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June 21-25, 2010: Institut Pasteur organizes the first international congress on Viruses of Microbes

Institut Pasteur will organize the first transdisciplinary international congress on viruses of microbes from June 21 to 25, 2010. From the most fundamental research to medical applications this expanding field of research reveals surprising discoveries in a scientific area mostly unexplored today. With more than 400 participants coming from over 40 countries, this congress will represent one of the major events of the year in virology.

A century after the first use by Felix d’Herelle, a french-canadian researcher of Institut Pasteur, of viruses infecting bacteria to fight against bacterial infections (before antibiotics were discovered), viruses infecting other « microbes » are gaining today a growing interest from the scientific community.

Research first focusing only on bacterial viruses, known as bacteriophages, has allowed major discoveries in fundamental molecular mechanisms of living organisms. Over the last few years, the field of investigation has been rapidly expanding, from viruses isolated in extreme conditions to giant viruses (mimivirus), and applications are growing from nanotechnologies to diagnostic tests and antibacterial therapies.

The study of viruses infecting microbes - bacteria, archea and unicellular eucaryotes – allows today to uncover a new vision of our environment. As predominant component of the biosphere, these viruses have in fact a considerable impact on the planet’s ecology and evolution of the living world.

This first international congress organized next June at Institut Pasteur will be a unique opportunity for the scientific community to exchange and share its knowledge on this field full of promises. Global aspects about diversity, evolution and ecology will be developed. A particular focus on technical and medical applications will be given especially in the diagnostic and treatment of antibiotic multiresistant bacteria.

Press contact

Institut Pasteur Press office
Nadine Peyrolo - Marion Doucet - + 33(0)1 45 68 89 28 - presse@pasteur.fr