Mérieux Foundation doctorates to present their work during international congresses

Four doctorates’ researchers of the Mérieux Foundation have been selected to present their research work on tuberculosis and antimicrobial resistance during international scientific conferences.

Knowledge-sharing and researchers training is at the core of the Mérieux Foundation’s mission. It promotes scientific research and recognizes the work of researchers fighting against infectious diseases in developing countries, through several initiatives. Among its experts, it welcomes doctorates, pursuing their PhD research as part of the Foundation’s research projects. Four of them were selected to present their work on tuberculosis (TB) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), during renowned international scientific conferences.

Participation in the ECCMID congress

Carole Chedid and Rim Bayaa both presented their work at the 31st European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), which took place online from 9 – 12 July 2021. During this clinical microbiology & infectious diseases event, bringing together global scientific experts, they were able to present their latest findings and developments on tuberculosis, as follow:



Carole CHEDID, who is currently completing a PhD in translational immunology on new immune markers of response to TB treatment (HINTT project) presented her scientific work:

Chedid C, Kokhreidze E, Tukvadze N, Banu S, Uddin MKM, Biswas S, et al.
Association of baseline white blood cell counts with tuberculosis treatment outcome: a prospective multicentered cohort study
International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.09.017

High white blood cell counts and low lymphocyte proportions before treatment are significantly associated with the risk of tuberculosis treatment failure. These simple, rapid, inexpensive indicators could be used to help identify patients with the highest risk of treatment failure. Learn more

Chedid C, Kokhreidze E, Tukvadze N, Banu S, Uddin MKM, Biswas S, et al.
Relevance of QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus and Heparin-Binding Hemagglutinin Interferon-γ release assays for mnitoring of pulmonary tuberculosis clearance: a multicentered study
Front Immunol. 2021;11. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.616450

This study questions the clinical relevance of two rapid blood tests (IGRAs) in monitoring response to tuberculosis treatment by measuring the concentration of interferon-gamma, a marker of inflammation in blood. Learn more



Rim BAYAA, who pursues her thesis in co-management between the Mérieux Foundation and the Lebanese University in Lebanon on the identification/validation of supportive tools (Transcriptomic analysis, immunological assays and biomarkers…) for tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment monitoring, presented her research on:

Bayaa R, Ndiaye MDB, Chedid C, Kokhreidze E, Tukvadze N, Banu S, et al.
Multi-country evaluation of RISK6, a 6-gene blood transcriptomic signature, for tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment monitoring
Sci Rep. 2021;11: 1–12. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-93059-1

The study discusses the evaluation of how well this new diagnostic test for tuberculosis performs. Unlike conventional tuberculosis screening tools, which use sputum-based tests, RISK6 is a blood test that could improve screening for certain forms of tuberculosis that have been difficult to identify until now (e.g. paediatric tuberculosis). Learn more

Presentations to come



The Mérieux Foundation will also be represented during the 52nd Union World Conference on Lung Health, an international reference in the field of tuberculosis. Mame NDIAYE, who realizes her PhD between the Mérieux Foundation and Institut Pasteur of Madagascar, was selected for an oral presentation of her thesis on the optimization of the management of tuberculosis (TB) and latent TB by evaluating diagnostic and prognostic tools using immunological biomarkers. Part of her thesis project is to develop, evaluate, and coordinate the implementation of innovative and effective diagnostic tests to improve TB screening in the most vulnerable individuals, and to participate in research capacity building in Madagascar. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Mame has been very involved in the fight against SARS-Cov-2 and has helped develop a tool for the surveillance of COVID-19 in Madagascar. This tool will be used to date the COVID-19 infection in TB household contacts of the APRECIT project, whose objective is to improve the management of latent tuberculosis in Madagascar and Cameroon, in cooperation with the Pasteur Institutes and the Mérieux Foundation.

Christelle ELIAS

Christelle ELIAS

Finally, Christelle Elias will share her expertise on antimicrobial resistance at the International conference on prevention & infection control (ICPIC) 2021. She realizes her research work as part of the TSARA project, carried in Madagascar, with the objective of combining patient data with laboratory and epidemiological surveillance data to provide a better understanding of the scope of antimicrobial resistance in Madagascar.

She will present her work on:

Implementing an antimicrobial resistance surveillance tool in a low–income country: the TSARA project in Madagascar. Christelle Elias 1, Mathieu Raad2, Yoann Mallet2, Luciana Rakotoarisoa3, Laurent Raskine2, François-Xavier Babin2, Mamy Randria4. 1Lyon University Hospital, 2Fondation Mérieux , Lyon, France, 3Fondation Mérieux, 4HUJR Befelatanana, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Antimicrobial stewarship programs(ASP) in hospitals are a vital component of national action plans for antimicrobial resistance(AMR), and have been shown to significantly reduce AMR, in particular in a low-income country such as Madagascar. As part of an ASP, AMR surveillance provides essential information to guide medical practice. An AMR surveillance tool called TSARA has been developed with the support of the Mérieux Foundation, with the objective of combining patient data with laboratory and epidemiological surveillance data to provide a better understanding of the scope of AMR in Madagascar.