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18 Sep 2020

Institut Pasteur International Network In Asia Pacific’s Involvement In The Fight Against Covid-19

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak – caused by a newly identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 – which emerged at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China, the Institut Pasteur International Network in Asia Pacific have been at the forefront of the research conducted on the topic. 
 
In addition of our work on coronaviruses here at HKU-Pasteur Research Pole, the Institut Pasteur International Network in Asia Pacific has been deeply active since the beginning of the pandemic on testing, detection tools, immunity, as well as vaccine and treatment research.
 
Highlights of selected studies by the IPIN in Asia Pacific
 
Institut Pasteur du Cambodge – Besides the conduction of studies on the surveillance of Covid-19 in Cambodia and in Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge is part of the Institut Pasteur Task Force on Covid-19 in the project “Covid-19 Serosurvey”. This project is aiming at developing simple serological screening tools and a targeted serosurvey of at-risk individuals. 
 
Institut Pasteur Korea – On July 6 2020, the Institut Pasteur Korea has launched a joint research and clinical trial for development of COVID-19 treatment, in collaboration with Chong Kun Dang Pharm, and the Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences. A clinical trial, using “Nafamostat” as a treatment against Covid-19, has been launched in Senegal, through a collaboration between Institut Pasteur Korea, Institut Pasteur de Dakar and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. On May-June 2020, the Institute has conducted a major study on the identification of antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2, using FDA-approved drugs, further investigated in August 2020.
 
Institut Pasteur du Laos – As part of the Institut Pasteur Covid-19 Task Force, the Institut Pasteur du Laos is monitoring the origins and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Laos and Vietnam. The aim of this project, entitled “SPILLOVER-CORONA”, is to search for SARS-like viruses and detect antibodies invertebrates. 
 
Institut Pasteur de Nouvelle-Calédonie – The Institut Pasteur de Nouvelle-Calédonie is involved in the “EPICOVID Project”, in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane and the Institut Pasteur de la Guadeloupe, as part of the Institut Pasteur Covid-19 Task Force. This project investigates on SARS household transmission in French overseas territories. 
 
Institut Pasteur in Ho Chi Minh City – The Institut Pasteur in Ho Chi Minh City has conducted a significant study on the clinical features and the genome sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 through an investigation from the first two patients in Vietnam. 
 
Institut Pasteur of Shanghai – The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai has launched a large number of decisive studies on SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19, notably on the evolution of the virus and its characteristics, as well as on the development of a vaccine. Along with several studies conducted on the immune response to the Covid-19 infection, the institute is also part of the Institut Pasteur Covid-19 Task Force within the “NABCOV project” on the identification and isolation of potent human neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. 
 
National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) – The NIHE in Hanoi, Vietnam, has led several significant studies on Covid-19, with for instance analysis of the first 100 days of SARS-CoV-2 control in Vietnam, or an identification of the factors associated with the duration of hospitalisation among COVID-19 patients in Vietnam.