and HIV-2 among different population groups in Andhra Pradesh (1991-94)
    Membership/Fellowship of Professional Societies/Associations :
  • International Leptospirosis Society (Member).
  • Life Member, Indian Medical Association
  • Life Member, International Leptospirosis Society
  • Life Member, Indian Leptospirosis Society
  • Awards:
  • Lieutenant Governor’s Commendation Certificate on the occasion of Independence Day, 2010 in recognition of ‘Exceptional contribution in the field of public health service’ (15th August 2010)
  • ICMR Prize for Biomedical Research conducted in under developed areas for the year- 2000.
  • Honours/Fellowships
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the joint organizers of ‘Joint Scientific meeting on Leptospirosis in the Asia Pacific Region’ at College of Public Health Auditorium, University of Philippines, Manila on 6th & 7th November 2008
  • ICMR International Fellowship Award for young biomedical scientists for the year 2005 to carryout research on ‘Gene cloning’ at University of Kentucky, Lexington USA
  • European Union Fellowship Award to carryout research on ‘characterization of leptospiral isolates’ at Department of Biomedical Research, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1998.
  • I. Major Achievements
    a. Scientific

    • Was one of the senior scientists in the research team which has involved in isolation and identification of leptospires from patients suffering from Andaman Hemorrhagic Fever, a mysterious febrile illness associated with high case fatality ratio in Andaman Islands. The Regional Medical Research Centre identified the disease as Leptospirosis based on serology in 1993 and confirmed by successful isolation of leptospires from patients with AHF in 1995.
    • Identified serovar Valbuzzi as a common infective serovar of leptospires responsible for pulmonary complications in leptospirosis in Andaman Islands
    • Was instrumental in establishing the Leptospirosis Reference Laboratory at Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair, Andaman Islands.
    • Was a member of the team who isolated and identified new serovar and new serogroup of leptospires from a patient associated with pulmonary haemorrhages in Andaman islands.
    • Was a member of the team who brought the National Leptospirosis Reference Centre NLRC), Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair to the status of WHO Collaborating Centre for Diagnosis, Reference, Research and Training in Leptospirosis in 2004.
    • Investigated the first outbreak of Chikungunya occurred in Andaman & Nicobar islands and identified acute flaccid paralysis as a clinical deviation of Chikungunya infection for the first time.
    • Documented Chikv infection induced chronic arthropathy as chronic distructive arthritis due to immune-mediated injury
    • Developed and evaluated Latex Agglutination Test for early diagnosis of leptospirosis
    • Developed and evaluated the recombinant ELISA for the serological diagnosis of leptospirosis
    • Developed and standardized Fluorescent Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism technique as an ideal tool for molecular epidemiology of leptospirosis
    • Developed and evaluated multi-locus and uni-locus sequence typing as a tool for the speciation of leptospires
    • Identified LipL45 DNaJ as a protein that will unduce long term immunological memory and initiated development of DNA vaccine using these proteins.
    • Initiated development of DNA vaccine for Chikungunya in collaboration with Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, USA
    • Developed Whole genome sequence of four isolates of leptospira recovered from patients with ARDS, hepato-renal, pulmonary haemorrhagic syndrome.
    • Developed a mouse-model to study chronic arthropathy and cute flaccid paralysis of Chikungunya infection
    • Investigated the first outbreak of Dengue fever , Dengue Shock Syndrome and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever in the Andaman islands (2008).
    • Investigated the outbreaks of H1N1 occurred among the participants of NCC camp at Port Blair and at Car Nicobar (2009)

    b. Administrative

    • Established Grade-1 Diagnostic Virology Laboratory at RMRC, Port Blair
    • Extended the State-of-Art laboratory facilities for H1N1 diagnosis.
    • Established Leptospira Repository with vast collection of subcultures, strains and serovars of Leptospira
    • Extended diagnostic support to the State Tuberculosis Control Programme, Directorate of Health Services, A&N Administration by establishing culture and susceptibility testing facilities on MDR-TB at RMRC, Port Blair
    • Established a Biosafety Laboratory (BSL3) facilities in the Centre
    • Established two Field Units of Regional Medical Research Centre with laboratory facilities, one at Car Nicobar and the other at Kamorta in Nancowry group of islands

    II. Scientific recognition

    a. International
    • Member, Leptospirosis Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (LERG) of World Health Organization to advise WHO on the assessment of the global burden of leptospirosis (2008 onwards).
    • Responsible Officer, WHO Collaborating Centre for Diagnosis, Research, Reference and Training in Leptospirosis
    • Coordinator/Nodal person, for establishment of Leptospirosis Reference Laboratories in endemic countries of the South-East Asia Region.
    • Member of Expert Group, WHO-CC on communicable diseases, WHO/SEARO, New Delhi
    • Temporary Advisor, WHO’s Regional Workshop on ‘Networking of laboratories for emerging infectious diseases’ held at Colombo, Sri Lanka during 28-31 July 2009
    • Temporary Advisor, for the Joint Scientific meeting on Leptospirosis at Manila on 6th & 7th November 2008, organized by World Health Organization (Western Pacific Regional Office), College of Public Health, University of Philippines and Kyushu Univerity, Japan
    • Member of Expert Group, ‘Regional Strategic Framework for Surveillance, Diagnosis, Prevention and Control of Leptospirosis in the South-East Asia Region’ organized by WHO-SEARO at National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai during 17-18 September 2009
    • Member of Expert Group, WHO’s National Consultation meeting for strengthening laboratory capacity for diagnosis of infectious diseases held at New Delhi during 12-13 May 2010
    • Reviewer of journals “Tropical Medicine & International Health, International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Acta-Tropica, BMC Public Health, Journal of Clinical Virology, Future Microbiology and Review of Anti-Infective Therapy”

