The Institut Pasteur
               International Network Newsletter
June 2020
The Institut Pasteur International Network mobilized in the surveillance and research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus
In the current context of global health crisis, the spirit of international solidarity which animates the Institut Pasteur International Network has enabled the exchange of information, especially on diagnostic techniques, and support for the institutes so that SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests can be available in due course in every institute. Since mid-February, the institutes of the Institut Pasteur International Network submitted research projects, most often collaborative within the network. Most institutes in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia have been named COVID-19 Reference Centers, some being the WHO Collaborating Centers. Below you will find a selection of news published by the Institutes of the Network (non-exhaustive list).
WHO webiste page on coronavirus
COVID-19 dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University
Institut Pasteur disease webpage
Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 : The Institut Pasteur and its network's mobilization, 38 projects submitted after the second call for application
Set-up of a drive for COVID-19 direct samples at the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane
Fiocruz develops a protocol to sequence the new coronavirus
COVID-19: Fiocruz will begin pre-clinical trials for a vaccine
HKU-Pasteur Research Pole to work with the Institut Pasteur in Paris on mucosal immunity during SARS-CoV-2 infection and recovery
HKU-Pasteur Research Pole : dexamethasone shows promising results in critically COVID-19 patients
Institut Pasteur de la Guyane: circulation of the emerging Mayaro virus in the French Amazon
Arboviruses are a significant and evolving threat to public health. The Mayaro virus, an alphavirus often cited as a likely candidate for the next great emergence of arboviruses, is mainly transmitted by Haemagogus mosquitoes from forests to non-human primates and other mammalian reservoirs. It causes similar symptoms in humans to those of dengue, zika or chikungunya.
Thanks to the EPI-ARBO study carried out in 2017 by the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane to study the transmission of arboviruses, researchers from the mathematical modeling unit of infectious diseases of the Institut Pasteur with the epidemiology unit and the National Arbovirus Reference Center of the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane have developed an analytical approach aiming to jointly assess the epidemiology of the Mayaro and Chikungunya viruses as well as the extent of cross-reactivity existing between these two viruses. This study has just been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
A new mutation of Plasmodium falciparum unveiled in Central African Republic
A new study by the Institut Pasteur de Bangui on markers of drug resistance in the malaria parasite in Central African Republic, published in Malaria Journal, reveals the absence of strains of Plasmodium falciparum carrying the mutations described in the resistance to artemisinin in the city of Bangui. On the other hand, this study identifies a mutation probably never observed before and whose phenotype is not yet known. The study also highlighted the circulation of Plasmodium ovale in co-infection with Plasmodium falciparum, the predominant species of the parasite responsible for malaria.
Leptospires protect themselves to survive in the environment
The Leptospirosis Research and Expertise Unit at the Institut Pasteur de Nouvelle-Calédonie has just published an article detailing the bacteria's ability to resist a wide variety of environmental stresses by forming a biofilm. Their work finally provides elements that can explain the persistence of L. interrogans in the environment and indicates that Leptospirosis is an environmental disease threatening to human health.
Institut Pasteur du Cambodge : improved detection of dengue and Zika viruses using multiplex RT-qPCR assays
Dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) are important viral pathogens, known to cause human infections with similar symptoms, are transmitted by common vectors and co-circulate in intertropical regions. Moreover, dengue fever results from infection with one of four different serotypes of dengue virus. Considering the recent ZIKV emergence, multiplex and up-to-date assays are more preferable for detection of both viruses in a single reaction. This study aimed to develop an one-step duplex real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assay to efficiently and simultaneously detect and quantify DENV and ZIKV; and a fourplex RT-qPCR to differentiate and quantify the four DENV serotypes. The assessment of specificity indicated both assays were highly specific to targeted viruses with negative results for other Flaviviridae such as Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, Yellow fever or Hepatitis C viruses. The newly developed RT-qPCRs were shown to be more sensitive than a previously described assay in detecting DENV in clinical samples and are suitable for the routine diagnosis.
The Central African Republic "free country of wild poliovirus"
Central African Republic has not detected any case of wild poliovirus (PVS) since December 8th, 2011. Data from the WHO regional reference laboratory for poliomyelitis housed at the Institut Pasteur de Bangui certify this. This result is the fruit of the commitment, with the Ministry of Health, of international organizations and private foundations which have financially supported this effort for many years including the Institut Pasteur de Bangui.
MOOC : Microbes & brain
Archived and open
Historically, microbes were considered as potential threats that could be harmful to us, in particular to our brain, considered for long as a privileged organ, particularly sensitive to infections and inflammation. However, our vision of the microbial world has evolved and we are now paying more and more attention to this world that is intimately living within us and may be beneficial for our health: our microbiota.
In this MOOC, we will cover all the aspects of the interactions between microbes and the nervous system, starting from an infectious perspective to explore the role of our microbiota in brain functions and potentially neurologic disorders. All along the chapters, you will see how microbes, historically thought as harmful threats, are actually constantly shaping who we are by communicating with our brain.
Call for projects Institut Pasteur - Fiocruz - USP 
Submission deadline : July 20th, 2020
The call for proposals for projects involving the Institut Pasteur International Network, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) and the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) is now open.
The main objective is to facilitate the collaborations in priority areas of research and public health programs, particularly in the framework of the tripartite agreement signed between Institut Pasteur, Fiocruz, USP and FUSP.
The proposals should bring together researchers or teams from at least one institute member of the Institut Pasteur International Network, of the Fundação Oswaldo Cruz and of the Universidade de São Paulo.
French National Research Agency : Call for Research-Action projects on COVID-19
Submission deadline : October 28th, 2020
In the continuity of the Flash call launched in March 2020, the French National Research Agency (ANR) is launching a new call for Research-Action projects on COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) responsible for an epidemic that started at the end of 2019 and caused by the coronavirus pathogen SARS-CoV-2. Open continuously until October, 28th 2020 and focused on WHO recommendations, this call aims to rapidly support the scientific communities mobilized on COVID-19 in an emergency context.
Pasteur Talent Network Awards 2020  
Submission deadline : July 17th, 2020
In order to support the career development of young scientists promising to become future leaders within the International Network, Institut Pasteur is pleased to announce the opening of the call for nomination for the Pasteur Network Talent Award 2020.
Calmette & Yersin Postdoctoral Grant 
Submission deadline : July 24th, 2020
The Calmette and Yersin program aims to promote mobility within the Institut Pasteur International Network. The annual call for applications for doctoral grants is now open. This call is open to all student wishing realize their thesis within an institute of the Network, outside the mainland France.
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