The Pasteur Network aims to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing by sponsoring yearly high-level training modules . Three recent courses hosted by members of the Pasteur Network addressed some of its main action pillars : epidemic intelligence and preparedness, research, development and innovation, multi-disciplinary knowledge communities and equitable collaboration.
A first course focused on “Biology of emerging and Neglected Viral Infections in Latin America” took place from April 19th to 28th , 2023 at the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo.
The course, organised by Nicolas Sarute (Institut Pasteur de Montevideo), Nolwenn Jouvenet (Institut Pasteur, Paris) and Sandra Cordo (UBA, AUGM, Argentina), brought together researchers and healthcare professionals from all over Latin America. The main objective of the course was to foster a multidisciplinary exchange on key aspects of the biology of neglected and emerging viruses, with a focus on pathogens with an impact on public health. Topics covered included basic virus research, epidemiology, surveillance, and prevention and control strategies.
This course will bear the name of Professor Otto Pritsch, a recently deceased researcher who played a fundamental role in the consolidation of the agreement signed between the French Cooperation for Latin America, the Association of Universities of the Montevideo Group (AUGM), the Institut Pasteur (Paris) and the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo.
Consult the programme on the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo website
A second course within the context of the SARA (Surveillance of antibiotic resistance in Africa) project, co-financed with FSPi funds of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, was held at the Institut Pasteur de Dakar from May 22nd to 26th, 2023. It was co-coordinated by the group of Sylvain Brisse (Institut Pasteur) and Yakhya Diye (Institut Pasteur de Dakar). This intensive course brought together 21 participants from 9 different African countries. The course focused on the sequencing and bioinformatics analysis of bacterial genomes. It also enabled participants to strengthen their collaborative network and share best practices in antibiotic resistance surveillance.
To find out more about the SARA course: read the article published on Pasteur.fr
Finally, the “Immersion in Innovation and Technology Transfer in Biological Sciences and Public Health” course was held from June 26th to 29th, 2023at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute. Over four days, experts spoke about the importance of technology transfer and innovation in the development and manufacture of innovative medical products.
Consult the programme on the Hellenic Pasteur Institute website
By funding these high-level courses and making them accessible to a wide range of participants, the Pasteur Network aims to foster collective action and knowledge sharing, in emerging infectious diseases, anti-microbial resistance and the promotion of scientific innovation.
More information :
List of the courses supported by the Pasteur Network
Pasteur Network contact : Kathleen VICTOIR email@example.com
Photo: SARA course in May 2023 at the Institut Pasteur de Dakar. Copyright: Sylvain Brisse
Pasteur International Unit Fungal Extracellular Vesicles has been created by the Institut Pasteur, FioCruz – Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Brazil) – two members of the Pasteur Network – and the University of Birmingham (UK). The Pasteur International Joint Research Units are jointly created with two or more research teams, working together within the Pasteur Network.
More information :
- Institut Pasteur article : Creation of the Pasteur International Unit Fungal Extracellular Vesicles
- Fiocruz press release : Fiocruz-Pasteur-Birmingham international unit will investigate fungal diseases
About the Pasteur Network
The Pasteur Network is a vast human and scientific community with more than 30 members in over 20 countries contributing together to global health. Located in the heart of endemic areas, the Network has privileged access to a large number of pathogens that it monitors and studies on all five continents. This exceptional diversity makes the Pasteur Network a unique global actor in public health, science, innovation, and education, especially in the fight against infectious diseases.
On Friday March 31, 2023 at a ceremony in Paris, the Institut Pasteur President, Professor Stewart Cole, and the University of São Paulo (USP) Rector, Carlos Gilberto Carlotti Junior, signed articles of association for the Institut Pasteur in São Paulo, a private non-profit organization under Brazilian law. The mission of the institute, an associate member of the Pasteur Network, is to conduct research in the field of biology that contributes to the development of human health, and to promote outreach, education, innovation and knowledge transfer activities and public health measures.
For more information
Read the press release on the Institut Pasteur’s website: https://www.pasteur.fr/en/press-area/press-documents/institut-pasteur-and-university-sao-paulo-sign-articles-association-establish-institut-pasteur-sao
Photo: Signing ceremony at the Institut Pasteur – © François Gardy – Institut Pasteur
Recently, three new directors have taken up their positions within the Network.
In Canada, David Chatenet has taken over as Director of the Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre at the Institut National de Recherche Scientifique (INRS).
In Brazil, following the appointment of Nísia Trindade Lima as head of the Ministry of Health, Mario Moreira, former Executive Director, became Acting President of Fiocruz.