    b. National

    • Member, ICMR Task Force on Leptospirosis Disease Burden Estimation
    • Member of Expert Group, ICMR-ICAR Joint Working Group on Zoonoses
    • Member of Expert Group meeting organized by NICD, New Delhi to review ‘guidelines for prevention and control of Leptospirosis’ and co-chaired Session-I in the meeting at NICD’s Central Seminar Room on 7th October 2008
    • Member of Expert Group, ICMR Investigators’ meeting on ‘Surveillance for Rotavirus Diarrhea in India’ held at CMC, Vellore on 8-9 July 2010
    • Member of Expert Group, meeting on ‘Review of operational research being done by ICMR Institutes and implication of the findings and feasibility of implementation in the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme’ at ICMR Headquarters, New Delhi on 6th January 2010
    • Supervisor & Guide for PhD studies in Microbiology, Pondicherry University (2007 onwards)
    • External Evaluator for evaluation of PhD thesis under Dept. of Animal Sciences, University of Hyderabad, University of Pune, Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute University, Chennai and G.J University of Science and Technology, Hisar
    • External evaluator (Projects), Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi (2007 onwards)
    • Reviewer, Indian Journal of Medical Research and Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
    c. Regional
    • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee at the UT level constituted to coordinate and monitor S&T activities in A&N islands
    • Member, Core-Group constituted to guide the Directorate of Heath Services and A&N Administration for taking actions for containment of novel influenza H1N1
    • Member, State Coordination Committee for smooth implementation and regular review of HIV-TB Collaborative activities
    • Coordinator, HIV Sentinel Surveillance – Round 8 in collaboration with A&N State AIDS Control Society
    • Member, Andaman Nicobar Technology Council
    • Member, State Level Environment Protection Council, Andaman & Nicobar
    • Member, Expert Committee for preparation of draft policy for Shompens, a particularly vulnerable tribal group of A&N islands


    III. Human Resource/Manpower development

    a. Supervisor & Guide for PhD students in Microbiology, Pondicherry University.
    • Two PhD students registered under Pondicherry University have almost completed their PhD in Microbiology
    • Four students have been registered under Pondicherry University and pursuing their PhD studies in Microbiology, under different fields of infectious diseases at RMRC, Port Blair.


    b. Organizational activities

    • Organized several seminars/symposia/workshops in leptospirosis and other aspects


    IV. Training programmes

    International

    • Imparted training on leptospirosis to Medicine Students/Microbiologists/Laboratory Technologists from Sweden, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and during October-December 2009 and helped in carrying out hospital based epidemiological studies.


    National

    • Imparted training on leptospirosis to Medical Practitioners/Microbiologists/Laboratory Technologists from various parts of the country including candidate nominated by WHO under WHO-FTP in-country fellowship programme from time to time.
    Foreign Visits:
    1. PARTICIPATION IN THE WHO-REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON NETWORKING OF LABORATORIES FOR EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES. TO BANGKOK
      FROM 2011-08-15 TO 2011-08-19

    2. 2ND MEETING OF WHO'S LEPROSPITOSIS BURDEN EPIDEMIOLOGY REFERENCE GROUP AND LEPTOSPIROSIS OUTBREAK RESPONSE WORKSHOP TO GENEVA
      FROM 2010-09-22 TO 2010-09-24

    3. PARTICIPATION IN THE WHO LEPTOSPIROSIS BURDEN EPIDEMIOLOGY REFERENCE GROUP (LERG). TO GENEVA
      FROM 2009-12-02 TO 2009-12-04

    4. PARTICIPATION IN THE REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON NETWORKING OF LABORATORIES FOR EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES. TO SRI LANKA
      FROM 2009-07-28 TO 2009-07-31

    5. PARTICIPATION IN THE INTERNATIONAL JOINT MEETING ON LEPTOSPIRA AND LEPTOSPIROSIS. TO PHILLIPPINES
      FROM 2008-11-06 TO 2008-11-07

    6. PARTICIPATION IN THE 3RD SCIENTIFIC MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL LEPTOSPIROSIS SOCIETY. TO WEST-INDIES
      FROM 2002-10-28 TO 2002-10-30

    7. TRAINING IN LEPOSPIROSIS AT ROYAL TROPICAL INSTITUTE AMSTEDAM TO THE NETHERLANDS
      FROM 1998-04-01 TO 1998-07-31


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