LinkedIn You Tube Instagram

Clinical Microbiology

Established in 1978 as an independent department, separate from the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology, the department’s journey in the subsequent years has been to balance an efficient performance for better patient management and providing improved learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students while being compliant with medical council / commission requirements. The advent of HIV in 1986 and DRTB in 2011, the onslaught of leptospirosis post monsoon in 2005/2006 and other community outbreaks provided opportunities for strengthening diagnostic services.

Initially, the department provided bacteriology, mycology, parasitology and serology services. The last 15 years have seen the expansion of the services. A molecular diagnostic laboratory was established for the two major national programmes, HIV (HIV viral load) and TB (Xpert CBNAAT). Hereafter, a division of immunology and virology was established. TB diagnostic services were expanded from smear microscopy alone to include culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST) and molecular tools.

In the last two years, the department has established a medical college level, ‘Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory’ (VRDL) supported by the Department of Health Research / ICMR. This is a well-equipped molecular diagnostic laboratory, and has been in the forefront for providing COVID-19 diagnosis using the Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR) since March 2020 and Influenza RTPCR since June 2022.

The department is NABL accredited since 2016. Patient care is well supported by the availability of important tests, all of which are NABL accredited. Automated test platforms such as BACTEC FX 200 for blood culture, VITEK 2 for MIC and recently VITEK MS Prime (based on MALDI ToF technology) have strengthened diagnostics. The latter enables rapid identification of organisms to reduce the time to initiating effective treatment.

The department has had ‘many firsts’. The first to provide emergency microbiology test services, the first Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre (VCTC) to be designated as a model centre by World Health Organization / National AIDS Control Organization for western region, the first amongst municipal medical colleges in Mumbai to have all tests accredited by NABL and also the first amongst municipal medical colleges to establish a certified TB culture and DST laboratory, are a few of its achievements.

The department also organized the first National Conference on Anaerobic Infections and The first National Conference on Hospital Acquired Infections. Hospital Infection Control has been ably supported and guided by the designated members of the department since Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC) was established in 1990/1991. Infection control activities were strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic. A fellowship course in “Infection prevention and control with specific reference to hospital acquired infections” affiliated to MUHS is also available.

Today, the department provides diagnostic services through its various divisions of bacteriology including anaerobic bacteriology, immunology, mycology, mycobacteriology, molecular diagnosis, parasitology, serology, virology and VRDL.

With its well-functioning diagnostic divisions, the department is looking forward to strengthen clinical research, multi-disciplinary and multi-centric, as needed, which will benefit patient care. The availability of a genetic sequencing platform for accurate detection of aetiologic agents, identifying transmission dynamics and understanding phylogenetic association would be a dream come true.

Between the two sides of diagnostics with diagnostic stewardship on the one hand to support evidence-based medicine and Albert Einstein’s quote on the other stating, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, the department hopes to continually strengthen patient care, learning, professional capacity building and research.

Sections Units Branches

Seth GS Medical College and KEM hospital, Mumbai

Department of Microbiology

Sr. No.

Full name of the Teacher (First Name Middle Name Last Name.)


Qualification & Year of Passing

Latest Email Address

Teaching experience After PG Passing



Dr Chaya A Kumar

Professor and Head

MBBS, MD, FCPS (Microbiology).

28 years


Dr Lona Dash

Additional Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

23 years


Dr Wanjare Shashir Wasudeo

Additional Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

20 years


Dr Vaishali Narayanrao Solanke

Associate Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

15 years


Dr Swapna Rajesh Kanade

Associate Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

22 years


Dr Vasant Baradkar

Associate Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

23 years


Dr Priyanka Sheshnath Prasad

Associate Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

priyanka1975@gmail. com

24 years


Dr Pallavi Vijay Surase

Associate Professor (Addl)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

16 years


Dr Vijaya Premchand Torne

Associate Professor (Addl)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

16 years


Dr Alpana Anil Wagh

Associate Professor (Addl)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

12 years


Dr Shreeraj Talwadekar

Assistant Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

4 years


Dr Pradnya Kale

Assistant Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

4 years


Dr Ranjana Thate

Assistant Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

4 years


Dr Akshay Karyakarte

Assistant Professor

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

1 year


Dr Komal Keswani

Assistant Professor (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

1 year


Dr Manali Nilekeri

Assistant Professor (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

1 year


Dr Sonal Thavare

Assistant Professor (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

1 year


Dr Mitali Solanki

Senior Resident (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

10 months


Dr Shrutkirti Gupta

Senior Resident (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

9 months


Dr Rashmi Moon

Senior Resident (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

9 months


Dr Swapnil Thombare

Senior Resident (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

14 days


Dr Devika Thorat

Senior Resident (Contractual)

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

14 days


Dr Gita Nataraj

Professor Emeritus

MBBS, MD (Microbiology).

