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Virologica Sinica, 24 (2) : 81-92, 2009
Medical Virology in Malaysia
Makmal Kesihatan Awam Kebangsaan, Kementerian Kesihatan, Lot 1853, Kg. Melayu, 47000 Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia
Virology is a branch of biological science dealing with the study of viruses, and medical virology focuses on the study and control of diseases due to viruses that is of medical importance. The development of medical virology in Malaysia has its beginning in the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), following the establishment of the Division of Medical Zoology and Virus Research in the institute on 23 March 1953. The second institution in the country to establish diagnostic and research work in medical virology was Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya. This was followed by University Kebangsaan Malaysia, University Sains Malaysia and University of Sarawak Malaysia. The National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) is the latest institution to establish a laboratory in 2003 for virus isolation and services to support country surveillance and outbreak investigation of infectious diseases due to viruses. In the field of medical virology, Malaysia contributed substantially in the areas of virus diagnostic services, development and research ranging from survey and documentation on the existence and prevalence of viruses causing diseases in Malaysia, clinical presentation and epidemiological features of virus diseases, evaluation of new diagnostic tests to pathogenesis of viral diseases. Malaysia contributed to the discoveries of at least 12 new viruses in the world. ASEAN plus Three (China, Japan, Republic of Korea) Emerging Infectious Programme was established to overcome the challenges and impact of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in this region. Malaysia as the co-ordinator of the laboratory component of the programme, contributed to strengthen the regional laboratory capability, capacity, laboratory-based surveillance and networking. The future of medical virology in Malaysia in terms of integration of diagnostic, reference and research to support the country’s need will be enhanced and strengthened with the on-going development of the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Malaysia) which also incorporates a futuristic Special Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory
Key Words: Medical Virology;  Malaysia
  Published online: 1 Apr 2009
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