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Accueil > Archives > Journées et colloques : septembre 2008–juillet 2012 > Journées et colloques 2009-2010 > Simian Viruses and Emerging Diseases in Humans : Virology, Epidemiology and Medical History

Simian Viruses and Emerging Diseases in Humans : Virology, Epidemiology and Medical History


- Partners

  • UFR Sciences du Vivant
  • Département Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences
  • Laboratoire SPHERE, UMR CNRS 7219
  • UFR de Médecine, Hôpital Saint-Louis

- Contact
François Simon : francois.simon[at]
Guillaume Lachenal : lachenal[at]

At Musée des moulages, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris.
Entrance on invitations only.

This symposium takes an interdisciplinary perspective on the questions of HIVs origin and history. It has brought together scholars of history of medecine, history of Africa and virologists.

In recent years, research on the origin and evolution of Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV) have made considerable progress. The isolation in Central and West Africa of new strains of Simian Immunodeficiency viruses (SIV), as well as atypical HIVs, have demonstrated that HIVs crossed over to human populations on several independent occasions during the first part of the XXth century. However understanding the modalities of the inter-species transfer and adaptation of HIV among humans remains a challenge. Virological, epidemiological and historical expertise will be needed to solve this puzzle.

In 2001 a conference was held at the Royal Society in London on the origin of the Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV). The meeting was prompted by the publication of Edward Hooper’s book The River – in which he associated the origins of HIV with the early development of polio vaccines in Africa. While HIV origins are not related to polio vaccines, there is increasing evidence that HIV and other blood-borne pathogens crossed over from simian species and expanded in human populations in close association with mass injection campaigns and the rise of blood transfusions in Sub Saharan Africa.

This symposium takes an interdisciplinary perspective on these questions. It will bring together scholars who have worked on the questions of emergence of new human viruses from simian virus progenitors, and the role of iatrogenesis in these crossovers. Scholars from Europe, Africa and the U.S.A., from various disciplinary backgrounds (virology, epidemiology, history, anthropology), will meet to discuss their recent work on these issues and take stock of progress in the last decade.

June 9th
8.30 – 17.00


Opening ceremony, video interventions
by Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Prix Nobel de Médecine 2008 ;
Benoît Schlemmer, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine ;
Patrick Vicart, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences ;
Phillipe Sudreau, Director of the CHU Saint Louis ;
Jean François Delfraissy, director of the National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS)


Keynote lecture
Robin Weiss (University College London) :
Cross-species infection and virulence

9.30 – 13.00
Panel 1
From SIVs to HIVs : virology and epidemiology

Chairs : Lutz Gürtler & Simon Wain-Hobson

David Robertson (Faculty of Life Sciences, Univ. of Manchester) :
HIV-1 group M : diversity and recombination

Catherine Brennan (Abbott Laboratories) :
The other HIV-1 groups : N, O and P

Ahidjo Ayouba (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UMR145 IRD/UM1) :
HIV/SIV in central Africa

10.45 – 11.15 Coffee Break

Preston Marx (Tulane National Primate Research Center) :
Is a new HIV-2 emerging ?” Genetic clustering of pathogenic and non-pathogenic HIV-2 subtypes E & F with SIV from sooty mangabeys is Sierra Leone.

Michael Worobey (University of Arizona) :
Dating the origins and emergence of SIV and HIV-1

Cristian Apetrei(Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburg) :
From natural hosts to other species. What can we learn ?

Allan Hance (Inserm U 941) :
Host factors : pandemic and non-pandemic HIV’s

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 17.00
Panel 2 :
Models of viral emergence

Chairs : Michaela Müller-Trutwin & Ali Saib

Antoine Gessain (Institut Pasteur) :
Emergence of Novel Retroviruses in Central Africa (HTLV-3 and Simian Foamy Viruses) in Humans : Importance of Interspecies Transmission

Iris Andernach (Institute of Immunology, Laboratoire National de Santé/CRP Santé, Luxembourg) :
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) in West Africa and the transatlantic slave trade

Richard Njouom (Centre Pasteur of Cameroon) :
Epidemic histories of HCV in Cameroon

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break

Oliver Pybus (University of Oxford) :
The history of epidemic and endemic HCV

Peter Simmonds (University of Edinburgh) :
HCV : Evidence for its origin in sub-Saharan Africa

June 10th
9.00 – 17.00


Keynote lecture
Catherine Coquery Vidrovitch (Université Paris Diderot) :
Equatorial Africa, 1870-1960. Demographic crisis , ecological change,
colonial rule and decolonisation

9.30 – 13.00
Panel 3
Tropical Africa and medical technologies : the historical context

Chairs : Martyn Sama & François Vachon

Tamara Giles Vernick (Institut Pasteur) :
Apes and Humans in the Sangha basin, 1890-1920

William Schneider (Indiana University, Professeur invité à l’Université Paris Diderot) :
The history of blood transfusion in Sub-Saharan Africa

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee Break

Guy Mbensa (National Program of Blood in Kinshasa) :
Blood transfusions in Kinshasa : history and perspectives

Anne-Marie Moulin (CNRS - SPHERE) :
Blood, therapeutics and infection transmission in Egypt

Guillaume Lachenal (Univ. Paris Diderot - SPHERE) :
Injections, medical accidents and colonial medicine in Cameroon

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.30
Panel 4
Theories, models and hypothesis of HIV origin and emergence
Chairs : Fred Eboko & Patrice Debré

Arnaud Fontanet (Institut Pasteur) :
HCV in Egypt : a model of iatrogenic epidemic or an exception ?

Phillipe Lemey (Rega Institute, K.U. Leuven) :
Early spread of HIV-1 M in the DRC

Ernest Drucker (Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Columbia University) :
Serial Passage of SIVs in Africa : the Role of Medical Injections and Blood Transfusions

Jacques Pépin (University of Sherbrooke, Canada) :
History of Injections, HCV and HIV spread

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break

16.00 – 16.50
Final Roundtable
Chairs : Robin Weiss & Preston Marx

Speakers : Cristian Apetrei, Ahidjo Ayouba, Patrice Debré,
Jean-Pierre Dozon, Ernest Drucker, Arnaud Fontanet,
Jacques Pépin, Martine Peeters, Jacques Leibowitch,
William Schneider, François Vachon, Simon Wain-Hobson, Fred Eboko

16.50 – 17.00
Closing remarks
Patrice Debré (Ambassadeur chargé de la lutte
contre le VIH-sida et les maladies transmissibles)


The closest metro stations are Goncourt (Line 11) and Colonel Fabien (Line 2). The station République (Line 3, 5, 8, 9,11) is also within a 10 mn walk.
The Musée des moulages is located in the old part of the Hôpital Saint-Louis, on the right after entering the gate at Rue Bichat/Avenue Richerand. The other gates are Rue de la Grange aux Belles and Avenue Vellefaux.

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