39 years


Routine working hours –
All divisions


9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Saturdays & Bank Holidays

9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Emergency laboratory


4.00 p.m. to next day
9.00 a.m.

Saturdays / Bank Holidays

12.30 p.m. to Sunday / Next working day  9.00 a.m.

Sundays / O.P.D Holidays

9.00 a.m. to Monday / Next working day 9.00 a.m.




OPD patients

All divisions

9.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.

Indoor patients

All divisions

9.00 a.m. –  11.00 am

Blood / Body fluids / Aspirated pus/ Tissue / Ocular specimens / E.N.T specimens, Stool for cholera / suspected gas gangrene / all other invasive or intra-operative specimens

Serology, Clinical Bacteriology, Mycology, Mycobacteriology and Parasitology (RMAT)

During the entire working period

Urine, Stool (other than for cholera) and Sputum

Clinical Bacteriology

9.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.

Direct walk in clients

Virology and Immunology / ICTC

9.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m

Influenza RT-PCR

Molecular Diagnosis

Routine patient samples will be accepted from 9.00 a.m till 4 pm.

Investigations available in Emergency Microbiology Laboratory (7th floor, MSB)
Please refer to E-Lab timings above

  • Blood and body fluids for bacterial culture
  • Tissue / Pus for gas gangrene
  • Intra-op tissues and products of conception for culture
  • HVS culture from ANC women in labour
  • Stool – hanging drop and culture for V. cholerae
  • Samples from suspected diphtheria cases – microscopy (Gram’s and Albert’s stain) and culture
  • Ocular samples for bacterial microscopy and culture
  • Ocular samples for fungal microscopy and culture
  • CSF for India ink and fungal culture
  • Lepto IgM – rapid test
  • Dengue NS1 and Dengue antibody – rapid test
  • Malaria – rapid antigen test
  • COVID-19 Rapid antigen test
  • HHH (rapid test)

Division /

Tests offered

Specimen type * and number where applicable

Contact Person with intercom number

Clinical Bacteriology
7th floor,

  • Microscopy& Culture for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
  • Bacterial identification and Antimicrobial susceptibility test (AST) on clinically relevant aerobic bacteria
  • Rapid identification
  • VITEK 2 as per need
  • VITEK MS Prime

(Rapid identification of bacteria and fungi based on MALDI-ToF MS)

  • AST (rapid): MIC – VITEK 2
  • Environmental sampling and sterility assurance tests as required

All specimens collected aseptically in sterile containers

Dr Lona Dash / Dr Pradnya Kale/
Dr Akshay Karyakarte/
Dr Manali Nilekeri


BACTEC FX 200 rapid aerobic bacterial culture  for adults (as per availability)


BACTEC Peds plus for children / neonates (as per availability)


Molecular Diagnosis and VRDL
(7th floor)

COVID-19 rapid antigen test (emergency lab)

Influenza RTPCR and subtyping

CMV for nephrology patients

ZIKA virus - PCR

Nasopharyngeal swab + oropharyngeal swab OR
Nasal swab + Throat swab OR
Sputum in case of pneumonia

Whole blood in EDTA

Whole blood in EDTA

Dr. Priyanka Prasad /
Dr. Gita Nataraj

5th floor, MSB

Microscopy , Culture, Identification for fungi, AST for yeasts

Pneomocystis jeroveci - microscopy

All specimens collected aseptically in sterile containers


Dr.Chaya A. Kumar/
Dr Vasant Baradkar /
Dr Pallavi Surase

7857 / 7824

Automated ID and AFST for yeast using VITEK 2 and VITEK MS Prime

AFST for yeasts
- Thermo-Scientific

5th floor, MSB **


Any sample ( as per program recommendation / clinician’s request)

Dr Swapna Kanade /
Dr. Komal Keswani


Xpert MTB/RIF ** assay for simultaneous detection of MTBC and Rifampicin resistance
(upfront test for presumptive TB cases)

2 ml for any liquid specimen such as sputum / body fluids , in graduated, 50 ml sterile, screw capped tubes (Falcon tube) procured from DOTS centre, 5th floor , CVTC building

Culture MGIT – 960 and
DST first and second line

(for follow up cases as per programmatic directives)

