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National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata, West Bengal

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The “Cholera Research Centre” was established by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 1962 to conduct research on the prevention and control of cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases. The Centre was given the status of “International Reference Centre for Vibrio Phage Typing” by the WHO in 1968, and in 1978 it was designated the “WHO Collaborative Centre for Reference and Research on Vibrios”. The ICMR elevated the Centre’s status to that of a “National Institute” in 1979, resulting in its renaming to the “National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases”(NICED). The WHO recognised NICED as a “WHO Collaborative Centre for Research and Training on Diarrhoeal Diseases” in 1980.

The NICED’s aims are to conduct research on diarrhoeal diseases, fever, infective hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS in both basic and applied aspects. Besides research, NICED also conducts training for health professionals to improve the management and prevention of diarrhoeal diseases, and for the rapid and accurate diagnosis of etiological agents.

The Global Enteric Multicentric Study (GEMS) is a community based diarrheal surveillance for children less than 5 years. The objective is to identify the organisms causing diarrhoea among children in Kolkata slums. The major activities under this project are (1) demographic surveillance (DSS - includes recording of birth, death, migration, pregnancy) at the interval of every four months, (2) pregnancy follow up – every week from 8 months of pregnancy upto delivery, (3) verbal autopsy in case of child death, (4) stool sample collection for any diarrheal case as per WHO definition and stool sample collection from age- and sex-matched asymptomatic control. Anthropometric measurements are taken for all diarrheal cases and controls. A follow up visit after 2 months from the day of sample collection from the case and the control is also carried out. In this visit an anthropometric measurement is taken and an interview of the care taker is also conducted. Health care utilization and attitude survey (HUAS-lite) is also undertaken among randomly selected households every month. The stool samples examined so far under GEMS found that the top five attributable pathogens of diarrhoea for children less than 5 years are rota virus, cryptosporidium, shigella, ETEC (LT/ST or ST) and adenovirus (non 40/41).

NICED also undertakes rural diarrheal surveillance within a 27,000 population group in Langalberia PHC area in Sonarpur block of South 24 Parganas. Given the long term association with the community, these sites can be used for large scale intervention trails or other epidemiological studies.

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