Dr. Jean-Michel Heraud, Ph.D, is an Editorial Board Member of BMC Infectious Illnesses. Virologist by coaching, he graduated in 2004 from the College Denis Diderot (Paris, France). After being a post-doc on the US Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH), he joined the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar as head of the WHO-Nationwide Influenza Centre, changing into chief of the virology unit. There, he developed a number of analysis and public well being packages on varied subjects (influenza, arboviruses, zoonotic viruses, polioviruses, measles) and skilled quite a few Malagasy scientists. After a few years of devoted work within the discipline of public well being, outbreak response, and virology in Madagascar, Dr. Heraud acquired the medal of the Knight of the Nationwide Order of Madagascar, by the President of the Republic of Madagascar. Not too long ago, Dr. Heraud joined the Institut Pasteur de Dakar to develop new packages on Rabies and Viral encephalitis.
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Throughout my virtually 20 years working in Africa and Low- and Center-income nations, I’ve led a number of public well being and analysis packages overlaying a broad number of subjects (Influenza and different respiratory viruses, Arboviruses, Hepatitis, Zoonotic pathogen, and so on). The distinctive geographical traits of Africa make this continent a mannequin of selection for research on the evolution of viral populations, mechanisms of introduction and upkeep of viruses in areas with a number of bio-climates and necessary ecological variety. This setting, the place the proportion of endemism is among the many highest on this planet, additionally provides the chance to elucidate new epidemiological methods and organisms, and to check modern fashions of illness surveillance.
My “philosophy” throughout my years spent in Madagascar and dealing in Africa was to develop analysis packages of curiosity each on the native and worldwide degree, and to coach/mentor younger African scientists to ensure that them to develop and handle their very own analysis tasks.
These days, I’m growing new packages within the discipline of rabies and viral encephalitis. The purpose of the rabies challenge is to implement an built-in strategy for rabies surveillance in Senegal making use of an modern utility (REACT), developed by Mission Rabies and UC Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. This built-in chew case administration is coordinated along with the Senegalese Ministry of Well being and Ministry of Livestock.
In Senegal, little or no knowledge can be found on the principle etiological causes of infectious encephalitis. This lack of expertise impacts the administration of sufferers. The analysis program that we’ve developed since 2020 is geared toward rising our information of the viral etiologies of encephalitis in Dakar, the capital metropolis of Senegal. To discover this, we’ve carried out a multi-pathogen diagnostic platform that allows clinicians to obtain outcomes inside 24h, thus accelerating the tailored administration of sufferers. The innovation of our strategy for the nation is to check not solely cerebrospinal fluids but in addition different organic specimens like nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples. We printed our first observational examine in April 2022 the place we demonstrated the excessive mortality fee (41%) amongst viral encephalitis sufferers. We additionally famous that SARS-CoV-2 appears to play a big position in sufferers presenting with encephalitis. In addition to the challenges because of restricted funds accessible for uncared for illnesses, we hope that our outcomes will enable us to higher characterize the medical spectrum of viral encephalitis, establish potential danger components and enhance healthcare by giving sufferers entry to higher remedy. Our remaining purpose is to develop a community of hospital-based encephalitis surveillance not solely in Senegal, however in West-Africa area.
To conclude, I might say that my background allowed me to carry out some fundamental science, nonetheless, I used to be all the time interested by growing operational analysis packages aiming to establish the burden of some viral illnesses and scale back related morbidity and mortality. Though most of my analysis pertains to Sustainable Growth Objective 3.3 (By 2030, finish the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and uncared for tropical illnesses and fight hepatitis, water-borne illnesses and different communicable illnesses), I’ve a private curiosity in growing new and extra inclusive approaches to sort out illnesses, particularly within the area with poor entry to healthcare. For that I think about embracing a number of SDGs particularly SDGs 3 (Good Well being and Effectively-being), 4 (High quality training), 6 (Clear Water and Sanitation) and seven (Inexpensive and Clear power) by synergies of various packages might allow reaching a few of the 2030 SDGs objectives.
As Louis Pasteur as soon as mentioned: “Science is aware of no nation, as a result of information belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.” As a scientist that has labored for many years on infectious illnesses and public well being, will probably be a terrific private achievement shall I play a task within the discount of morbidity and mortality because of viruses, making using world and sustainable approaches.