At least 3 ml for liquid specimen (sputum / body fluids)

5th floor,

Stool – Routine and Microscopy
Blood – microfilaria (microscopy)
Stool and other body fluids / tissues –for opportunistic parasites

- Stool
-Other respiratory
-Hydatid fluid
-Other body fluids

Dr. Vasant Baradkar /
Dr. Alpana Wagh

7857 / 7832

RDT -  malarial antigen

Whole blood / finger prick

5th floor,

  • ASO
  • Dengue – NS1 antigen

(Rapid / ELISA)

  • Dengue – IgG and IgM antibodies (Rapid )
  • Dengue IgM ELISA
  • Leptospirosis – IgM

Antibodies ( Rapid / ELISA)

  • RF
  • Widal
  • RPR
  • Chikungunya IgM


Covid-19 IgG antibody

Referral of specimens to PCR laboratory at Kasturba Hospital for Leptospirosis, Dengue

Whole blood (at least 4 ml) collected in clean, dry, plain test tube / red/ yellow top evacuated tubes.


PCR – 3-5 ml blood in purple cap (EDTA) evacuated tubes and transported in cold chain

Dr. Vijaya Torane /
Dr Sonal Thavare


Virology and

5th floor,

ICTC @ for
HIV – antibody detection

HCV – antibody detection
HBsAg detection
CD4 count enumeration (patients referred from ART centre)

4-6 ml Whole blood collected in clean, dry, plain test tube / yellow or red evacuated tube


Dr. Chaya A. Kumar /
Dr. Shashir Wanjare /
Dr. Vaishali Surase/
Dr. Ranjana Thate

7822 / 7825

HIV viral load for patients referred from ART

4-6 ml Whole blood in EDTA evacuated tube

HBV viral load (for patients referred from GI OPD)

HCV viral load (for patients referred from GI OPD)

Infection prevention
and control

Audit and training

Dr.Chaya A Kumar/
Dr.Gita Nataraj/
Dr. Shreeraj Talwadekar,
Infection Control Officer

**, # Specimens should be accompanied by appropriately filled RNTCP laboratory forms
@ Specimens should be accompanied by appropriately filled written informed consent form (Marathi / English) for HIV antibody test

  • All sample containers should be adequately labelled.
  • All samples should be accompanied by adequately filled requisition form.

Processing specimens in Biosafety Cabinet

BACTEC FX 200 - Automated Culture System for Blood

VITEK MS PRIME for Rapid identification

VITEK-2 Compact for Rapid identification and MIC

Automated nucleic acid extraction system

Automated nucleic acid extraction system2

Real time PCR systems

Real time PCR systems2

Abbott system - HIV viral load

PCR lab with real time PCR systems

Preparing food for bacteria in petri plates

  • Wards – NA
  • Special OPD/Clinic – NA
  • Types of OPDs with timings day wise - NA

  • Patient feedback

As a pre-requisite for NABL accreditation, active feedback is sought from over 100 patients / clients availing the services of the department using a feedback form. The feedback thus received is discussed periodically in departmental meeting and appropriate measures taken as needed.
A complaint box has also been made available in the locations of the laboratories (one on 5th floor, one on 7th floor and one in the specimen acceptance counter situated on the ground floor of MSB). Complaints received are immediately addressed and appropriate corrective actions taken.

  • Patient education

As a part of ICTC ( Integrated Counselling and Testing Services) , all walk in clients as a part of pre-test counselling, are provided information on HIV , it’s mode of transmission, symptoms when present and most importantly, when and where to seek care and methods of prevention. They are also informed about the symptoms of associated opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis. Those in whom HIV infection is detected are provided with appropriate counselling and linkages for care.

Courses offered

        • M.D Microbiology ( 6 seats annually)
        • D.M.L.T ( 10 seats along with departments of pathology and biochemistry)
        • MUHS affiliated Fellowship course in Infection Prevention and Control with specific reference to hospital acquired infections.

