• supriya.bg@stjohns.in

Journal of the Academy of Clinical Microbiologists

The medically qualified Microbiologists in Trivandrum , Kerala, India met in the Department of Microbiology, Medical College, Trivandrum on 15-12-1995. There were 18 participants. Dr. Mabel Legori, Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology, welcomed the gathering and suggested the need for an association or an academic body to be formed to bring out changes in the nature of Microbiology Laboratory Service.

Monthly meetings were held and the draft byelaw was presented by Dr. Mabel Legori at the 4th meeting on 1st March 1996. It was decided to have a journal for the Academy and the name “The Journal of the Academy of Clinical Microbiologists” (JACM) was approved at the meeting on 7th July 1996. The emblem was presented at this meeting and was also approved. The Academy of Clinical Microbiologists was registered as a Charitable Society at the Registrar’s Office, Trivandrum on 24th July 1996 (Reg. No. 668).

The formal inauguration took place on 12th August 1996 at the Silver Jubilee Auditorium, Medical College, Trivandrum.

President (Dr. Mabel Legori), Secretary (Dr. Kavita Raja), Treasurer (Dr. P.T. Iype), Editor (Dr. P.M. Sivan Pillai) and Sub-editor (Dr. M. Sumangala Bai)

The first issue of the JACM was released on 10th December 1997 at the one-day CME programme on “Antibiotic Use” held at the Medical College Auditorium. This was followed by the annual general body meeting when a decision was made to have conferences only once in three years and the founder membership period was extended upto 31st December 1998.

The Ist Triennial Conference took place at the Medical College Auditorium, Trivandrum on 2nd September 1999 with a pre-conference CME on “Recent Advances in Infection Management” on 1st September 1999.

The II Triennial Conference took place on 4th September 2002 at the IMA State Head Quarters, Trivandrum. The pre-conference CME programme was on Hospital Infection and Leadership Development. At last, the ball gained momentum with Dr. Krishna Prakash from Delhi as President, Dr. David Tompkins from Leeds (U.K) as Senior Vice President and Dr. Lizy Mathew from Trivandrum as Secretary.

The III Triennial Conference took place at the Govt. Medical College,Thiruvananthapuram on 2nd August 2005 with a pre-conference seminar on “Infectious Diseases and the Control of Epidemics.” Election of office bearers took place on 1st August 2005. Dr. David Tompkins from Leeds (U.K) became the President and Dr.Sumangala Bai (Senior Vice President), with Dr.Mabel Legori (Secretary), Dr.Ramani Bai (Treasurer) and Dr.Kavita Raja (Editor). ACM had 36 founder members and 108 life members as on 15th January 2007.

The IV Triennial Conference took place at Medical College, Trivandrum on 23rd August 2008 with a pre-conference CME on 22nd August, on "Changing trends in Hospital Infections". A totally new team were elected on the evening of 22nd August consisting of Dr.Sumangala Bai(President), Dr.Renu Mathew (Senior Vice-President), Dr.Anitha PM (Secretary) , Dr.MiniPN (Treasurer) and Dr.Muralidharan (Editor)

The Website was inaugurated at Medical College, Calicut, Kerala, India on 20th February 2010 by the Professor and Head of Microbiology, Dr.Rema Devi at the CME on Clinical Microbiology

Fifteen years after the inauguration of the Academy, the fifth triennial conference was also organised at Medical College, Trivandrum on 16th October, 2011. The theme of the pre-conference CME on 15th October was "Anti-microbial Resistance- Role of the Clinical Microbiologist". This was in the circumstance of rising anti-microbial resistance in the world and in India in particular. The role of the clinical Microbiologist was getting more clearly felt and during the General body meeting a lively discussion was on how to improve the MD curriculum so that the future consultants in Microbiology could meet the challenge of antibiotic stewardship. The new team elected included : Dr.Renu Mathew-President, Dr.Prithi Nair- Vice-President, Dr.Lancy J - 2nd Vice-President ,Dr.Anitha Pm- Secretary, Dr.Mini PN- Treasurer and Dr.Ramani Bai- Editor. Membership at the time of GB stood at 202 and growing.

For the first time, the Triennial Conference was organised outside Trivandrum and for the first time, an additional day of workshop was also introduced. The workshop was on practice of clinical microbiology- by a team of Dr.Mitul Patel from Birmingham, UK and Dr.Sanjay Bhattacharya from Kolkota . They were complemented by a team of spirited clinicians from Medical College, Thrissur to conduct a sparkling session on interaction between clinician and microbiologist. \the second day on CME, was handled by expert faculty including Dr.Savithri Sharma from Hyderabad, Dr.Vaidehi and Dr.Sangeetha Joshi. Tuberculosis management was discussed at length by Dr.Sanjeev Nair, Chest diseases, Trivandrum. As is the practice, the 5th ACM Oration was delivered by the outgoing President, Dr.Renu Mathew, on Parasitic diseases. The new team consisting of Dr.Prithi Nair, President, Dr.Chithra Premkumar, Secretary and Dr.Reena John, Treasurer took charge. Dr.Kavita Raja got another turn at Editorship with a totally new team to support her. Now that the journal is online with Medknow, it is hoped that more good quality articles will be published. After the GB meeting, it was decided to increase the membership fee and also the article fee, due to the escalating costs of publishing. New initiatives like Eqas program, curriculum development etc. are on the anvil.