Men in white bunny suits are working under tents at the back of the Institut Pasteur historical greenhouse. This image, that is not uncommon to see on epidemic ground, is surprising in the heart of Paris.
In fact, 12 scientists and technicians from 6 Western Africa countries were participating in an exercise recreating the scenario of a possible emerging epidemic. For this, a mobile laboratory was installed on the Institut Pasteur campus and participants had to realize the manipulations necessary to identify the responsible virus.
This simulation was part of a 10-day EUWAM–Lab project training program organized by the Institut Pasteur International Department and the Emergency Biological Intervention Unit (Cibu, in french). This project, funded by the European Commission and managed by Expertise France, was launched in 2014 by a consortium gathering Inserm, the Institut Pasteur in Paris and Dakar and the Fondation Mérieux, in response to the Ebola epidemic that was raging, at that time in West Africa. Still active today, it aims, among other, to train expert teams capable to rapidly detect emerging epidemics, in situ.
This training session in Paris comes in addition to three others organized on the African continent (two in Dakar and one in Abidjan). These sessions had permitted to train 38 persons to the detection and identification techniques of Ebola virus disease in anticipation of a possible deployment in Guinea in a P3 truck -laboratory.
The deployment of mobile laboratories close to emergence sites could become, in the future, a powerful tool to rapidly detect and contain any epidemic risk.
Mis à jour le 04/08/2016