In Korea, Youngmee Jee, has been appointed as the new head of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The former Administrative Executive Director, Byungkwon Lim, has taken over as CEO of the Pasteur Institute of Korea.
As the Pasteur Network continues to evolve, it regularly offers new positions to its members. The Network’s job offers are available and can be consulted on the career page.
Some pathogens present asymptomatic forms that complicate the study of their transmission dynamics and their determinants. Researchers from the Pasteur Network based at the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane and the Institut Pasteur (Paris), in collaboration with the Cayenne Hospital, have studied the atypical incidence of Q fever in Guyana. Their work, published in The Lancet Regional Health – Americas, estimates a high risk of infection in the general population. They highlight the important role of livestock in transmission.
Q fever, a zoonosis with limited symptoms
Q fever is a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that infects a majority of mammals in most parts of the world. Ruminants, the main source of human infection, can excrete the bacteria in calving products, feces, vaginal secretions, and milk. Transmission is mainly by airborne route and is manifested by clinical signs in humans in only 40% of cases. If present, clinical signs are generally flu-like and non-specific, but may sometimes be associated with pneumonia, hepatitis and, more rarely, with more severe symptoms, especially in patients with comorbidities. 60% of reported cases worldwide have been identified during epidemics centered around farms or slaughterhouses infected with the bacterium.
French Guiana, a special case
The French Guiana population has the highest incidence of Q fever in the world. 24% of hospitalized cases of community-acquired pneumonia are attributed to this region. Most of the patients hospitalized came from metropolitan France and lived in the urbanized area of Cayenne and its suburbs. However, the classic risks of exposure (slaughterhouse or livestock in the vicinity) were not found among the diagnosed cases. As no wild reservoir was clearly identified, previous studies considered transmission by livestock to be unlikely.
The atypical nature of its transmission combined with a high proportion of asymptotic cases has made it difficult to understand the epidemiology and determinants associated with Q fever in French Guyana. In order to better understand its transmission dynamics and to orient public health intervention strategies, researchers from the Pasteur Network and infectious diseases specialists from the Cayenne Hospital Center collaborated to conduct a serological survey of 2,700 individuals representative of the different communities in French Guiana.
Domestic livestock as a vector of the disease
The authors modelized serological data classified by age in order to reconstruct the history of the circulation of the bacterium in the different regions of the territory. Their results show a constant circulation of C. burnetii throughout French Guiana with an estimated annual number of cases of 579. 9.6% of the population tested had already been infected and middle-aged men and individuals living near livestock. Analysis of the data identified an epidemic that occurred between 1996 and 2003 in the communes of Remire and Matoury. This epidemic, which infected 10% of the population, explains the high proportion of people carrying antibodies against C. burnetii in the urban area of Cayenne Island.
This collaborative work has made it possible to model for the first time the transmission dynamics of Q fever in French Guiana. The highlighting of the role of domestic livestock in a context of important transmission of the bacterium argues for the reinforcement of surveillance and risk reduction activities in French Guiana’s livestock farms and underlines the interest of a “One Health” approach combining a human, animal, and environmental component.
Serological surveys, essential tools
This type of large-scale serological survey has already been conducted in Bangladesh for dengue and for Chagas disease in Colombia. It allows the study of a wide range of factors contributing to disease control such as pathogen circulation patterns, immunity levels related to vaccination or previous infection or potential areas of emergence. This multi-factorial approach with a very positive cost/benefit ratio (cost of analysis versus amount of data generated/output) is a very valuable tool to promote to public health agencies and authorities.
It is proposed that this methodology could be reused by the members of the Pasteur Network in the framework of a phase 3 of the ECOMORE project involving Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, and Vietnam, in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur in Paris, for which funding is still being sought. Indeed, its use would improve the understanding of the circulation history of a multitude of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and parasites), representing a public health issue for these countries, and of the epidemiology of their associated diseases in order to propose appropriate interventions to the authorities of these countries.
For more information:
Transmission dynamics of Q fever in French Guiana: A population-based cross-sectional study
The Lancet Regional Health – Americas, October 2022.
Sarah Bailly†, Nathanaël Hozé†, Sylvie Bisser, Aurélien Zhu-Soubise, Camille Fritzell, Sandrine Fernandes-Pellerin, Adija Mbouangoro, Dominique Rousset, Félix Djossou, Simon Cauchemez‡, Claude Flamand‡*.
†, ‡These authors contributed equally to this work.
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lana.2022.100385