Fondation Merieux

A family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases

HIV / AIDS Research Programme

Antiretroviral dosage

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Cambodia is located within the Faculty of Pharmacy of Phnom Penh. Headed by a pharmacist, this laboratory has two different units: an analytical chemistry research unit and a molecular biology research unit.

The analytical chemistry unit is working on refining the plasma levels in the antiretroviral drugs (ARV) prescribed to infected Cambodian patients: Efavirenz, Nevirapine and Lopinavir.

Dosing methods for these molecules already exist and are used in developed countries. However, these techniques are not suitable for use in developing countries like Cambodia. The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Phnom Penh creates, modifies and validates different procedures that are adapted to local constraints. They are easier and faster to use and require less reagents.

The ARV dosage in patients with HIV / AIDS should improve the evaluation of their treatment and verify the effectiveness of the treatment. This also allows for checking if the molecules have assimilated correctly and if the dosage is right for the population.

The different ARV doses are also used to better evaluate the drug interactions between these 'anti-HIV' molecules and the tuberculosis drugs in patients with both diseases.

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory takes part in the CAMELIA study run by the ANRS (national french agency for research on AIDS and viral hepatitis). CAMELIA consists in determining the right time to introduce an antiretroviral treatment against HIV / AIDS in patients already treated against tuberculosis.

All the research work at the analytical chemistry unit is carried out in partnership with the Laboratoire de Pharmacie Cinique run by Dr Anne-Marie Taburet of the Bicêtre Hospital in Paris.

Chronic diarrhea in patients infected with HIV / AIDS in Laos: prevalence of opportunistic parasites and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. isolates

Sponsor: University Claude-Bernard Lyon 1 - UMR 145 IRD)

Study of intestinal parasites observed among HIV / AIDS patients affected by a chronic diarrhea in Laos in a hospital of the capital (Setthathirat Hospital, Vientiane) and a provincial hospital (Savanhnakheth Hospital, Savanhnakheth province)

Study of microscopic diagnosis and drug resistances of M. tuberculosis in sputa from HIV / AIDS patients (IFTM, Fondation Mérieux)

  • Direct examination of sputum samples with or without treatment by bleach method (NaCIO);

  • Culture of samples from HIV / AIDS patients with pulmonary syndromes in the Mahosot and Setthathirat hospitals (Vientiane);

  • Detection of MRD (Multi-Drug Resistance) and genotyping of possible samples by molecular biology (Hain Test).

HIV-1 ARN Viral load

Programme under the supervision of CHAS (Center for HIV / AIDS / STI), and in collaboration with Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, WHO, ESTHER and Global Found.

  • Quantification of RNA HIV-1 virus by RT-PCR;

  • Analysis of all samples sent by AIDStreatment Centers located in Vientiane and the provinces;

  • Training of clinicians about interpretation of the results;

  • Training of technicians' laboratory for sample collections and transportation.

Early detection of the virus in new-born children

Fondation Mérieux, financed by Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, is collaborating with the GHESKIO researchers in Haiti.

In particular, the foundation has for several years financed the development of an HIV / AIDS detection test in newborns. The « p24 antigen » immunoassay is simple, quick, ultra-sensitive and can be used with a minimum of equipment in the small laboratories in the provincial GHESKIO health centers. It enables early diagnosis, and thus quick treatment, of infected infants. The stakes are enormous: the mortality rate in untreated newborns is 50%, but falls to 15% in treated newborns.

The foundation also supports studies on the impact that treatments have on the quality of life of children in Haiti, and research on determining the best time to begin an antiretroviral treatment according to the CD4 count.

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