Institut Pasteur, France
The Institut Pasteur is a leading research institution in the field of molecular microbiology and infectious diseases with several hundred researchers working on viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitological infections.
The Neisseria Unit (since 1989) and the Invasive Bacterial Infections (IBI) Unit (since 2009), have been recognised by the French Ministry of Health as the national reference centre for meningococci. The IBI unit currently has 12 staff members, and its major research activities include studies of the molecular epidemiology, molecular characterisation and antibiotic resistance of Neisseria and investigation of the pathogenesis of infections caused by N. meningitidis.
Molecular typing of clinical isolates from invasive infections and the characterisation of virulence factors, antibiotic resistance genes and protective antigens are performed in conjunction with the development of in vivo models, in the context of constant emergence of new epidemic variants. The Neisseria and the IBI Units also participate actively in the efforts of the European Monitoring Group on Meningococci (EMGM) and played a key role in transforming the EMGM into a society in 2005. The Unit has led and contributed to several European studies to standardise laboratory techniques for the detection and typing of N. meningitidis.