Looking back at the 26th Annual Scientific Sessions

By   Dr Enoka Corea

Although great strides have been made in many areas of clinical microbiology and infectious diseases, for example, in the prevention of many infectious diseases by vaccination, a number of challenges remain to be addressed. Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death in the world and continues to pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge with the fourth revision of the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign: International Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock” being published early this year. The theme of the Annual Scientific Sessions this year was “Combating sepsis”.

Inauguration Ceremony

The Inauguration Ceremony of the 26th Annual Scientific Sessions was held on 30th August 2017 at King’s Court, Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo. Prof. Tim Inglis, Consultant Microbiologist, PathWest, Australia was the Chief Guest. The President of the College Dr. Enoka Corea delivered the Presidential Address. Fellowships were awarded to three distinguished members of the college, all Past Presidents of the College, Dr. Sujatha Mananwatta, Prof. N.P. Sunil Chandra and Dr. Ranjith Perera.

Scientific Programme

The Scientific Programme was held on 31st August & 01st September at the Sri Lanka Foundation, Colombo 7. The theme for the sessions was “Combating Sepsis”.

Twenty oral presentations over five free paper sessions and seventeen poster presentations were made during the sessions.

Cash prizes and certificates were awarded to the best oral presentation at each of the five free paper sessions and to the first 3 places for the poster presentations.

The scientific programme was enriched by five plenary lectures and three symposia.

Plenary lectures

• Dr. Prabath Nanayakkara - Sepsis: Panacea or Pandora’s box?
• Prof. Sarman Singh - Toxoplasmosis
• Dr. Nelun Perera - Microbiome with a focus on the Mycobiome and  - Interactive Case Discussion

• Dr. Mark Atkins - Viral Infections in the Immunocompromised


Symposium 1 – Combating Antimicrobial Resistance
Dr. Kumudu Karunaratne - National Strategic Plan for Combating AMR
Dr. Carolyn Tarrant - Behavioural Aspects of Antimicrobial Stewardship
Prof. Balaji Veeraraghavan - Detection of Carbapenemases in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory

Symposium 2 – Advances in Combating Sepsis
Dr. Prabath Nanayakkara - PHANTASi Trial: (Pre)Hospital Management of Sepsis: Opportunities and Challenges
Prof. Balaji Veeraraghavan - Diagnostic Stewardship
Prof. Tim Inglis - Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profiling; Slow or FAST?

Symposium 3 - Blood Borne Viruses
Dr. Mark Atkins - Dilemmas in the Diagnosis of Blood Borne Viral Infections
Dr. Ananda Wijewickrema - Clinical Dilemmas in Managing HIV Patients


Two Workshops were conducted in parallel to the 26th Annual Scientific Sessions.

Workshop on ‘HIV-1 drug resistance mutations and its clinical implications’ was held on 30th August 2017 at the National AIDS and STD Control Programme (NASCP) for the virologists and a limited number of venereologists. The resource person was Dr. Mark Atkins, Consultant Virologist (Specialty Lead), Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital, Surrey, UK. This was organized by Dr. Nadeeka Janage.

The second Workshop on ‘Human Toxoplasmosis: Diagnosis and Treatment’’ organized by Dr. Hasini Bannehake was held on 1st September 2017 at Faculty of Medicine, Colombo for parasitologists.

Author: Roshan ( Web Admin )