Camille Locht holds currently a position as Research Director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and heads the Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille at the Institut Pasteur de Lille in France. He has obtained his PhD at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1984. After 3 post-doctoral years at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (USA), where he cloned the pertussis toxin genes, he joined SmithKline – Beecham (now GSK) to help developing acellular pertussis vaccines. In 1989 he was appointed as laboratory chief at the Institut Pasteur de Lille, where he is now the Scientific Director. His research interest is in molecular pathogenesis of respiratory infections, essentially pertussis and tuberculosis, with the long-term aim to develop new vaccines against both diseases. A very powerful molecular typing system for mycobacteria, invented in his laboratory has already reached the market, and a live attenuated nasal pertussis vaccine developed in his laboratory has now completed phase I clinical trials. He has authored close to 250 international publications, several dozens of patents and has obtained several research awards in France.
Blogged on behalf of Milana Shapira and Sophia Doll
Dr Camille Locht highlighted the importance and need for continued public-private partnership (PPP) to allow product and clinical development for vaccines by presenting the case of the live attenuated pertussis vaccine. The problem with the current vaccine is that it requires three immunisations, starting at two months of age. However, until the process is competed, infants are not immune, which in turn is causes the highest source of mortality. It turns out that the best way to provide immunity is to infect the infants directly with the live attenuated pertussis bacteria. Following trials in mice, PPP facilitated subsequent tests in humans and involved collaboration between the European Commission, 7 Framework programmes and 10 other laboratories. The question now is whether the live attenuated pertussis vaccine is really safe in humans?
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The presentations from the event will be made available from the 1st November.
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