Over 100 scientists from 25 countries are gathering in Vientiane July 5-8 for the 8th edition of the GABRIEL (Global Approach to Biological Research, Infectious diseases and Epidemics in Low-income countries) network meeting.
A full day will be devoted to the major threat posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the urgent need to establish surveillance and effective public health interventions to limit its spread. Successful interventions and surveillance in hospital settings and animal production systems in Southeast Asia will be explored. A round table will address a "One Health" approach to controlling AMR. Experts from Laos will be among the international speakers at this scientific symposium on one of the world’s most pressing public health issues.
The GABRIEL meeting will also cover the results of members’ research programs on acute respiratory infections in children, cervical cancer screening of women living with HIV in Lao PDR, and new typhoid fever diagnostics, among others. Full sessions will be devoted to tuberculosis and an ambitious cross network quality initiative to achieve ISO 15189. Three young scientists will also present and receive an award for their work: Cristina Garcia from Brazil for work on a chemokine receptor that could have therapeutic potential in lung infections, Ariane Nzouankeu from Cameroon for molecular characterization of multidrug-resistant Salmonella, and Asifuzzaman Rahat from Bangladesh for surveillance of acute respiratory infections in children under five.
The GABRIEL network was created by Fondation Mérieux in 2008 and now has 18 members in 16 countries. The network brings together the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, local reference laboratories, and academic, university and hospital research institutes. Its members work in developing countries and conduct research projects that target local infectious disease priorities (respiratory infections and fevers, waterborne and foodborne diseases, and neglected diseases).
Fondation Mérieux in Laos
Fondation Mérieux built the Christophe Mérieux Infectiology Center of Laos and Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory, which were inaugurated at the University of Health Sciences in Vientiane in 2009. The training center and research laboratory belong to the Ministry of Health of the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao and are jointly governed by the Ministry and Fondation Mérieux.
A 12-person team works at the Christophe Mérieux Infectiology Center, which has 120 m² of laboratories, including two biosafety level 2 rooms and a ISO8 standard clean room.
The center’s objectives are to:
contribute to training students in medicine and pharmacy in the field of infectious diseases, providing them with the opportunity to carry out research projects,
conduct projects that have an impact on the country’s public health issues, through research (respiratory infections and tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis) and through specialized biomedical analyses (hepatitis B and C, HIV).