The Air Liquide Foundation and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai have signed a partnership to advance research on the identification and prevention of respiratory infections, through a three-year research programme.

The researchers of Institut Pasteur of Shanghai hope, through the programme, to identify the action of new viruses and develop more efficient diagnostic methods - in order to improve the treatment of respiratory infections.

A team of 10 scientists will be dedicated to the research programme.

Difficult diagnosis
The origin of many respiratory diseases still remains unknown, making their diagnosis difficult.

In Shanghai, China for example, 40% of all respiratory ailments are not correctly identified and these diseases strike all generations - often proving incapacitating and regarded as the leading cause of infant mortality.

Further research is therefore needed and the research project of Institut Pasteur of Shanghai meets the need for the development of molecular biology techniques, to establish more rapid and efficient medical diagnoses in the treatment of respiratory infections.

These diagnostic technologies will make use of ‘biological microchips’, a new molecular biology technology. The research programme, financed in 2009 with a grant of €50,000 by the Air Liquide Foundation, provides for the study of a patient population, the standardisation of the methodology for using microchips, and the creation of a database on the new infectious agents detected.

Supporting philanthropy
For its part, the Air Liquide Foundation supports the research programme in the framework of its corporate philanthropy mission, in favour of scientific research for the improvement of the respiratory function.

With a budget of €3m over five years, the Air Liquide Foundation supports corporate philanthropy actions in three areas, notably scientific research for the preservation of the environment, scientific research for the improvement of the respiratory function, and support formicroinitiatives in the countries where the group is present.

Created in 2004 by its three founders (the ChineseAcademy of Sciences, the
Municipality of Shanghai, Institut Pasteur)meanwhile, the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai is a Chinese non-profit national institute with over 110 scientists and developing research programmes for infectious diseases.