(2 seats annually)

UG Student activities

  • Self-directed learning
  • Seminars, tutorials , small group discussions
  • Elective modules
  • ICMR / STS projects

Teaching schedule/ Academic calendar



II MBBS ( Microbiology )

Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Mondays and Thursdays


Fridays and Saturdays

Fridays and Saturdays

OT/PT ( Microbiology)

Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays



Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays


MD (Microbiology)

Seminars / Journal club / Case presentation / Faculty lectures / Guest lectures -
Tuesdays and Fridays
Teaching Pathologists and Microbiologists Conference - 6 sessions / year conducted by various medical colleges / teaching institutes


Various divisions of microbiology
Emergency microbiology services
District Residency Programme ( 3 months)
Clinical and allied postings as per NMC norms
Hospital infection control activities


As per MUHS norms

Paper presentation in national and state conferences


  • 518th Teaching Pathology and Microbiologist conference conducted at Seth GSMC & KEMH on 21st April 2023.
  • Laboratory Technician training for proficiency testing under HIV EQAS Programme conducted twice a year, at SETH GSMC AND KEM Hospital.

Awards (2022)

  • Dr. Chaya A. Kumar received an award for exemplary contribution towards development & activities of Medical Education Unit, LTMMC & GH, Mumbai.
  • Dr. Avinash Supe best published paper award -2022, for the published original article "Rifampicin resistance by Xpert MTB / RIF assay in pulmonary tuberculosis - is there a need for confirmation by retesting?”

Dr. Swapna Kanade, Dr. Swati Vijay, Dr. Gita Nataraj.

  • Dr. Priyanka Prasad received a Certificate of appreciation for excellent contribution as member from ‘Animal Ethics Committee’, Seth G.S Medical College and K.E.M Hospital.
  • State Chapter conference (MahaMicroCon 2022)

Best oral paper in Virology

  • Role of CD4 count estimation in the era of HIV viral load among PLHIV -  Ranjana Thate, Nayana Ingole, Shashir Wanjare, Vaishali Surase, Kavita Joshi,  Shrikala Aacharya , Gita Nataraj.

Second prize in poster session

  • Mayuri Barua, Pallavi Surase, Shashir Wanjare, Gita Nataraj. Subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis by an emerging fungus – Rhytidhystron rufulum, a case report

Certificate of Accreditation MC 2687



The department provides diagnostic services through the following divisions
Clinical Bacteriology
Molecular diagnosis and VRDL
Virology and Immunology

Books chapters
Swapna Kanade, Gita Nataraj. Laboratory diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Dr Sandhya Kamath (ed), API textbook of Medicine, 12th Edition 2022, Section 1. Infectious Diseases. Chapter 29, Pages 128-131. Jaypee publishers

S Mudshingkar, G Natraj, S Baveja, P Mehta , F Jijina Assessment of Microbial Aetiology of Febrile neutropenia Research Development in Medicine and Medical Science 2023, Vol 7, 182-195


