REGIONAL MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE

PORT BLAIR - 744101


(Established in 1983)

  REGIONAL MEDICAL RESEARCH      CENTRE

Publications

Phone: 03192 -251158
Fax: 03192 -251163
Email : pblicmr@sancharnet.in/
Website :  http://www.rmrc.res.in
Scope of Activities:

Situated at Port Blair in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the Regional Medical Research Centre(RMRC), Port Blair conducts research on communicable and non-communicable diseases prevalent in Andaman and Nicobar Islands with special emphasis on the health problems of the indigenous tribes. Local technical manpower development is another important facet of the Centreís mandate.

Thrust Areas:

The following are the thrust areas of RMRC, Port Blair

  • Leptospirosis
  • Diarrhoeal diseases, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, lymphatic filariasis and other vector borne
    diseases including chikungunya, malaria and other health problems of the indigenous tribes
    of these Islands
  • Research on chronic non-communicable diseases including diabetes mellitus and
    cardiovascular diseases as well as on psycho-social issues including alcoholism and
    post-traumatic stress syndrome triggered by natural calamities such as earthquake and
    tsunami.
  • Collection and collation of information on traditional medicine/folk lore practices of the
    aborigines on medicinal plants and sea weeds and their medicinal properties.
International Recognition:

RMRC, Port Blair is a designated WHO Collaborating Centre for Diagnosis, Research, Reference and Training in Leptospirosis, with the added mandate to develop Leptospirosis reference laboratories in other countries of the Southeast Asia Region
Human Resource Development :

RMRC, Port Blair conducts doctoral programmes in Microbiology and Entomology as well as training programmes in Laboratory Diagnostic Procedures of Leptospirosis regularly. Besides, several workshops/seminars/symposia are also organized on various aspects of both communicable and non-communicable diseases including CME programmes.
Recognition for Doctorate/Masters by a University:

RMRC, Port Blair is affiliated to Puducherry University for conducting PhD programmes in Microbiology and Entomology.

Major Achievements:

Among the major achievements of RMRC, Port Blair are the following
  • Establishment of the Leptospiral aetiology of ĎAndaman Haemorrhagic Feverí (a mysterious febrile illness associated with pulmonary haemorrhages that was occurring as seasonal outbreaks during the 1980s and 90s).
  • Development of indigenous and cost effective rapid tests for the diagnosis of leptospirosis and standardized new techniques for genetic characterization of leptospires.
  • Establishment of a National Leptospira Repository that maintains several hundred reference strains and isolates of leptospires from various parts of the country and abroad.
  • Establishment of the leptospiral aetiology of the outbreak of haemorrhagic fever that occurred in Orissa after the super-cyclone in 1999.
  • Investigation of several outbreaks of leptospirosis in various parts of the country, and assisting in containment, setting up surveillance and developing strategies for prevention and control of the disease.
  • Identification of Hepatitis B as a major health problem among the tribes.
    • Recommendation to include hepatitis B vaccination in the primary immunization schedule for children in the islands was subsequently accepted and implemented.
  • Detection of the first reported outbreak of cholera in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (caused by the seventh pandemic strain of Vibrio cholerae Ogawa biotype El Tor). Identified subsequent outbreaks due to V. cholerae Inaba.
  • Study of the transmission dynamics of diurnally sub periodic Wuchereira bancrofti transmitted by Ochleorotatus niveus in the Nancowry group of islands.
  • Identification of acute flaccid paralysis as a neurological complication of chikungunya virus infection and initiation of the development of DNA vaccine in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Active participation in the medical relief operations after the Asian Tsunami of December 2004, including initiation of the establishment of RMRC, Port Blairís Field Units at Car Nicobar and Nancowry Islands.
  • Investigated the first ever upsurge/emergence of dengue fever/dengue haemorrhagic
    fever/dengue shock syndrome and detected capillary leak syndrome as one of the
    important clinical presentation. Showed the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever and
    dengue shock syndrome and the existence of multiple serotypes of dengue virus (serotype
    1 and 2).
  • Established grade I virology laboratory with BSL III facilities.
  • Showed the role of macrophages in the pathogenesis of chikungunya infection and
    generated preliminary evidence in the role of the cytokines IL6, MIP1A, MIP1B and MCP in
    pathogenesis of chronic arthritis following CHIKV infection, which will lead to research on
    new treatment modalities for post-CHIKV chronic arthritis.
  • For the first time identified a cluster of school children in a locality with hand, foot mouth
    disease (HFMD)

Go Back