Research

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  • A mosquito of the Aedes genus, the vector of diseases including chikungunya, dengue and Zika.

    Research | 10.11.2016

    Chikungunya spreads in and around homes with women at highest risk

    The mosquito-borne disease chikungunya seems to spread from infections centered in and around the home, with women much more likely to become infected. This finding was revealed by a new study conducted by the Institut Pasteur in Paris, in collaboration with the US-based Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh (icddr,b).

  • The Ebola virus adapted to better infect humans during the 2013-2016 epidemic

    Research | 07.11.2016

    The Ebola virus adapted to better infect humans during the 2013-2016 epidemic

    An international coalition of scientists* involving teams from the Institut Pasteur, has revealed that adaptive mutations to the Ebola virus occurred during the epidemic that swept across West Africa from 2013 onwards. In what remains the most devastating outbreak of this disease ever recorded, it was already known that several strains of the virus circulated at the same time. This new functional study demonstrates that some variants of the virus actually increased their ability to infect humans – to the detriment of their infectivity in bats.

  • Efficacy of cancer treatment

    Research | 18.10.2016

    Efficacy of cancer treatment: two bacteria in the microbiota identified

    Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, in collaboration with the Institut Gustave-Roussy, have identified two bacterial species naturally present in the body, Enterococcus hirae and Barnesiella intestinihominis, which enhance the effect of cyclophosphamide, a common chemotherapy treatment. The scientists had already proven the role of the microbiota in the efficacy of chemotherapy. This time, they characterized two bacteria responsible for this action.

     

  • Esrrb transcription factor plays a key role in maintaining stem cell identity even after countless divisions

    Research | 17.10.2016

    Esrrb transcription factor plays a key role in maintaining stem cell identity even after countless divisions

    How is it that embryonic stem cells are able to divide over and over again without ever losing their identity? Scientists from the Institut Pasteur have recently answered this question with their discovery that a transcription factor, Esrrb, is directly involved in controlling the transfer of information that enables stem cells to continue expressing the same genes as the initial stem cell even after several generations of division. This epigenetic mechanism sheds light on the way in which cell identity is passed on. More broadly, the newly discovered mechanism could explain the self-renewal of cancer stem cells and provide new avenues for research into preventing their proliferation. In the longer term, understanding how stem cells work could give scientists in the field of regenerative medicine a high degree of precision in guiding the multiplication of these cells with a view to producing tissues or even organs.

  • Tissue infected by Listeria monocytogenes (bacteria are shown in red). ©Institut Pasteur

    Research | 10.10.2016

    How investigating the population biology of Listeria is ushering in a new era in listeriosis surveillance

    By investigating the genome sequence of an international collection of strains of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, two Institut Pasteur scientists, Sylvain Brisse and Marc Lecuit, have helped improve our understanding of how different Listeria strains circulate across the world. Their method of typing strains using high-throughput sequencing signals a new era for the global monitoring of listeriosis cases, paving the way for faster, more precise and internationally reproducible comparative analysis of strains. The Institut Pasteur's collaboration with prestigious health research institutes* from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark and France for this study indicates the importance of these findings, which mark a turning point in the field.

     

  • Bacteriophages eliminating Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on a petri dish. Identification of a new bacterial defense system against phages. © Institut Pasteur.

    Research | 23.09.2016

    Identification of a new bacterial defense system against phages

    Bacteria are under constant attack from viruses known as bacteriophages or phages, recognized as the most abundant organisms on the planet. In response, bacteria have developed an entire arsenal of defense mechanisms against phages, including CRISPR systems, the recent discovery of which is currently giving rise to a surge of new applications, especially in the field of gene editing (gene therapy). Scientists have recently identified a new system used by staphylococci to defend themselves against phages.

  • Institut Pasteur

    Research | 26.08.2016

    A new approach for deciphering complex immune responses

    The response to infection is highly variable from one individual to another. The Milieu Intérieur consortium seeks to establish the parameters that characterize the immune system of healthy individuals and its natural variability. The researchers describe a new approach for analyzing the inflammatory response at the gene expression level in blood samples from healthy individuals, which reproduces the conditions of in vivo stimulation.

  • Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes. © Institut Pasteur

    Research | 22.08.2016

    Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes

    Scientists from the Institut Pasteur have demonstrated the role of lysosomal vesicles in transporting α-synuclein aggregates, responsible for Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, between neurons. These proteins move from one neuron to the next in lysosomal vesicles which travel along the "tunneling nanotubes" between cells.

  • Macrophages infected by group B Streptococcus. A new mechanism used by group B Streptococcus to evade the host immune system. © Institut Pasteur / E. Davenas et P. Trieu-Cuot.

    Research | 13.07.2016

    A new mechanism used by group B Streptococcus to evade the host immune system

    Pathogenic bacteria produce a number of molecules that can be recognized by the innate immune system. These molecules associated with pathogens trigger an inflammatory response by stimulating specific signaling pathways in infected immune cells. Scientists have demonstrated that group B Streptococcus degrades one of these molecules so that it can control the inflammatory response of the infected host.

  • A gorilla in Gabon. Discovery of new strains of the HTLV-4 virus in hunters bitten by gorillas in Gabon. © IRD / Nil Rahola

    Research | 07.07.2016

    Discovery of new strains of the HTLV-4 virus in hunters bitten by gorillas in Gabon

    Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS have identified two new strains of the HTLV-4 virus in two hunters who were bitten by gorillas in Gabon. These findings support the notion that gorillas represent a major source of infectious agents that can be passed on to humans.

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