Ever since its very early days, the Institut Pasteur has been committed to tackling emerging infections, and its work has left an extraordinary legacy. Many emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses, in which an animal pathogen has crossed the species barrier to cause disease in humans.
AIDS, Ebola, SARS, avian flu, chikungunya, Zika, the past fifty years have witnessed an alarming increase in the emergence of new infectious agents into human populations. Known parasites, bacterial and fungal pathogens are re-emerging due to ecosystem modifications, leading to the development of synergistic epidemics. Most of these emerging infectious diseases are related to pathogens from the animal world which crossed the species barrier and adapted to humans. In other instances, gene reassortment or mutations in the microbial genome lead to novel agents able to spread among humans. Vectors, such as the mosquitoes Aedes, are now firmly established in tropical and temperate zones to facilitate the dissemination of the so-called arboviruses. The Institut Pasteur, with more than one hundred research units, 14 national reference centers, 6 WHO collaborating centers and connections with an international network of 32 institutes worldwide, is uniquely positioned to respond to these threats.
- To analyze the biological and epidemiological determinants of infectious disease emergence into human populations
- To develop new tools for pathogen identification and characterization in the context of epidemics or diseases of unknown origin
- To study the factors associated with individual susceptibility to infections, including the role of genes, immunity, and the microbiota
- To understand host-microbe interactions, and identify novel targets for diagnosis, vaccination and treatment
- To study the biology of vectors and vector-pathogen interactions, for the development of environmentally friendly and safe control strategies
ACHIEVEMENTS and FUTURE OBJECTIVES
- Increase internal and external visibility of Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) research at Institut Pasteur via communication activities
- Reinforce Institut Pasteur research on EID through creation of new G5s and targeted funding
- Create a community at the Parisian campus and Pasteur Network levels for generating, sharing, and analyzing sequencing data from emerging or re-emerging pathogens
- Respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic (taskforce Corona, Pasteur Network mobilization, participation to the scientific committee advising the government)
- Prepare the future epidemics at the Institute (epidemics preparedness unit) and national (PIA4-AAP, PERP Prezode) levels
- Set up an infrastructure for the identification and development of human monoclonal antibodies for research and therapeutic purposes
- Build a state-of-the-art insectarium for vector research
- Devise a genomic taxonomy of microbial strains.
Six thematic areas (Total of 88 entities including research units, G5, WHO and national reference centres, collections and platforms).