  • Alpana Wagh, Aarti Gandhi, Gita Nataraj Chronic osteomyelitis due to Salmonella typhi in a Hemophilia patient- A case report.. International Journal of Scientific Research , 22 Nov,Vol-11(11): 83-84
  • Swapna Rajesh Kanade, Swati Vijay, Gita Nataraj. Rifampicin Resistance by Xpert MTB/RIF Assay in Pulmonary Tuberculosis- Is there a Need for Confirmation by Retesting. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2022 May, Vol-16(5): 46-50
  • Nayana Ingole, Trupti Mathure, Meena Jinwal, PL Kashyap, Shreeraj Talwadekar, Gita Nataraj. Role of quality management system in setting up and sustaining a molecular diagnostic laboratory during COVID-19 pandemic National Journal of Laboratory Medicine 2022; 11(1): M001-005
  • Divya Bajpai, Satarupa Deb , Sreyoshi Bose et al Clinical course and outcomes of COVID-19 in kidney transplant recipients Indian J of Nephro 2022; 32(5): 467-475
  • SS Kuyare, NG Pai, AA Mankar, VM Makwana , G Nataraj Hepatitis B vaccination status of dentists and their approach to Hepatitis B patients - A questionnaire based survey from Maharashtra. J of Evol in Med and Dental Sciences . 2022 : 126-132
  • S. Paranjpe, N. Roopal, K. Avani, N. Gita, M. Preeti Prevalence of intestinal parasites in pregnant women Indian Journal of Microbiology Research 2023, 7(4): 350-357
  • RN Thate, N Ingole, V Solanke-Surase, K Joshi, S Bajpayi, S Acharya, G Nataraj Role of CD4 count estimation in the era of HIV-1 viral load among PLHIV Indian J Med Microbiol 2023, Vol 46 ( accepted)
  • VP Torane, G Nataraj, S Kanade, CT Deshmukh Comparison of gastric lavage/sputum and stool specimens in the diagnosis of paediatric pulmonary tuberculosis – A pilot study. Indian J Tuberculosis 2023
  • S Kanade, Z Mohammed, A Kulkarni and G Nataraj Comparison of Xpert MTN/RIF assay, Line Probe Assay and Culture in Diagnosis on Pulmonary Tuberculosis on bronchoscopic specimen The International Journal of Mycobacteriology, 2023 12(2): 151-156
  • S Kanade, M Solanki, S Thombare, G Nataraj Utility of laboratory diagnostic tests in women suspected of genital tuberculosis attending a tertiary care teaching hospital . The International Journal of Mycobacteriology, 2023 12(2): 135 -138
  • R Thate, N Ingole, VS Surase,  Joshi, S Bajpai, S Acharya, G Nataraj Achieving UNAIDS viral suppression goal: Experience from a tertiary care public hospital, Western India. The J Association of Physicians of India, 2022 , 69(12) : 11-12
  • Kunalsen Jagatdeo, Mayuri Baruah, Shashir Wanjare, Pallavi Surase, Shailesh Salvi, Gits Nataraj. Candidemia in intensive care unit ad their antifungal susceptibility pattern. Intl J Health and Clin Res 2023. 6(2): 1-5
  • Jagatdeo, Kunalsen, Arora, Vidhi & Wanjare, Shashir & Surase, Pallavi & Patil, Tejas & Nataraj, Gita. (2023). Newer candida species in intensive care units of a tertiary care teaching hospital and their minimum inhibitory concentration. International J Scientific Research. 4-6. 10.36106/ijsr/5206114.
  • Wanjare, Shashir , Jagatdeo, Kunalsen , Acchammachary, Ashmaki , Surase, Pallavi, Nataraj, Gita. . Biofilm producing candida species in intensive care unit patients of a tertiary care teaching hospital. Intl J Res and Anal Rev 2023, 10(2): 763-768
  • Aislinn Cook et al (multiple authors, Gita Nataraj) Neonatal invasive candidiasis in low and middle income countries: Data from the NeoOBS study. Medical Mycology 2023,61 htpps://
  • Riddell A et al (multiple authors, Dr. Priyanka Prasad) Challenges in the implementation of the NeoOBS stugy, a global pragmatic observational cohort study, to investigate the aetiology and management of neonatal sepsis in the hospital setting. Antibiotics 2023;12:923 htpps://
  • Ranjana N. Thate , Dr Nayana Ingole , Vaishali Solanke-Surase , Kavita Joshi , Smrati Bajpayi , Shrikala Acharya , Gita Nataraj Role of CD4 count estimation in the era of HIV-1 viral load among PLHIV .IJMM vol-46, 2023

Research projects utilizing Research labs


Ongoing projects:
International collaboration
  • The scabies microbiota consortium toward new interventions in collaboration with QIMR, Brisbane, Australia.
    Single centre study
  • Utility of Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 in a tertiary care center.
  • Is there an association between Tuberculosis and COVID-19? - A questionnaire based study.
  • Prevalence of Tuberculosis in children and adolescents in a tertiary care center
  • Knowledge and Attitude of Healthcare Professionals towards Hand Hygiene Practices in a Tertiary Care Hospital
  • Implementation and observations of Hospital Infection Control Practices in a Tertiary Care Hospital.
  • Utility of rapid antigen test for COVID-19 at a tertiary care centre.
  • Persistent positivity of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in COVID-19 patients.
  • Burden of positivity of asymptomatic COVID-19 suspects at a tertiary care teaching hospital.
  • Profiling of self-initiated client attending ICTC
  • Sero-prevalence of SARS CoV-2 IgG antibody in patients referred for testing in a tertiary care centre in Mumbai.
  • Superbugs on smart phones in general population

PG dissertations

  • Surveillance of dengue virus serotypes in patients detected with dengue NS1 antigen and its correlation with the clinical and laboratory parameters – a single centre study from a tertiary care teaching hospital in Mumbai.
  • Surveillance of surgical site infections among orthopedic patients.
  • The study of viral gastroenteritis in patients attending tertiary care teaching hospital. 
  • Correlation of Candida auris colonization to candidemia in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
  • Burden of laboratory confirmed tuberculosis in children and adolescent in a tertiary care center.
  • Prevalence of Giardiasis in patients with diarrhea attending a tertiary care center.
  • Influenza virus infection – subtypes, clinical characteristics and outcome in hospitalized patients. A single centre study
  • Prevalence of scrub typhus infection among patients presenting with acute febrile illness in a tertiary care teaching hospital in Mumbai

Photo Gallery