The Pasteur Museum is housed in the apartment where Louis Pasteur spent his final seven years and offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the living and working environment of the world-renowned scientist. Visitors can gain a unique insight into his everyday life alongside his wife and can admire his rich and diverse scientific work.
The Institut Pasteur’s scientific strategy focuses on developing original and innovative topics and promoting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary cooperation and approaches. The Institut Pasteur teams have access to the technological resources needed to speed up and further improve the quality of their outstanding research.
Ever since the introduction of the world’s first "Technical Microbiology" course in 1889, teaching has been a priority for the Institut Pasteur. The Institut Pasteur has an international reputation for quality teaching that attracts students from all over the world who come to further their training or top up their degree programs.
The mission of the Industrial Partnership team is to detect, promote, assist and protect the inventive activities from research (inventions, know-how and biological materials) conducted at the Institut Pasteur (and in some Institutes of its international network), and transfer there to industrial and/or institutional partners, in order to serve the patient needs and for the benefit of the society, as well as to contribute to sustainability of the Institut Pasteur’s resources.
With international courses, PhD and postdoctoral traineeship, each institute of the Institut Pasteur International Network (RIIP) contributes to the transmission of knowledge with the training of young researchers all around the world. In this context, doctoral and postdoctoral programmes, study and traineeship fellowships are available to scientists. Alongside training, dynamism and attractiveness of RIIP will result in the creation of 4-year group for the young researchers.
How the anthrax bacterium eludes our immune defenses
After having demonstrated the protective role of one of the enzymes of our natural immunity against B. anthracis, the anthrax bacterium, researchers from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, and the CNRS explain how the bacillus is capable of evading the bactericidal action of this enzyme: this bacterium produces a toxin that inhibits the enzyme synthesis. This research*, published in PloS Pathogens, reveals potential new therapeutic avenues against anthrax.
Paris, december 10, 2007
Bacillus anthracis - en rouge, la capside. en bleu, l'ADN. Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, and affects mammals, including humans. B. anthracis survives in the environment in the form of spores that, once they have entered the organism, can germinate and give rise to bacteria. These bacteria then multiply rapidly, producing toxins. Toxaemia and septicaemia provoked by B. anthracis are fatal in 100% of cases of infection by inhalation, in absence of treatment. This treatment, which consists of antibiotic therapy and intensive care, is not always sufficient to prevent a fatal outcome.
In 2004, researchers from Lhousseine Touqui's group within the Innate Host Defense and Inflammation Unit (Institut Pasteur/INSERM U874), directed by Michel Chignard, as well as Pierre Goossens' team in the Toxins and Bacterial Pathogenesis Unit (Institut Pasteur/CNRS URA2172), directed by Michèle Mock, in collaboration with researchers from the CNRS, demonstrated in vitro and in vivo that the host was naturally equipped to combat the anthrax bacterium. Scientists had, in fact, proven that cells of the immune system, called macrophages, produce an enzyme with bactericidal properties. Within the lungs, this enzyme is produced in sufficient amount to destroy B. anthracis after inhalation. Their experiments have even demonstrated that injecting the enzyme into infected mice made it possible to protect them. However, in spite of the host’s capacity to produce this enzyme, air born infection by B. anthracis remains fatal if not treated. It is thus of a great importance to determine the mechanism(s) by which B. anthracis interfere with the natural host defense.
Researchers discovered that one of the toxins secreted by the bacterium allows it to counter the action of the protective enzyme: this toxin indeed inhibits the synthesis of the enzyme by the lung macrophages, thereby reducing their capacity to kill the bacilli and the germinated spores of B. anthracis. “We were able to determine at the molecular level which mechanisms intervened in inhibiting the synthesis of the enzyme,” explained Touqui and Goossens. “As a result, we hope to be able to identify new therapeutic targets against anthrax. The use of the protective enzyme, which eliminates the bacterium much more rapidly than the antibiotics currently administered, could, for example, represent an interesting strategy.”
* * This research is supported by a grant from the French Foundation for Medical Research (Marianne Josso Prize).
Picture : Bacillus anthracis, causative agent of anthrax. In red, the capside. In bleu, DNA. /// Copyright Institut Pasteur.
Benoît Raymond (1,2), Dominique Leduc (1,2), Lucas Ravaux (3), Ronan Le Goffic (1,2), Thomas Candela (4), Michel Raymondjean (3), Pierre-Louis Goossens (4) and Lhousseine Touqui (1,2).
(1,2) Innate Host Defense and Inflammation Unit, Institut Pasteur/Inserm U874, Paris, France
(3) UMR CNRS 7079 - Physiology and physiopathology, Pierre & Marie Curie University, Paris, France
(4) Toxins and Bacterial Pathogenesis Unit, Institut Pasteur/CNRS, URA-2172, Paris, France.